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Macfrut looks to the future

Macfrut looks to the future


The 37th edition of the International trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector is scheduled to be held from 4 to 6 May at the Rimini Expo Centre. Melon will be the key product, with Sardinia as the Partner Region and an international focus on Central Asia. One of the novelties will be the Spices & Herbs Global Expo exhibition.


Cesena, 14 October 2020 – Macfrut looks to the future with optimism. In order to meet the expectations of its target audience, the international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector is set to take place in May 2021 as a major face-to-face event, hoping that the Covid-19 emergency will be over by then: the 37th edition of Macfrut is scheduled to be held from 4 to 6 May 2021 at the Rimini Expo Centre.

Melon will be the event’s key product, symbolising the quality of Italian fruits and vegetables, and will be discussed and promoted during a series of events involving buyers and visitors.

The Partner Region will be Sardinia, a region where the fruit and vegetable sector significantly increases the total value of domestic agricultural production (23%).

Alongside these novelties, the new exhibition project, the Spices & Herbs Global Expo, which was put on hold due to the Covid-19 emergency, will be resumed. It is the first exhibition in Europe dedicated to the world of spices, officinal plants and aromatic herbs, which is set to become a global meeting point for producers, technicians, researchers, traders and processors. It will be complemented by an extensive programme of conferences and dedicated events, including the presentation of the Observatory on spices and officinal herbs, created as a result of the partnership between Cesena Fiera and ISMEA (Institute of Services for the Agricultural Food Market).

There will be an international focus on “Fruits and spices along Marco Polo’s route”, and the emerging markets of the Far East will be in the spotlight, especially those of Central Asia and of the Indian Ocean, where fruit, vegetable and spice sales are growing rapidly.

The first initiatives to promote Macfrut 2021 internationally will take place in Central Asia – specifically in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan – which, in this first phase, will be in digital mode. Presentations are also scheduled in South America (Colombia, Chile, Cuba and Peru), Africa (Zambia) and, in particular, in China, with which we will continue our partnership established during Macfrut Digital. Once again, the ICE Agenzia – Italian Trade Agency offices around the world and Macfrut’s network of foreign agents will play a strategic role.

The commitment to digitisation also continues. In fact, two of the main Forums of Macfrut 2021 will be hosted on a digital platform as well, as in the recent edition of Macfrut Digital. Two events will be held both face to face and online: the Acqua Campus, showcasing innovations in irrigation, and Macfrut Field Solution, dedicated to cutting-edge technologies for the horticultural sector, with a special focus on melons. The other two main focus sessions of Macfrut, instead, will take place in the traditional format: the Biosolutions International Congress, dedicated to the biostimulant and biocontrol industries, and the Greenhouse Technology Village, dedicated to greenhouse horticulture innovation.

With this road map in mind, the President of Macfrut, Renzo Piraccini, is optimistic: ‘Although the current situation calls for caution,’ he says, ‘we are convinced that in May 2021 we will have the right conditions in place to hold a major event, which is something the fruit and vegetable industry really needs. If this is not the case, we have prepared alternative options that we will take into consideration, in a very pragmatic way, together with our exhibitors.’ 

Macfrut Digital between 2020 and 2021

The outcome of the first trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector held on a digital platform was positive. Despite some difficulties in the initial phase, the numbers speak for themselves: 32,212 participants during the three-day event, with 18,164 individual professional visitors and 219,524 pages viewed.

It recorded a large number of foreign participants: 49% of visitors were from abroad representing 152 countries, of which 60% from Europe, 12% from North Africa, 10% from Sub-Saharan Africa, 6% from the Far East and Australia, and 4% from North America, Russia and Eastern Europe. A total of 600 buyers registered on the platform, 4,492 B2B meetings were requested, and 3,840 messages were sent via the “Write to us” button.

The exhibition halls most popular among visitors were Production and Trade (8,421 visitors), the International Halls (5,203), Machinery and Systems (3,424), Packaging (3016) and Plant nurseries (2,200).

An interesting figure is the number of visits: 52.5% through mobile devices and tablets, 47.5% through desktop computers.

The Macfrut Digital project will be repeated, packed with new content, from 28 to 30 September 2021 in parallel with another global event: the International Asparagus Days.

Therefore, Macfrut continues to take a digital approach to be integrated with the “traditional” trade fair format.

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Macfrut Digital, challenge won

Macfrut Digital, challenge won

                                                                                                                                                                                        Press release

More than 32,000 participants, 18,164 individual visitors, 208,000 pages viewed, 49% of visitors from abroad. Piraccini: ‘An outstanding result. We will decide the future of the project together with sector professionals.’ The platform will be open throughout September.

Cesena, 14th September 2020 – A total of 32,212 participants in the three-day event, which was attended by 18,164 individual professionals, 49% of visitors were from abroad, 208,000 pages were viewed, and most of the 11 Technical Forums were overbooked (the limit was 300 participants). The numbers of Macfrut Digital, the first virtual trade fair for the fresh produce industry, hosted by an industry-leading global platform (Natlive), are remarkable. As announced during the presentation phase, 530 units were sold with 400 exhibitors in total, 40% of whom were from abroad.

‘We have achieved an outstanding result,’ says Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut. ‘I would like to thank all the exhibitors who supported this wonderful experience and shared it with us. Macfrut Digital is a highly innovative project, visionary in some respects: all participants had the opportunity to fully appreciate its huge potential with regard to both business and communication aspects.’

However, a number of issues occurred, particularly on the morning of the first day, mainly regarding connection since users had browsing protection enabled on their operating system or connection network, or were not using suitable devices. Most issues were dealt with by Tuesday, 8 September afternoon by allowing B2B meetings to be accessed from mobile devices as well.

Piraccini continues: ‘It is now clear that we have pioneered a project with tremendous potential. The future lies in this direction and the Italian fruit and vegetable sector must necessarily keep pace with the rapidly changing times, especially at a time such as this, when travel is restricted. Our new adventure was very well received. We will decide the future of the project together with sector professionals. The platform will remain open until the end of September so that visitors can watch the on-demand Forums and video content, a valuable asset now available to the industry. We look forward to seeing you at Macfrut on 4-6 May 2021 in Rimini!’. 


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VOG, focus on varietal planning at Macfrut Digital

VOG, focus on varietal planning at Macfrut Digital

 CEO Walter Pardatscher in the video on the virtual stand: “In our 75 years of history, we’ve never stopped looking to the future, making innovation one of the main drivers of our growth”. 
A virtual stand, animated not only by videos and images, but also by the option of booking on-line appointments to learn more about the VOG Consortium’s philosophy and approach. The Consortium of South Tyrol – Südtirol Fruit and Vegetable Growing Cooperatives will be amongst the participants at the first edition of Macfrut Digital, Italy’s biggest fruit and vegetable show, taking place this year in a completely new, original way due to the health emergency. 
From Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 September 2020, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the world of the VOG Consortium’s South Tyrolean apples thanks to a virtual space including a corporate video produced specifically for Macfrut Digital and the splendid scenery featured in the Marlene® video entitled “I am Marlene®, daughter of the Alps”. 
“We are enthusiastic about taking part in this new, innovative edition of Macfrut, the historic event where the Italian and international fruit and vegetable production chains meet up every year, comments Walter Pardatscher, CEO of the VOG Consortium. “We saw the idea of transforming a difficulty into a new opportunity as a courageous, intelligent choice. What’s more, this year the VOG Consortium turns 75 and, at the same time, Marlene® celebrates its 25Th birthday. So we just had to be present, to bear witness to our history, our tradition and the innovation central to everything we do.” 
The main focus of the on-line B2B meetings involving the VOG managerial team will be category management and the major varietal innovation plan currently underway, which will provide the VOG Consortium with an assortment of varieties enabling us to supply everyone with the right apple for all their needs, through all 12 months of the year. “The new sales season has just begun, and prospects are definitely good: overall quality is excellent with larger sizes than last season and a market unhampered by stocks,” Mr Pardatscher concludes.“During the various digital meetings held during the three days of Macfrut Digital, we will be able to answer questions to give those interested a full picture of our output and our major projects for the near future.” 

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La Palma to launch La Palma eRoom at MACFRUT Digital 2020

La Palma to launch La Palma eRoom at MACFRUT Digital 2020

MACFRUT Digital 2020 will be held from 8-10 September. This international fruit and vegetable fair welcomed more than 1,000 exhibitors from 90 countries in the 2019 edition, over 43,500 visitors and was scheduled to be held last May in Rimini (Italy). Eventually, due to the current health crisis, it was moved to September in a virtual format, where exhibitors will have a privileged channel to dialogue with buyers registered on the platform.

La Palma, a leading international fruit and vegetable company, will participate in this meeting to of strengthen its presence in the European market and work side by side with all the links in the production and distribution chain, from the seed house to the final consumer. “These exceptional circumstances have led us to consider this new form of meeting with our clients as an alternative to the face-to-face fairs that we usually attend. For us, proximity is essential,” said the cooperative’s management in a press release.

Last May, in anticipation of the current situation, Cooperativa La Palma held what was to be its first virtual assembly in its 47-year history, an event that was followed by its 700 farmers who connected online from their homes.

This time, the cooperative is going a step further in its digital transformation. For MACFRUT Digital 2020, and in anticipation of future virtual fairs such as Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect, La Palma will inaugurate a new digital room, La Palma eRoom. It is an area created especially for the occasion where the commercial team can arrange e-meetings with any part of the world from its main headquarters in Carchuna. All this will take place in a fully equipped space that is reminiscent of one of its fair stands. La Palma eRoom is also another advance in sustainability, offering even greater efficiency and significant logistical savings compared to face-to-face fairs.

“The idea arises from trying to transfer the concept of the fair stand to our facilities in the most faithful way possible. We wanted to take a step forward and adapt so that distance does not pose a problem when it comes to communicating with our customers. At La Palma, we have always been characterised by our innovative character. On this occasion, we have used our state-of-the-art facilities to create La Palma eRoom. Continuing our usual line of work, we are prepared to offer the most innovative experiences.”

In order to maintain the excellence that characterises Cooperativa La Palma, it has been developing an innovative, highly professional and constantly improving agriculture, a “Positive Agriculture” as the firm calls it. The company anticipates and adapts to new consumer demands to maintain high levels of quality and consolidate its strong position in the European market in the segment of cherry tomato and specialty mini vegetables.

Regarding the product offer, La Palma maintains its leadership in the range of mini-vegetables with a wide variety of specialty tomatoes, snack cucumbers and mini peppers. To this is added a line of subtropicals: custard apple, avocado and mango, where increased production will guarantee supply to European countries.

At the same time, the cooperative continues to invest in brands. We can see brands of high quality and personality such as the Amela® tomato, which has revolutionised the market by presenting a unique consumption experience, uniting sweetness and acidity in one product while also offering extraordinary organoleptic qualities: a gourmet tomato of recognised prestige in Japan that has already conquered European palates thanks to La Palma.

Another example is the exquisite Adora®, an unsurpassed brown ribbed tomato that has received outstanding awards in the sector, quickly positioning itself as the market leader in its category. We will be able to find the tomato again in stores very soon when harvest season begins in October.

The company is currently working on developing new lines of higher-quality products, studying different shapes, colours and flavours to continue to amaze consumers. “Having established ourselves as a benchmark in the world of mini-vegetables, we now seek to surprise consumers by transferring the intense flavour of these small vegetables to other larger-format products,” said the press release.

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The countdown begins for Macfrut Digital

The countdown begins for Macfrut Digital


The numbers of the first and only digital trade fair for the fresh produce industry, to be held from 8 to 10 September, are outstanding: 530 exhibition spaces, 40% of which will be hosted by foreign companies, 600 registered buyers from all over the world and 4,000 registered visitors to date, 70% of which are from abroad.


Cesena, 28th August 2020 – The first edition of Macfrut Digital, the virtual trade fair for the fresh produce industry to be held from 8 to 10 September 2020, born from the intuition of Cesena Fiera, is drawing near. And the numbers recorded so far, just a few days before its official opening, prove that it was a good intuition: 530 exhibition units have been sold to 400 exhibitors (when the event was launched, the target was 200 units for a total of 150 exhibitors), registrations have sold out and companies have been put on a waiting list, with many foreign participants equal to 40% of the exhibiting companies and 600 buyers that have already registered on the platform, of which 550 from abroad. The ICE – Italian Trade Agency offices around the world and Cesena Fiera’s network of foreign agents played a key role in attracting buyers.

The most striking numbers are those relating to foreign participants. Nearly one in two exhibitors comes from abroad, with China leading the way with as many as 87 exhibitors, thanks to the collaboration with ATPC (Agricultural Trade Promotion Centre), the promotional body of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, which was one of the supporters of the event. In addition to China, there will be several collective stands in the “Country Pavilion”, the international pavilion that has been added to the nine pavilions initially planned. Participants who have registered come from Central and South America (Colombia, Chile and the Dominican Republic) and there will be a large number of participants from Africa also in this digital edition of the event, thanks to partnerships established with UNIDO (United Nations Organisation for Industrial Development), Lab Innova and AICS (Italian Association for Culture and Sport). Not to mention Europe, with participants from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. There will also be many participants from Eastern Europe (Albania, Bulgaria and Ukraine).

Exhibitors will have a privileged channel where they will be able to “communicate” with the 600 buyers that have already registered on the platform (550 from abroad and 50 from Italy) and organise B2B meetings. In fact, Macfrut Digital will offer two levels of interaction: one for visitors, who will be able to visit the virtual stands, communicate with each other, ask for information and make contact to schedule business meetings, and the other for exhibitors, who will be able to schedule B2B meetings with buyers through a programmed agenda, with the support of Cesena Fiera’s staff in order to align the agendas and meet the specific interests of the buyers and companies involved. Macfrut Digital can be accessed from any Internet device (PC or smartphone), while B2B meetings will be accessible online but only from PC, via a dedicated link provided by the staff.

The Macfrut Digital platform can be accessed subject to registration, which is free of charge. As of today, more than 4,000 visitors have already registered, 70% of whom are from abroad. In the last few days, participation requests have increased exponentially. Therefore, those who are interested in participating should register as soon as possible to secure their participation, bearing in mind that a maximum number of 30,000 visitors is allowed.

Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut, explains: ‘We have embarked on a new adventure and we can safely say that the fruit and vegetable sector has responded extremely well. We believe that we are pioneering a project that has huge potential, which was unimaginable until a few months ago. The fact that the health emergency is ongoing, resulting in a level of uncertainty at international level, demonstrates that we made the right decision, which has changed the way we approach the sector.’


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Macfrut Digital is sold out: a total of 500 exhibition units has been reached, against 200 initially planned

Macfrut Digital is sold out: a total of 500 exhibition units has been reached,  against 200 initially planned
Press release


A huge number of participants from China have chosen Macfrut to promote their fruit and vegetables in Europe.

Cesena, 6 August 2020 – Macfrut Digital, 8-10 September 2020, is sold out and has added a new virtual pavilion. In addition to the nine pavilions planned during the launch phase, there is now a tenth pavilion dedicated to international exhibitors, the “Country Pavilion”. In fact, a huge number of participants from China has joined the event along with many others from five continents. China will be present at the digital trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector with 50 companies representing the various segments of the fruit and vegetable industry, especially production.

‘This is a clear indication that Chinese companies have realised that this project has great potential and that they believe in this way of communicating and doing business,’ explains Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut. ‘Today, we need to tackle the market differently compared to just a few months ago. The signs we are receiving from Macfrut Digital point in this direction.’

Also due to the large number of participants from China, the Digital Trade Fair is sold out and registrations have been closed. 500 exhibition units have been taken up, which will represent the entire fruit and vegetable industry. Piraccini continues: ‘The response has been far greater than we could have anticipated. When we presented the Macfrut Digital project three months ago, we set ourselves the target of 200 units. Due to the growing number of requests for participation, we decided to increase the number of units to 500. We have now achieved this goal and are very satisfied with the response, which comes as a challenge for the entire sector. I would like to thank the global network of the ICE – Italian Trade Agency offices for their invaluable contribution.’

Song Juguo, Deputy Director General of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center, explains: ‘In order to hold business meetings and create business opportunities for Chinese companies, the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China will set up a Chinese national pavilion at Macfrut Digital. More than 50 Chinese companies will participate in the trade fair to showcase their fresh fruit and vegetables, including apples, table grapes, pears and many other fruits such as kiwis, peaches, subtropical fruits such as lychees and lemons, and tropical fruits such as mangoes, and oranges. Buyers will also find chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and other nuts as well as peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables.’

The Chinese delegation will also hold a “China-Europe Fruit Business” Forum that will be accessible to everyone on the Macfrut Digital website following registration.

Companies who will submit a participation request from now on will be placed on a special waiting list. For more information, please visit


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Markets to participate in Macfrut Digital

Macfrut 2020: Central Asia and Africa in the spotlight

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Press Release

Cesena (30 July 2020) – Markets are discovering the potential that Macfrut Digital (8-10 September 2020) has to offer. In addition to giving space to Italmercati and Fedagromercati, the first international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector, to be held on a digital platform (Natlive), will be attended by many professionals interested in seizing the advantages offered by this digital event which, at a low cost, allows companies to expand their reach and explore new business opportunities.

These also include medium-sized companies such as the Mercato Ortofrutticolo di Cesena, along with another leading company in the sector, Ortomercato.

‘We instantly jumped at the chance to participate,’ explains Alessandro Giunchi, Sole Administrator of the Mercato di Cesena. ‘This is a major opportunity for us to meet new professionals, not only wholesalers but also logistics companies and service providers who intend to use the market as a hub for distributing fruits and vegetables. The market system has not always kept pace with innovation; Macfrut Digital provides a boost in this direction and is therefore a challenge for all of us. Markets are of crucial importance for producers, wholesalers, traders and retailers, since it is where they can offer their quality products.’

The Mercato Ortofrutticolo di Cesena consists of a 28,000-square-metre indoor facility which, every year, handles 80,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables, with more than 50,000 accesses. Giunchi also adds: ‘We are a dynamic, medium-sized market offering high-quality products that are guaranteed and checked throughout the supply chain.’

Link to the Mercato video:

Ortomercato, which will also participate in Macfrut Digital, is one of the most important markets in the Cesena area. This second-generation company markets more than 7,000 tonnes of goods, handles more than 9,300 supplies for approximately 20,000 lots marketed, and has a 5,000-square-metre refrigerated area outside the market. ‘We set ourselves apart from large-scale retailers as we constantly offer excellent products,’ explains Massimo Castrogiovanni. ‘We supply locally-sourced goods from the top production areas in Italy and in the Mediterranean region on a daily basis and continuously. Macfrut Digital will give us the opportunity to find excellent partners and suppliers that we can add to our list of clients and collaborations.’

Link to the Ortomercato video:


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The apple sector chooses Macfrut Digital

The apple sector chooses Macfrut Digital

The apple sector chooses Macfrut Digital (8-10 September 2020) and the opportunity it offers to make new business contacts. In fact, all the major apple producers and consortia – apples are Italy’s most exported fruit – have also joined the event. The apple sector is one of the most dynamic sectors of the Italian fruit and vegetable industry, which has taken further steps towards internationalisation since the recent opening of the Thai and Vietnamese markets.

At Macfrut Digital will attend key players in the sector as Melinda, La Trentina, Rivoira, VIP and VOG. Participants will also include leading Italian fruit and vegetable exporters such as Alegra, Apofruit, Granfrutta Zani, Jingold, Mazzoni, Naturitalia, Novafruit, Opera, Opo Veneto, Oranfrizer, Origine, RK Growers and Spreafico.

The campaign to promote exhibiting companies continues: webinars have been organised to allow anyone interested to find out more about Macfrut Digital. The next webinars are scheduled for Tuesday, 14 July (11am) and Thursday, 16 July (3pm).

The apple sector has its say

Why has the apple sector chosen Macfrut Digital? Here is what those involved had to say.

Andrea Fedrizzi, Marketing and Communications Manager of Melinda: ‘For many years now, Macfrut has been a benchmark event for professionals working in the Italian and European fruit and vegetable industry, as well as being an occasion for us to meet some of our major customers, our production partners and other sector specialists. Although it was impossible to host a physical event this year, it is still extremely important for us to participate. First of all, it will help us to examine the situation and better understand how it will evolve and to assess the impact that this health emergency has had on our sector, since it has inevitably changed and will continue to change the way we live and work. I believe our participation also somehow demonstrates how resilient our companies are, as they are always ready to adapt to new situations and work together in a cohesive way.’

Marco Rivoira, CEO of Gruppo Rivoira: ‘For our Group, exporting has always been a key market strategy based on establishing close and long-lasting relationships with our customers all over the world. The Covid-19 emergency has prompted us to reinvent ourselves from a commercial standpoint; it has been a major challenge, but we gladly accepted it and were willing to get involved in a new way, that is online business meetings, web conferences and, last but not least, by participating in a virtual or digital trade fair such as Macfrut 2020. The world is changing and so is our strategic sector: as a result, we are renewing ourselves so that we can grow and improve as professionals and as a company.’

Fabio Zanesco, commercial manager of VIP: ‘This is a completely new situation for us, and our sector now needs to have a meeting place – which has to be virtual given the current global circumstances – so that we can analyse the situation and rekindle our desire to exchange views. As apple producers, we have been working intensively to be able to guarantee supplies during the most critical stages of the crisis. The time has come to look ahead to the coming season and adopt a more creative approach so that we can tackle changes together with our customers, partners and suppliers. Exchanging ideas is essential so that we do not keep repeating what we have always done. I also think that hosting a “digital” version of the event was definitely the best decision the organisers could make; we are preparing ourselves so that we can make the most out of the tools that Macfrut will provide us with. See you in September!’

Walter Pardatscher, General Manager of VOG (Consortium of South Tyrolean Fruit Growers’ Co-operatives): “Innovation and flexibility have always been the core values of our Consortium: these two aspects are essential for us to be able to respond to market changes. And this year especially, because of the pandemic, they have proved to be crucial. So we were naturally delighted when the organisers announced that they would host Macfrut Digital, which is a clever solution to turn a critical situation into an opportunity. We will introduce the unique features of the VOG Consortium, which is the ideal partner for Italian and international customers: we offer an extensive range of superior quality apples along with powerful, well-known brands that are professionally managed and, above all, popular among consumers. And we do this throughout the year.’

For more information, please visit


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Macfrut Digital trade fair preview now online

Macfrut Digital trade fair preview now online
Press release


A business opportunity not only for large companies but also for medium-sized enterprises

Cesena, 1st July 2020 – Macfrut Digital is going full steam ahead. The “trade fair preview” will be online from 1st July, less than two months after the first presentation, making the event content available on the platform within the Natlive network. By going to the website   and registering (free of charge), visitors will be able to preview the various sections of the first virtual trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector.

Specifically, visitors may access the “trade fair preview” after registering, by activating an account that will allow them to access Macfrut Digital also during the three days of the trade fair (8-10 September 2020).

At this stage, once they have logged into the virtual trade fair, visitors will be able to view the various sections of the event: Exhibit, providing information on participation; Visit, illustrating the trade fair and its features over the course of three days; Video, offering the opportunity to preview the videos made by several exhibitors; News&Press, with news and updates; Technical Forums, the live-streamed meetings that will be held during the three days of the trade fair covering the main technical issues in the sector (Aquacampus and irrigation, biostimulants, and Macfrut Field Solutions with field tests).

The deadline to participate as an exhibitor is 25 July 2020.

Watch the tutorial video, go digital!


Macfrut Digital, the first digital trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector, will be held from 8 to 10 September 2020. The trade fair is organised by Cesena Fiera, in collaboration with Ice-Agenzia, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Crédit Agricole, Ismea, Natlive and Regione Emilia-Romagna.

For more information, please visit