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Ecuador convinces with fruity variety

Ecuador convinces with fruity variety

Import Promotion Desk (IPD) from Germany supports exporters from Ecuador and seven more partner countries at the international trade fair for fruits and vegetables

Ecuador is known for its biodiversity and offers a wide range of tropical fruits. The South American country lived up to its reputation at this year’s Berlin show. With bananas, pineapples, pitahayas, physalis and passionfruit, the exhibitors presented a richly filled fruit basket (Hall 21 Booth B‐06). The IPD has been supporting the partner country for two years now. In total, over 40 companies from eight IPD partner countries from Egypt, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Côte d`Ivoire, Ghana, Colombia, Peru and the Ukraine were present their range of fresh fruits and vegetables in Berlin.

“Ecuador has great potential in the fresh fruits and vegetables sector”, says Dr Julia Hoffmann, Head of IPD. “The country is mainly known as a supplier of bananas, but Ecuador offers a great variety of tropical fruits. Furthermore, it can score with specialties such as the yellow pitahaya from Palora. But not only the variety, also the quality is what makes the offer from Ecuador special.” In South America the IPD is further active in Peru and Colombia. Funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), the initiative supports small‐ and medium sized companies in accessing the EU‐market. At Fruit Logistica the exhibitors from Peru presented ginger and curcuma, as well as granadillas and mini bananas. The range of products from Colombia includes amongst others, bananas, papayas as well as avocados. From Egypt and Ethiopia comes a wide range of vegetables and fresh herbs as well as strawberries, oranges, limes, pomegranates, grapes and mangoes. The producers from the Ukraine showcased berries in Berlin, such as blue berries and raspberries. Newcomers this year wee producers from the Côte d`Ivoire and Ghana, who presented coconuts, mangoes, sweet potatoes and okra pods as well as pineapples and papayas to an international audience.

Colombia, Côte d`Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine

The Import Promotion Desk (IPD) is an initiative for import promotion in Germany. The IPD fulfils a hinge function between small and medium-sized enterprises in selected emerging markets and developing countries on the one hand and European importers on the other. The objective is to integrate the partner countries into global trade, thereby contributing towards sustainable economic development in these countries. The IPD introduces exporters from its partner countries to the EU market and assists them in setting up trading relations. For European importers, the IPD opens up new supply sources in the partner countries and assists them in the procurement process for specific products.

Countries in the fresh fruit and vegetables program: Colombia, Côte d`Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine.

Product focus:

Fresh fruit (temperate): e.g. berries, melons, stone fruits, grapes and citrus)

Fresh vegetables: e.g. young vegetables, beans, peas, sugar snap peas, artichokes, ginger, fresh turmeric, fruit vegetables, broccoli and onions

Fresh herbs: e.g. basil, coriander, marjoram, melissa, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, chives and thyme

Sub-tropical and tropical fruit (exotic fruit): e.g. pineapples, avocados, bananas, cherimoya, dates, guava, pomegranates, persimmons; prickly pears, coconuts, mangoes, passion fruits, papayas, physalis and dragon fruits.

Quality protocol: thanks to its extensive sourcing the IPD guarantees that every selected supplier complies with the GlobalG.A.P. standard. GlobalG.A.P. is the one of the most important European standards for safe, sustainable production and high food safety. We assist promising producers in obtaining corresponding certification, paving their way to the European market for premium quality, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Organics, strategic value-chain

“In a focused manner, we support the export of products for which there is a high demand on the German and European market. Regardless of whether they are produced conventionally or organically.”

The demand for organic products has been growing for years, and there is great – as yet undiscovered – potential in developing and emerging countries. In countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia and Egypt there are already first organic suppliers. IPD supports these companies on their way to the European market.
“We advise the companies on organic certification. In some countries, it is more a matter of converting from conventional to organic farming in order to increase export opportunities.”

Organic’ is not only ecologically sustainable, but also in an economic sense. The demand for organic products is not a short-term trend, and there are companies in developing and emerging countries that have been active in the sector for many years. For example, the company Fincas de El Oro from Ecuador. It specialises in the cultivation of Cavendish bananas and their processing into jam and juice, for example. The Cavendish variety is particularly robust and therefore popular – with producers and consumers alike.

Fincas de El Oro works with around 50 partners – small farmers from the El Oro region. They dispense with the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The cooperative also pursues other ecological projects to improve the quality of the soil and conserve resources. For example, the farmers use biofermentation to make the soil more nutritious and have introduced a new water technology to reduce consumption. To protect biodiversity, the cooperative is also involved in reforestation in its fields and in parts of the surrounding primeval forest.

Especially in the organic segment, personal contact is an important argument when selecting a supplier. A lack of contacts with European retailers is therefore a major hurdle for many producers. For this reason, IPD arranges business contacts with potential customers within the framework of trade fairs and supports them with training in export marketing. This year, for example, we have already accompanied companies from our partner countries to Fruit Logistica and Biofach.

Further information

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Success in Berlin for the ‘CIV & Friends Meeting’ event and the Modì Apple International meeting with Licensees


The CIV celebrates the 50 years of its Indian partner IG International

The CIV (Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti of San Giuseppe di Comacchio (Ferrara, Italy)), which stands for excellence in innovative varietal research at an international level, is taking stock of its participation in Fruit Logistica 2020, the world’s leading event dedicated to the world of fruit and vegetables – , which has become an important meeting place for international operatorswho are interested in new products and major varietal development projects. 

On the eve of the opening of the Berlin event at the Steigenberger Hotel of Berlin, the second edition of the ‘CIV & Friends Meeting’ took place with a large participation of representatives of companies interested in the preview presentation of the CIV Product & Project Portfolio of new apple varieties/selections.

During the Fair, the traditional annual Modi® Apple IMMCA Meeeting (‘International Marketing Cooperation & Coordination Agreement’) also took place, organised by the CIV – owner of the patent of the Civg198* apple variety and of the Modì® brand with which it is marketed worldwide – with its authorised international licensees in order to implement and coordinate the marketing strategies necessary for the development of the Modì® brand and to share the production techniques of the CIVG198* variety, in full compliance with environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, the CIV had the honour of taking part in the evening-Event of 06/02/2020 for the 50th Anniversary of its Partner IG INTERNATIONAL, which – with its Director Tarun Arora and the entire company management – has hailed 2020 as a very special year since its foundation in 1970 by organising a special party where they also revealed their future plans for global expansion. Please note that IG INTERNATIONAL is currently the only distributor/importer of CIVG198 fruit under the Modì® brand for the whole Indian region.

During the Berlin trade fair, CIV President Pier Filippo Tagliani, with the Business Development Manager Marco Bertolazzi, the Brand/Project Manager Dario Lezziero and the Technical Manager Marzio Zaccarini, met the many international operators interested in the latest CIV news on apple, pear and strawberry, which differ mainly in the following features: ease of cultivation, productivity, long conservation and shelf-life, high organoleptic characteristics, attractive appearance, adaptability to different soil and climate conditions, resistance to certain diseases (core aspect of the CIV genetic improvement programme).

CIV President, Pier Filippo Tagliani, said, “Despite the expected absence of Asian operators, the Berlin fair is certainly confirmed as the main international event of the entire fruit and vegetable industry (i.e.: research-production-marketing and related services), and we thank all interested operators who visited us to learn about our selections/varieties of apple, strawberry and pear; the last of which were developed by the University of Bologna thanks to private funding from the CIV.”


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Fruit Logistica registers slight drop in attendance 

Fruit Logistica registers slight drop in attendance 


The sector’s leading trade fair saw an 8% fall in attendance, no doubt largely due to issues relating to the coronavirus which left most Chinese delegates unable to attend. In total, there were 72,000 visitors at the event between 5th and 7th February. The overall quality of the meetings, networking and marketing was good, with over 95% of the professional visitors interviewed by the organisers providing positive evaluations of the fair. A total of 3,300 exhibitors displayed premium fresh products from around the world, with 85% of them from outside Germany. Italy, Spain and France were at the forefront with country pavilions. 


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Ecuador Exquisito 2.0

Ecuador Exquisito 2.0

As part of Ecuador’s participation as a Guest Country at Fruit Logistica, Ecuador Exquisito, an institutional brand for the promotion of the Premium export food and beverages sector of Ecuador, was presented through gastronomic tastings involving outstanding Ecuadorian and foreign chefs. Such promotional events are organised abroad in coordination with the network and commercial offices.

The renowned Ecuadorian chef Carlos Gallardo was together with the Vice-Minister of Export and Investment Promotion at the Ecuador stand on the last day of the fair, emphasising that this gastronomic promotion tool seeks to contribute to national exports by positioning the country’s products in recognised recipes that attract the interest of buyers, consumers and opinion leaders internationally.

Gallardo later demonstrated a dish made with typical Ecuadorian ingredients, an exquisite ceviche of white fish, shrimp and octopus with mango.

In 2019, five Exquisite Ecuador events were held in the cities of Beijing, Guatemala, Madrid, Toronto, Sao Paulo. Since its creation in 2014, 94 international gastronomic events have been held, with the participation of approximately 500 exporters.

Its web platform will allow Ecuador Exquisito to progress to level 2.0 to meet new actors interested in the country’s exportable offer from the sectors of:

– Aquaculture

– Agroindustry

– Processed foods

– Banana

– Cocoa

– Coffee

– Non-traditional fruits

– Fishing

This space will contain audiovisual materials linked to the official institutional accounts on social networks featuring the different initiatives of Ecuador Exquisito, as well as the testimonies of the participating chefs and the impressions obtained from buyers and potential investors during the events. Thus, Ecuador Exquisito can generate greater credibility and give potential buyers the opportunity to review the ingredients used in recipes prepared with Ecuadorian products.

Visiting the site, you can see a list of exporters from the participating sectors, previously validated by the institution to establish new commercial contacts with exporting companies that meet the criteria demanded by the international market.

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Peru closes deals to the tune of USD$300 million at the world’s leading fruit and vegetable trade fair 

Peru closes deals to the tune of USD$300 million at the world’s leading fruit and vegetable trade fair 

• Over the three days of the Fruit Logistica trade fair, 400 Peruvian companies firmed up 1,200 trade deals. 
• The Peruvian drive to promote its agri-food products will continue at Biofach 2020, the European organic food trade fair. 
Some 400 Peruvian companies managed to close business deals amounting to USD$300 million during Fruit Logistica 2020, a record figure for the country at the world’s most important fruit and vegetable trade fair, noted the Commission for the Promotion of Peru for Exports and Tourism (PROMPERÚ). 

Between 5 and 7 February, the city of Berlin was the host of the leading event for the fresh produce sector; this year, it welcomed the biggest-ever Peruvian delegation, which managed to achieve 1,200 business contacts, with particularly important interactions between businesses and international buyers. 

The delegation representatives, headed by PROMPERÚ, rated the Peruvian participation as extremely positive, primarily because the agri-food sector is recognized Europe-wide as one of the country’s main economic drivers and makes strenuous efforts to promote its products in the Old Continent. 


Housed within the natural charms of the archaeological complex of Moray, our products were showcased to international buyers who were able to corroborate that Peru is synonymous with quality assurance in production as well as being both socially and environmentally responsible, complying with the very highest health and hygiene standards. 

In this respect, part of Peru’s offering at Fruit Logistica 2020 was made up of avocados, cranberries, mangos, citrus fruits, turmeric, asparagus, bananas, pineapples, kion (ginger), passion fruit, grenadines, berries and Amazonian fruit, among others. 
In the last few years, Peru has been a growing source of avocados, a product that is very well-established in European markets, to the point that our country is now seen as a point of reference in this product. This rise in demand has also been reflected in the case of Peruvian cranberries. 

The PROMPERÚ office in Germany revealed that the next wave of exports to Europe will consist of grenadines, dates and figs, while maintaining consolidated growth in shipments of asparagus, grapes and mangos. The organization is also working to ensure an increase in the offering of produce such as passion fruit, turmeric and ginger in Europe. 

This week, Peru will continue its promotional drive in European markets by attending Biofach 2020, the world’s leading organic food trade fair. The Peruvian stand will encompass some 30 companies in an area of more than 400 m2. 


Germany is the biggest consumer market in the European Union, with more than 80 million people; as a strong market with considerable purchasing power, it is one of Peru’s priority export destinations worldwide.

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The Yoom tomato scoops Innovation of the Year prize

The Yoom tomato scoops Innovation of the Year prize

This year’s FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award (FLIA) has gone to the “Yoom™” tomato from Syngenta Seeds. Garnering about 30% of the overall votes, the tomato was the clear winner in the competition to determine the best innovation in the international fruit and vegetable industry. 

This is the second time that Dutch company Syngenta has won the FLIA, having received the award in 2012 too for its red snack pepper “Angello”. The Yoom tomato won voters over with its outer and inner values: depending on the hours of sunlight, its colour ranges from purple to black. What remains constant is its high vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content as well as its sweet-sour and tangy flavour, also known as “umami”.

“We are very pleased to have won this award again, because FRUIT LOGISTICA is the most important convention for the fresh fruit industry. In five minutes the world will know more about our product, because everyone follows the information from FRUIT LOGISTICA. This will be a major boost for our product. And the award is a great acknowledgment of our work as well as a wonderful motivation for our team,” said Jérémie Chabanis, EAME Food Chain Manager Vegetable and Specialties at Syngenta.

Environmentally friendly packaging was at the forefront of the awards, with second and third prizes going to sustainable innovations.

The silver FLIA goes to Polish company Silbo for its certified fruit and vegetable packaging with water-based dyes and adhesives (“Compostable, Flexible, Printed, Packaging”). It is completely compostable, making it especially sustainable.

The bronze FLIA was also awarded to sustainable packaging: the “SoFruMiniPak® Eco View” from SoFruPak Witold Gai from Poland. It seals quickly, is made from renewable resources, ensures good ventilation and optimised cooling, and is 100 per cent biodegradable.

Credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
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Reflections on Fruit Logistica 2020

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2020, Sicilian stand

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2020, Sicilian stand

Stand of Sicilia at Fruit Logistica 2020 in Berlin, from the 5th to 7th of February in Berlin // Credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution


Despite fears over the coronavirus, Fruit Logistica 2020 still saw a large attendance. It was noticeable that Chinese booths were largely empty, with delegates unable to travel to the fair. Those of us who did make it were asked to place a cross in a box to confirm they had not returned from China in the past month and hand sanitiser was available throughout the fair. 

The slightly early conclusion of the fair (Friday at 4pm instead of 6pm) was perhaps logical given that many stands were already empty at lunchtime.

Italy was particularly well represented at this year’s event, setting a record of almost six hundred companies present in key pavilions. The Italian’s commitment to this fair was underlined by the attendance of agriculture minister, Teresa Bellanova – the first time this has happened. There is also a growing presence of emerging countries in the City Cube.

Fruit Logistica remains an unmissable event for the sector. As we return to our countries, most will already be making arrangements to book flights and hotels for the next edition of Fruit Logistica on 3-5 February 2021.

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HaciendasBio focuses on Alemania in 2020  

HaciendasBio promotes its CSR policy and strategy 

• Spain’s first organic & biodynamic fruit and vegetable producer will export 60% of its organic stonefruit to the German country 
• Stone fruit will grow 20% in volume this year. 
• HaciendasBio is the only European company with its own production of bio stone fruit for 20 consecutive weeks  
• The company will show on both fruit and vegetable fairs its ARRA table grape, being the only producer that grows this seedless variety in Spain 

HaciendasBio, Spain’s first organic & biodynamic fruit and vegetable producer and leader in export to Europe, mainly destined its production to Germany. In 2020 the company plans to export 60% of its organic stonefruit to the German country – nectarine, peach, paraguayan, cherry and plum – This offer stands out for being of high quality and for presenting large calibres and greater brix compared to the rest of the offer in the lineal. All this thanks to years of research of new varieties, to the biodynamic agriculture and to the strategic location of the 34 farms that the company has spread throughout the Spanish territory. The stone fruit season is one of the main campaigns of the producer, this year oresees to increase 20% in production compared to 2019, the company estimate a production of 9.000 tons. HaciendasBio is the only European company with its own production of bio stone fruit for 20 consecutive weeks.

The company shows this month in Germany the multiple efforts it is making to make its organic fruit and vegetables the first to be available on the supermarket shelf at times when other European countries are not even in production.  

HaciendasBio will participate for the fourth year runningenin the two unavoidable European events for the sector: Fruit Logística 2020, international fair of the fruit and vegetable sector to be held in Berlin from 5th to 7th February, and in Biofach, world leading organic products fair, to be held in Nuremberg from 12th to 15th February. “Both Fruit Logística and Biofach are two key meeting points to strengthen our leadership in Germany, our know how to extend the crops, and our complete portfolio with more than 65 references. The German country is a strategic territory for the company, since it is the main ecological consumer in Europe, it is there where we mainly dedicate our production.” says Paco Casallo, CEO  of HaciendasBio. 

One of the latest updates that the company will present in both trade fairs respect the Stone fruit is the cherry, HaciendasBio is the only producer that has an innovative machinery of last generation that classifies the product and ensures its quality. 

Wide offer for the German market 

HaciendasBio not only seeks to extend the usual seasons of stone fruit, It also struggles to extend in harmony with the environment the harvest of all its products Accordingly, the company will maximize in Fruit Logistica and Biofach the ARRA table grappe, being the only company that produces this organic variety without seeds in Spain and that makes it available to the consumer from the beginning of July until the middle of November. Throughout 2020.

The producer plans to increase its production by 40% compared to the previous season, with a forecast of 2,500 tons. Along the same lines, the company Will show the fig. This year HaciendasBio hopes to double the production of this  fruit amounting to 7.200 tonnes. Also, pomegranate, persimmon and leafy vegetables (lettuce, celery, leek, cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli) will continue to drive strongly in German territory. 

Finally, Fruit Logística and Biofach will also serve to value one of its recently incorporated farms, la Falamosa, located in Seville, which started its production in 2018 This farm is notable for being able to prolong crops thanks to its location and climate, humid climate, with high minimum temperatures and for presenting little pronounced changes between morning and night, favoring the precocity of production. 

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Successful introduction – the first climate neutral bananas for Delhaize

Successful introduction – the first climate neutral bananas for Delhaize

It is a huge success for BE CLIMATE. As of the beginning of this year, Port International delivers conventional BE CLIMATE bananas to Belgium on a weekly basis – climate neutral from the country of origin to the point of sale, of course. The first brand for climate neutral fruit and vegetables in Europe can be found as class Extra bananas at Delhaize, one of the leading Belgian retail chains. All unavoidable CO2 emissions caused during the cultivation, packing, and logistics process have been compensated in advance with the help of certified climate protection projects. In addition to the conventional bananas for Delhaize, Port International also started the weekly supply of climate neutral organic bananas to specialised organic dealers in Germany in January 2020. Three more European countries have received deliveries, too. 

Managing Director Mike Port, “We are happy to be able to continue our ten-year partnership with Delhaize with climate neutral bananas now. BE CLIMATE will offer our clients and the consumers in all of Europe an uncomplicated method of actively supporting climate protection.” 

Consumers recognize the climate neutral bananas by the BE CLIMATE logo. With the integrated QR code, they can easily and directly check out the concrete climate protection projects they have supported. For the compensation of emissions, BE CLIMATE supports a forest protection project in Peru and a drinking water project in Cambodia. 

BE CLIMATE is the new climate neutral brand by Port International GmbH and was launched in Madrid in October 2019. This brand does not only stand for climate neutrality and sustainable production, but also for selected producers and an excellent product quality. Port had already been trading climate neutral strawberries with success since 2017. From February on, these strawberries will be available from European supermarkets under the premium brand BE CLIMATE, alongside BE CLIMATE blueberries and leaf clementines. 

Port International will attend the coming trade fair FRUIT LOGISTICA, which will take place in Berlin from 5th to 7th of February, and will be available to answer questions and discuss ideas related to BE CLIMATE in the new hall 27 at stand D-22.  

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Fruit Logistica Innovation Award Nominees unveiled

The nominees for the FRUIT LOGISTICA 2020 Innovation Award have been announced. The highest award of the fresh produce industry will be delivered on February 7, 2020 in Berlin. More than 78,000 professional visitors from the sector, from more than 135 countries, will be invited to vote on their innovation of the year. 

The ten nominees, who were chosen by a panel of experts from the entire fresh produce industry, will be exhibited at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2020 in a special area between pavilions 20 and 21. The nominees are as follows: 

“Tomato YOOM ™”, Syngenta Seeds B.V., The Netherlands

“Tomato YOOM ™”, Syngenta Seeds B.V., The Netherlands

Hall 1.2, D-16

A new product line of a tomato with an unmistakable dark purple colour, rich in anthocyanins and a sweet and sour umami flavour. This innovative variety is suitable for all seasons and growing conditions, including artificial light.


“Violì”, Apofruit Italia Soc. Coop. Agricola, Italy

“Violì”, Apofruit Italia Soc. Coop. Agricola, Italy

Hall 2.2, A-08

A tender and soft artichoke hybrid, slightly purple in color and cultivated according to precise production specifications and control plans. This ensures consistent calibres and unique quality levels. Violì is available nine months a year.


“Coconut automatic opening machine K30”, Shanghai FruitPro Information Technology Co. Ltd, China

“Coconut automatic opening machine K30”, Shanghai FruitPro Information Technology Co. Ltd, China

Hall 9, D-07

The K30 is a microcomputer controlled machine that opens coconuts safely and hygienically using patented blades so that the consumer can enjoy both coconut water and meat. The algorithms automatically adjust the depth of the opening, as well as the adaptation time for each individual coconut.


“Compostable, Flexible, Printed, Packaging”, SILBO SP. Z.O.O., Poland

“Compostable, Flexible, Printed, Packaging”, SILBO SP. Z.O.O., Poland

Hall 7.1, B-07

Fruit and vegetable packaging without solvents, compostable and ecological, duly certified and manufactured with water-based inks and adhesives. Using flexographic technology, water-based inks can be printed on a wide variety of composite materials.


“Mosswool®”, Novarbo Oy, Finland

“Mosswool®”, Novarbo Oy, Finland

Hall 8.1, B-15

These panels of wool moss are harvested according to a patented ecological process and represent a sustainable alternative for the rock wool substrate in the cultivation of vegetables. Due to their organic raw material, they can be composted simply and profitably along with other crop residues or recycled after use.


“New Downy Mildew Resistant (High) Sweet Basil”, CN Seeds Ltd, United Kingdom

“New Downy Mildew Resistant (High) Sweet Basil”, CN Seeds Ltd, United Kingdom

Hall 1.2, A-13

Genetically resistant seeds that can be used worldwide to combat hairy mildew in the most common sweet basil variety, Ocimum. An ecological and cost-effective solution for a plant that is otherwise susceptible to diseases.


Proband V1000, project Service & Produktion GmbH, Germany

“Proband V1000”, project Service & Produktion GmbH, Germany

Hall 7.1b, A-06

The first banding machine with interchangeable frames that can process all bandwidths, from 25 to 60 millimetres, in different band thicknesses, from 35 to 210 micrometres. It is optimized to handle paper bands with a plastic content of less than 5%.


“Sinclair EcoLabel®”, Sinclair, United Kingdom

“Sinclair EcoLabel®”, Sinclair, United Kingdom

Hall 4.1, B-09

A high performance labelling solution, safe for food and fully compostable for fresh products, which disintegrates in 12 weeks and biodegrades in 180 days. OK compost, Industrial and Seedling certifies that the label complies with European standard EN13432 for compostable and biodegradable containers.

“Tenderstem Royale®”, SAKATA VEGETABLES EUROPE SAS, France

“SoFruMiniPak® EcoView”, SoFruPak ​​Witold Gaj, Poland

Hall B / CityCube / E-04

A simple quick-closing container for fruits and mushrooms, available with a separate or integrated lid. Renewable raw materials combined with good ventilation characteristics ensure optimized cooling and 100% biodegradability.


“Tenderstem Royale®”, SAKATA VEGETABLES EUROPE SAS, France

“Tenderstem Royale®”, SAKATA VEGETABLES EUROPE SAS, France

Hall 8.2, B-11

A natural cross between Chinese green cabbage and broccoli with an unmistakable purple stem. Each part is edible, from the stem to the tip. Sweet and tender stems are not only low in fat, sodium and sugar, but also rich in protein and fiber.