Fruit Attraction 2021

Fruit Attraction 2021 incorporates new areas of Innovation, Research and Technology © Fruit Attraction

Madrid, 16 June 2021 – Fruit Attraction, a trade fair organised by IFEMA MADRID and FEPEX, will hold a new edition from 5 to 7 October aimed at promoting the sector’s competitiveness and growth. For this, and with the aim of promoting innovation, research, technology and digitisation as fundamental keys to future growth, Hall 5 will bring together the three solutions and services areas related to agricultural sector innovation: Biotech Attraction; Smart Agro and Smart Water&Energy.

Biotech, the great challenges of the horticultural and agricultural sectors

The fruit and vegetable sector faces major issues and challenges that will restrict its capacity for growth, development and competitiveness, such as the opportunities and future of plant biotechnology, its impact on the environment, on industry and society; new digital solutions that add value to the entire agri-food chain; the improvement of production in terms of productivity and sustainability; technological solutions to irrigation; and new developments in energy efficiency aimed at fruit and vegetable farms, among others.

Likewise, agriculture faces new challenges presented by demographic growth, which will increase demand for raw materials, by preferences in consumption, by environmental and legal aspects, and by issues related to the globalisation of the economy. Overcoming these challenges requires an increase in the efficiency (higher productivity with fewer inputs), quality (nutritional, organoleptic) and sustainability (lower environmental impact, reuse of waste, etc.) of agriculture that can only be achieved through the application of new technological developments.

The knowledge generated in applied Plant Biology offers a set of strategic technologies (development of new plant varieties, bioinformatics, genomic editing techniques, agrobiologicals for plant nutrition and protection, revaluation of waste and circular economy, new plant sources for obtaining protein, bioproducts of plant origin with industrial, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, plant biofactories, etc., applications that will make it possible to get to grips with global challenges (productivity, sustainability, quality) faced by the agri-food sector.

Driven by this reality, Fruit Attraction 2021, with the collaboration of BIOVEGEN, is including the plant innovation hub in its BIOTECH ATTRACTION programme, aimed at bringing together and promoting technological innovation and innovation-based business development opportunities. A new specialised area, aimed at companies dedicated to research and technological development of plant genomics.

Smart Agro, precision technological solutions

Likewise, Smart Agro will once again be the specialised space for technology solutions companies in precision agriculture, focused on showing the latest developments in management products for agri-food companies and advanced mobility and analytics solutions, promoting agro-industrial transformation.

Fruit Attraction will also have the collaboration of AgroTech ESPAÑA, which aims to encourage and create business opportunities for agrotech. To this end, different initiatives, such as ´AgroTech Tours´, will be launched, which will allow producers and other agents in the sector to be put in contact with those ‘Techs’ that propose specific solutions. In short, to generate encounters between supply and demand.

Smart Water & Energy, water and renewable technologies

Fruit Attraction incorporates, also as a novelty, Smart Water & Energy, which is oriented to water and renewable technologies in the agri-food sector. Thus, SMART WATER is a new area with the goal of addressing the technological transformation of water in horticulture for the best and most efficient use of water and to improve crop productivity.   It is aimed at professional horticultural producers, and managers and technical directors of companies that install irrigation systems and are interested in learning about new irrigation technologies. In this space, participating exhibitors will present equipment, products and services that incorporate the latest technological solutions in irrigation that are dedicated to smart water management.

In addition, renewable energy on fruit and vegetable farms is a valuable opportunity for farmers to reduce costs and emissions. SMART ENERGY was created with the aim of promoting the transformation of energy use in the sector. It is aimed at fruit and vegetable producers, agriculture and energy consultants, installation companies, engineering companies, and technicians from public bodies and administrations. Leading companies in the renewable energy sector linked to agriculture will participate in this exhibition area; suppliers of renewable energy, electricity, green hydrogen, battery storage, bioenergy, solar pumping, self-supply, financing, etc., which will showcase all the new developments in energy efficiency aimed at fruit and vegetable farms.

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Matchmaking service for fresh fruit and vegetables

Matchmaking service for fresh fruit and vegetables © IPD


Import Promotion Desk will hold a IPD Virtual B2B Event Fresh Produce on the 10-28 May 2021. It also opens up new procurement markets for European buyers: mangos, papayas, pomegranates and avocados as well as ginger, turmeric, sweet potatoes and fresh herbs – these are just a few examples from the wide range of products offered by Import Promotion Desk (IPD). Due to the cancellation of the Fruit Logistica Special Edition, the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) – the initiative for import promotion – decided at short notice to present the diverse range of fresh fruits and vegetables from developing and emerging countries to European importers in individual video meetings.

Traders will have the opportunity to meet companies and get to know products from Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Ghana, Peru and Ukraine. IPD’s free matchmaking services are open to all European importers: IPD experts match buyers from Europe with producers from developing and emerging countries.

Free Import Promotion Desk service

As an import promotion initiative, IPD supports importers in their sourcing, neutrally and free of charge. IPD connects them to selected producers of fresh fruit and vegetables who meet the GLOBALG.A.P. standards or the requirements of the EU organic label. The IPD companies are visited and carefully evaluated. In addition to certifications, IPD experts also consider criteria such as product quality, export capability and capacity. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, IPD experts are in close contact with producers in partner countries and continue to screen exporters. This way, importers can be sure that they are dealing with reliable producers.

Virtual B2B Event Fresh Produce

In the context of the IPD virtual B2B event, IPD will present more than 30 carefully selected  companies. European importers will find, for example, mangoes, papayas and pineapples from producers in Ghana. Or grapes, oranges, lemons, strawberries and fresh herbs, spinach, peppers and garlic offered by suppliers from Egypt and Ethiopia.

The range of subtropical and tropical fruits is enriched by exhibitors from Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, such as passion fruit, pitahayas, bananas, physalis as well as avocados. In addition, companies from Peru offer sweet potato as well as fresh ginger and turmeric in organic quality. Producers from Ukraine present sweet potatoes, Hokkaido pumpkin, plums, peaches or blueberries.

A detailed overview of the companies and all products importers will find in the IPD company brochure here.

The participation in the IPD event is free of charge. Importers just have to follow these  steps:

  1. Get information about the IPD-approved companies in the IPD event brochure.
  2. Contact IPD Expert Sourcing + Markets Daniel Oppermann to arrange appointments.
  3. Meet the approved suppliers in individual online meetings. 
For more information contact: 
Daniel Oppermann
Expert Sourcing + Markets
T +49 (0) 30 590 099 575
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Deputy Director General of FAO will be present at SHAFFE’s very first “Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress”

FAO Deputy Director General Beth Bechdol will be present at SHAFFE’s very first "Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress" © FAO


With the aim of bringing the fruit industries of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere closer together and to allow better planning for the coming year, SHAFFE will hold the first “Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress” on the 25th of March 2021, with the defining theme of “Keeping the world supplied” – a critical topic thrown into sharp focus in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program of the Congress is now available online. In light of the ongoing International Year of Fruit and Vegetables declared by the United Nations (UN),  SHAFFE  is honoured to announce, that Food And Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Deputy Director General Beth Bechdol will be opening the conference with a key note speech – on the importance of the Fruit industry to global agri-food systems.


3rd March 2021 – “We are more than honoured, to have secured such a high-level speaker for our conference, as this more than ever shows the importance of availability of fruit and vegetables as a key element to global nutrition and a healthy global society”, says SHAFFE president Mr. Charif Christian Carvajal M.  Next to FAO Deputy Director General Beth Bechdol, the program will include targeted market intelligence and discussion on trade flows and figures, crop trends and industry outlooks provided by experienced trade experts from all eight Southern Hemisphere countries – among them Mr. Nathan Hancock from Citrus Australia, Federico Baya from the Argentinian Blueberry Committee, Luiz Eduardo Raffaelli from Abrafrutas, Ignacio Caballero from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), Alan Pollard from New Zealand Apple and Pears, Ricardo Polis from ProCitrus Peru, Prof. Ferdi Meyer from the Bureau of Food and Agricultural Policy in South Africa and Carlos Maria Fraschini from Upefruy, Uruguay.

The conference will be held online in two different time slots, with the aim of facilitating the participation of representatives from different parts of the world. The first version will be at 11.00 a.m. (Central European time) to target Asian and Oceanian trade participants, while the second version will be at 5:00 pm (Central European time), to allow for the participation of North American, European and Latin American partners. During this congress, fresh produce professionals will have the opportunity to gather information on crop trends, production prospects and trade flows for the coming year, through the contributions from all SHAFFE members and market intelligence on consumer trends by the leading global research agency, IPSOS.

The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters (SHAFFE) was founded in the early 1990s as an exchange network for major Southern Hemisphere temperate fresh fruit exporters and growers. In total, its member countries represent an export volume of 11 million tons of fresh fruits, with a market value of 14 billion dollars, and a 25% share of the global produce export market.

During its almost 30 years of existence, SHAFFE has led important initiatives, such as establishing the exchange of data on key crops among its members, as well as organizing global membership forums, developing joint research initiatives, analysing and monitoring changes in procedures and policies in global markets, as well as providing instances of exchange and learning among its members.

In the digital age, which has been accelerated given the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and an increasingly complex global business environment, the members of SHAFFE have taken on the task of strengthening cooperation, through a more innovative format and closer collaborations, in such a way as to connect the fresh fruit industry of the southern hemisphere through the exchange of knowledge, facilitate access to markets and promote world fruit trade.

With a renewed Secretariat under the coordination of Ms Nelli Hajdu and a new presidency team led by Charif Christian Carvajal, who is marketing director Europe / Asia of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) in the role of president and Marta Betancur, representative from UPEFRUY in the role of vice president, SHAFFE is focused on strengthening the availability of resources for the entity, creating a supportive environment for the training of professionals in the fruit trade, developing closer collaborations with other similar industry trade associations, modernizing the exchange of information and communicating the role and contribution of SHAFFE to the global trade of fresh produce.

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Jingold kiwifruit turns twenty and dedicate it to lovers

Jingold kiwifruit turns twenty and dedicate it to lovers


10 February 2021 – Founded in 2001 on Valentine’s Day, Italian kiwi gold company has given life to a project that today has over 800 producers worldwide.

“We reach this milestone in a particular season, characterized by restrictions linked to the pandemic and climatic factors that have influenced national production. Nonetheless, we are preparing to end the season in the northern hemisphere with a growth of over 30% compared to the previous year”, commented general manager Alessandro Fornari. “On behalf of all the people who work in our supply chain, I can say that we are proud to be part of this Italian agricultural history, to be able to enhance the work of our producers and help bring their products of excellence to the world.”

Jingold season will close with a global production that will exceed 15 thousand commercialized tons and a cultivated area equal to over 2,000 hectares of yellow and red pulp varieties.

“These are important numbers for a team that is still young but the gaze is always looking forward. The production of the yellow is expected to grow also in the next few years and we are having fun innovating, as demonstrated by investments in new varieties, primarily the Oriental Red red- fleshed kiwi and the development of new cultivation areas to complete the Italian offer.”

The counter-season production of Southern Hemisphere Jingold is also expected to increase in 2021. In addition to the traditional production of Chile origin, will contribute the progressive entry into production of the plants built in Argentina, with an eye in particular to the organic production of Jingold Organic.

The company announced that the celebrations of the twentieth anniversary are postponed to autumn, when it is hoped that the pandemic will be a distant memory, perhaps taking the opportunity of Macfrut which has also been postponed to September. There is a great desire to celebrate with producers and workers.

In the meantime, a new pack that reduces the superfluous packaging will be distribute this week to celebrate Valentine’s Day dedicated to lovers. “We are working to make our products increasingly sustainable, even in packaging. To communicate the values we believe in, without losing its recognisability, this time we have removed the sticker without giving up our brand identity.”

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SHAFFE Annual General Meeting elects new Chilean-Uruguayan presidency team for the term 2021-23

Charif Christian Carvajal


SHAFFE, The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporter, has held its Annual General Meeting at the 4th of February 2021 online that has served as a starting point for the annual agenda setting of the organisation. The assembly has elected Mr. Charif Christian Carvajal M. (PhD) from the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) as new president for the term 2021-23. The presidency of Chile takes over from the presidency of South Africa, that was held by Mr. Anton Kruger (CEO, Fresh Produce Exporter Forum – FPEF). The vice-presidency will be taken over by Ms. Marta Betancur, Upefruy representative in Uruguay. 


8 February 2021 – Mr. Charif Christian Carvajal M. is the Director of Marketing for Europe, Asia and Middle East of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), a non-profit entity whose members represent 90% of the total volume of fresh fruit exported from Chile. Mr. Carvajal has more than 20 years of experience in international export promotion in Europe and Asia, sectorial branding and O2O retail channel advertising.  Chile, represented through ASOEX held the vice-presidency throughout the term 2019-2021, and as part of ASOEX, Mr. Carvajal has contributed to shaping the priorities in the association and played an essential role in setting up the upcoming “Southern Hemipshere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress 2021”. He underlines, that: “SHAFFE is unique organisation, providing a platform of all relevant Southern Hemisphere fruit trade players, to understand current global trade dynamics and to learn from each other. Together we have a significant knowledge and market experience – that needs to be seen and shared more!”.  Amongst his priorities will be, to position the organisation as turnstile for dialogue and mutual learning between SHAFFE members and Northern Hemisphere traders.

Together with the new presidency team, SHAFFE will now continue, to work with high speed towards the finalisation of the program for the “Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress”, which will take place online at the 25th of March 2021. With the defining theme “Keeping the world supplied”, this first edition will be dedicated to give exclusive insights and market intelligence on the current production & trading situation for key temperate fruit crop under pandemic conditions with contributions from all eight Southern Hemisphere suppliers: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay and South Africa. Southern Hemisphere exporters contribute with 11 million tons of exported temperate fruit with a market value of $14 billion USD to nearly a quarter of global fruit supply and play a significant role to the availability of healthy food choices.

According to SHAFFE Secretary General Nelli Hajdu. “The number of registrations since the launch of the congress show to us, that there is need for market intelligence and information from key suppliers of the Southern Hemisphere – and we will do our best, to deliver.”

The members and the secretariat of SHAFFE thank the South African presidency and Mr. Anton Kruger from the Fresh Produce Exporter Forum, South Africa for his dedicated work throughout the last years. South Africa has been showing strong leadership during the acute crisis management when increasing barriers to production and trade appeared through the Covid-19 pandemic and have next to the attention to sustainability matters, also shaped the organisations internal transition.

More information on the Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade Congress is available via the


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Macfrut 2021: a truly special edition

Macfrut 2021: a truly special edition © MACFRUT
Luigi Bianchi, Renzo Piraccini (President of Macfrut), Fabiana Fiorini, Stefano Gagliardi


The 37th edition of the International trade fair for the fresh produce industry, to be held from 7 to 9 September at the Rimini Expo Centre, has a new format: an on-site exhibition and digital opportunities. Many focus areas: the Italian Retailer Business Lounge with the Italian large-scale retail trade, the Biosolutions International Event, International Asparagus Days and a B2B Meeting Agenda. Sardinia as the Partner Region. The China Day on 6 September.

Cesena, 5th February 2021 – 2021 is the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables: let’s meet up in Rimini. Macfrut, the International trade fair for the fresh produce industry, will be held again at the Rimini Expo Centre from Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 September 2021, a special edition with a new format and activities. Fieravicola, the International Poultry Exhibition, will take place on the same days. On Monday 6 September, instead, a major event exclusively dedicated to business with China will take place: The China Day.

It is not just that the date has been shifted (it was previously scheduled for 4-6 May), but it will also be a special edition combining the essential role of a business fair and in-person relationships with the opportunities that the digital world offers to companies seeking to expand their business abroad. The brand new format of this trade fair for sector professionals leverages the know-how of the 37 editions held thus far, with the addition of a groundbreaking online experience, which was successfully introduced with the first edition of Macfrut Digital. Basically, those who will take part in Macfrut 2021 will have not only a stand on site at the trade fair but also a virtual stand on a digital platform (, which will allow them to expand their business opportunities in both directions.

Many Focus Areas

At the same time as the trade part, the Macfrut Special Edition will offer several focus areas on the world of fruit and vegetables. Starting with the Partner Region, Sardinia, located in the heart of the Mediterranean area and renowned for its high-quality agricultural produce such as the spiny artichoke, the Carciofo Spinoso di Sardegna DOP, and its saffron, Zafferano di Sardegna DOP.

A major event, the Biosolutions International Event, will be dedicated to the biostimulant and biocontrol supply chains. This event comprises: an international exhibition dedicated to biostimulant producers, addressed to agricultural entrepreneurs and sector professionals. Alongside the exhibition part, there will be guided visits and an International Congress that will bring together the Mediterranean production chains and the world of biostimulants.

One of the greatest novelties of the 2021 edition will be the Italian Retailer Business Lounge, an exclusive area at the trade fair for the large-scale retail trade and Italian distributors, where targeted meetings with exhibitors will be arranged through a dedicated business matching programme in collaboration with Think Fresh by Agroter.

Another novelty is the fourth edition of the International Asparagus Days which, for the first time, will be held simultaneously with Macfrut. It is a focus session dedicated to the entire asparagus industry with an exhibition area hosting specialist companies and a conference area with the latest technical and commercial updates.

Last but not least, the B2B Meeting Agenda will offer visitors the opportunity to manage their time at the trade fair by planning meetings through the virtual stand, which will be made available to all exhibitors who join the initiative: it will be possible to organise meetings on site, for those who will physically participate in the event, or online for those who will be connecting remotely. Exhibitors can also prepare their own meeting agenda in advance by scheduling appointments with specially selected international buyers.

Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut:

“Once again, Macfrut has pioneered an innovative, future-oriented project. There is a great desire in the industry to meet in person, to enjoy the human contact that we have been longing for such a long time. At the same time, we are aware of the fact that the current situation has completely changed the way we see things. The Macfrut Special Edition, scheduled for 7-9 September, addresses both needs: physical presence and digital opportunities. Last September, we were the first to organise a virtual trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector, and we want to be the first to offer an innovative format that combines a physical and digital trade fair in one.”

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New date announcement for WOP DUBAI 2021

New date announcement for WOP DUBAI 2021


3 February 2021, Dubai (UAE) – The Middle East’s Festival for Fruits and Vegetables, WOP DUBAI 2021, will take place from the 22nd to the 24th November 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

If 2020 is considered publically as a difficult year for the fresh produce sector, and while the pandemic continues, there are strong signs that 2021 will be the year of recovery and for most businesses going back to normal. According to WOP DUBAI: “In the UAE already 35% of the population have received an Anti-Covid Vaccine within a bit more then a month since the vaccination campaign started. Active cases and new cases are going down significantly now. The government is way ahead of its goal to have half of the countries population vaccinated by the end of the first quarter 2021.”

“A recent market survey of more than 4,000 professionals from 130 countries explored the impact of Covid-19 on the global exhibitions industry, delving into key criteria such as travel, budgets and the importance of trade fairs in a post-pandemic world. No wonder, the study resulted that Dubai perceived as safest destination to host global exhibitions and conferences.”

“With WOP DUBAI dates in November 2021 we can ensure the maximum exposure for the fruit industry in the Middle East and we are confident that it will be the perfect timing for the first gathering of fruit & vegetable trade professionals after more than one and a half year. WOP DUBAI arrives as the UAE continues to inject confidence back into its economy, while shows and exhibitions started taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre already since July 2020.”

Meanwhile, WOP DUBAI will continue pursuing its mission to connect and empower fresh industry players across the globe with the whole Gulf region. The focus is on trade and marketing of fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables and associated logistics.

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“Keeping the world supplied”, the first virtual Annual Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade congress

“Keeping the world supplied”, the first virtual Annual Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade congress


The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters will launch its very first Annual Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade congress at the 25th of March 2021. With the defining theme “Keeping the world supplied”, this first edition will be dedicated to give exclusive insights and market intelligence on the current production & trading situation for key temperate fruit crop under pandemic conditions with contributions from all eight Southern Hemisphere suppliers: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay and South Africa. Southern Hemisphere exporters contribute with 11 million T of exported temperate fruit with a market value of $ 14 billion USD to nearly ¼ of global fruit supply and play a significant role to the availability of healthy food choices.


Tuesday, 2nd February 2021 – The 1st virtual Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade congress will be taking place at the 25th of March 2021, providing for the first time in the associations history exclusive market insights from all eight big Southern Hemisphere exporting nations with regard to crop trends, production and trade outlook for the year ahead. “We want to contribute towards more predictability and market know-how during these difficult times – and allow our trading partners in the Northern Hemisphere countries better planning for the year ahead”, says passing SHAFFE president Anton Kruger, Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF), South Africa. He adds “We receive many requests to share our market intelligence with a broader public – something we normally had done individually during one of the many annual trade shows throughout the year. This year we are teaming up, to show our common value and how we ensure supply security in our countries!”

“In order, to allow as many of our trading partners in the Northern Hemisphere to participate to the congress, we have decided to run two passages in one day, one at 11.00 am, to target our Asian trading partners and one run-up at 5.00 pm, to allow Northern American and European partners to join. With its globalized trading network, SHAFFE operates in an incredibly unique and international environment – a challenge we are happy to take for the congress!”, says SHAFFE Secretary General Nelli Hajdu. The program will encompass outlook reflections from all SHAFFE member associations (Fedecitrus, Argentinan Blueberry Committee, CAFI, Citrus Australia, Abrafrutas, Chilean Fruit Exporter Association (ASOEX), New Zealand Apple and Pears, ProCitrus, Upefruy, Fruit SA), detailed analysis of global temperate fruit trade developments and insights on changing consumer patterns for fruit consumption and purchase in key markets such as the U.S., China, Germany, U.K. and Russia. The secretariat is working with high speed towards the launch of the program. The registration-link is already open and participation will be free.

For more information please visit SHAFFE website.

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The RUCIP European Committee approves new internal structure and appoints new European Delegate

PRESS RELEASE Cristina Pohlmann. Copyright DKHV


Since the 1st of January 2021, the RUCIP European Committee has a new internal organisation that aims to maintain the continuity and professionalism of RUCIP. Whilst its European Secretariat remains in Brussels and is administered by Europatat, Ms Cristina Pohlmann, Assistant to the Director of the Deutscher Kartoffelhandelsverband e.V. (DKHV), has been appointed as the new RUCIP European Delegate.

Brussels, 1 February 2021 – The change of location of the RUCIP European Secretariat to the Europatat’s office in Brussels in 2017 was meant to improve the functioning of RUCIP, offer better services and professionalise the management of its different activities. To maintain these objectives, the RUCIP European Committee has revamped its internal structure, making a distinction between the European Secretariat and the European Delegate Office: Whilst the European Secretariat remains in charge of the day-to-day administration of the RUCIP European Committee (including finances, communication and organisation of meetings and trainings), the European Delegate Office is from where the European Delegate handles expertise and arbitration requests.

Next to that, the RUCIP European Committee has appointed Ms Cristina Pohlmann, Assistant to the Director of the Deutscher Kartoffelhandelsverband e.V. (DKHV), as the new RUCIP European Delegate. Ms Pohlmann has been working for DKHV since 2015 and is currently running the German RUCIP Office for expert assessments and the German “Berliner Vereinbarung” Arbitration Office. These are advantages that are non-negligible, as she perfectly masters the RUCIP rules, has an extensive experience in managing arbitration cases and also participates in the meetings of the RUCIP Working Group devoted to the modernisation of the current rules.

The updated RUCIP rules (including a revamped organigram and a new Annex with the position description and responsibilities of the European Secretariat and the European Delegate) are available for free in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish on the website of RUCIP (

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Meeting between Rainforest Alliance, retailers, importers and banana producers

Meeting between Rainforest Alliance, retailers, importers and banana producers


On November 27th, banana producers and exporters from seven Latin American countries (Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and the Dominican Republic) convened a roundtable with major European retailers and the private certifier Rainforest Alliance (RFA) to reach a common position that would end the conflict over RFA’s new 2020 certification standard. Although the meeting’s agenda expressly excluded any discussion of prices and focused exclusively on the 2020 certification program, the certifier declined the invitation on the grounds that antitrust legislation prevented them from attending.

Three weeks later, on December 18th, RFA convened the same type of meeting, inviting retailers and producers, with the difference that the agenda -imposed by RFA-, in addition to expressly excluding any discussion related to prices as the one convened by the producers, this time also excluded some crucial points for the industry such as the Sustainability Differential and Shared Responsibility.

The meeting could have been a unique opportunity to solve the pending issues on the implementation of the standard. However, the producers believe that it has been a lost opportunity.

The producers consider that “the format of the meeting did not allow for the resolution of the pending issues. More than a space for dialogue, the presentation has been monopolized by RFA. They were practically telling us that the norm is already closed and they are not going to accept changes”.

Since the beginning of the year, producers have denounced the “consultation process” that RFA has carried out as being filled with deficiencies in participation. Producers say that “while the certifier has received our communications, it has not included our comments in the drafting of the standard. We see no intention of reaching consensus”.

On the other hand, the presented Action Plan does not answer in a concrete and exact way how the new standard will be implemented and RFA has not yet determined the mathematical calculation to define the Sustainability Differential or the distribution of the Shared Responsibility. Banana producers say that “both producers and retailers must have a clear understanding of who should pay the sustainability premium, and how much. This is a key aspect to avoid future misunderstandings”.

Lastly, Latin American producers reject RFA’s latest statement: “RFA was not interested in reaching consensus, the dialogues have not been constructive, the proof is that we have insisted on this point and yet they have launched a standard that lacks a clear definition of the responsibilities of each party. This standard is unacceptable”.