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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Smaller Spanish stone fruit crop forecast

Smaller Spanish stone fruit crop forecast

© Public domain (source: Flickr)

 

After a disappointing 2020 stonefruit campaign in Spain, when a 30% decline in volume was registered, this season is expected to be little better. Last season’s crop was hit by excessive rainfall, which led to poor flowering and fruit set. As the official stone fruit season gets underway, the main producer of the Valencian Community, the San Bernat de Carlet Agricultural Cooperative, expects smaller volumes but is generally optimistic about this year’s campaign.

Speaking to Mercados Revista, Rafael Cosme, managing director of the cooperative, said: “Despite having less fruit, the development of the fruit on the tree is currently better than last year.” The fruit quality overall is expected to be better than last year. 

In the 90s, the cooperative sold more than 30 million kg of stone fruit, but this year’s crop is expected to barely reach 5 million kg.

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Sandi returns this spring as “the first taste of summer”

Sandi returns this spring as "the first taste of summer"
Press Release

COEXPHAL and HORTIESPAÑA resume their campaign to promote the watermelon of southern Spain. Harvesting is underway of the first European watermelon grown in greenhouses in the southeast of Spain, destined for markets in Spain and Europe. To publicise the fruit’s healthy properties and excellent quality, COEXPHAL and HORTIESPAÑA are starting the promotion campaign, mainly through digital media, under the slogan “The first European watermelon”, to disseminate its health and organoleptic qualities.

New this year is a specially designed web page (https://laprimerasandiaeuropea.es/) offering information on the fruit’s nutritional qualities and the main production and marketing figures, together with endorsements by “Ambassadors”, people from politics, culture or sports and renowned chefs, who will also prepare some recipes with the unique fruit.

Sandi is the character who gives visibility and prominence to the watermelon in all communications and posts on social networks, and will this year feature the slogan “The Taste of Summer” and the hashtag # LaPrimeraSandíaEuropa

Once again, collaboration has come from “Sabores de Almería” from the Almería Provincial government. The president of the institution, Javier A. García, the president of Hortiespaña, Francisco Góngora, and the manager of COEXPHAL, Luis Miguel Fernández, have sent watermelons as gifts to people from Almeria’s and Spain’s cultural and social scene to taste the watermelons from the southern greenhouses and get to know the campaign at first-hand.

During the past campaign, more than 100 million watermelons from Almería and Granada reached European consumers and 597,010 tons of watermelons were produced under greenhouses in southern Spain, which represents half of Spanish production. Spain is the world’s leading watermelon exporter, with 911,366 tons.

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Strawberry prices stop falling at last

Strawberry prices stop falling at last
Photo: Freshuelva

The average prices at origin of strawberries broke the negative trend since the second half of February, with a 1.6% rise recorded in week 14 compared to week 13. Prices stand at €0.65/kg, which is below the 2018/19 level of €0.70/kg and the 2019/20 level of €0.87/kg, according to data published by the Andalusian authority.

International prices for Spanish standard strawberries (category I) in the main French markets continued their negative trend in week 14. Revista Mercados reports slight decreases in import prices in the Sant Charles market of between 0.5 and 2.6%, and more pronounced falls in the wholesale prices of the Rungis market (13.2-18.7%).

 

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Spaniards lead the way in online purchases

Spaniards lead the way in online purchases
Source: Infografía

The Spanish are shopping more online than their European neighbours, by up to two or three times, according to a report published by Infografia which analyses the impact of the pandemic on consumption habits. The report also shows that the majority of Spaniards have changed their attitudes to e-commerce as a result of the pandemic. Almost half of respondents (47%) stated that they now felt more comfortable shopping online to in person, which has led to 58% increasing their purchases through this channel. Over half of online purchases are made using smartphones, but this does not imply a lack of interest in protecting their data online. In fact, 58% stated that they pay greater attention to secure online payments systems than they did a year ago.

 

 

 

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COEXPHAL and PROEXPORT request EU support for circular economy in fruit and vegetable sector

COEXPHAL and PROEXPORT request EU support for circular economy in fruit and vegetable sector
Photo: Proexport

The Association of Organisations of Producers of Fruits and Vegetables of Almería (COEXPHAL) together with the Association of Producers-Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables of the Region of Murcia (PROEXPORT) have applied to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) for funds to set up a project with an estimated budget of €69 million aimed at advancing the sustainability of the fruit and vegetable sector in south-eastern Spain.

This Expression of Interest brings together a series of innovation and investment initiatives with defined objectives. These include promoting the circular economy in the entire fruit and vegetable value chain by reducing environmental footprints, helping to mitigate climate change by reducing the carbon footprint, contributing to the decarbonisation of the economy, improving biodiversity in the fruit and vegetable environment – in the production and marketing of fruits and vegetables – and guarantee the activity with the protection and improvement of the use of water.

To achieve this, the presented project includes three major measures:

  • Collect information on the technologies available for said objectives such as the recovery of waste, water, reduction of environmental footprints, energy, biodiversity, etc., and create a tool to enable the companies and cooperatives of both associations to obtain a diagnosis as a starting point.

  • Promote a set of research and innovation projects aimed at implementing the circular economy in the fruit and vegetable value chain, especially in the field of plant by-products and waste, as well as in water.

  • Influence an innovative investment by companies in available technologies to reduce environmental footprints and investments in technologies and biotechnologies generated in the project itself: recovery of waste, purification and reuse of water, revegetation of the agricultural environment and development of smart labels.

This Circular Economy Expression of Interest, promoted by COEXPHAL and PROEXPORT, has the support of the Almería Chamber of Commerce and the Sustainability Area of ​​the Almería City Council.

Expressions of Interest are an instrument for identifying projects that point towards two of the four axes on which the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish economy acts. The Spanish Recovery Plan, inspired by the Climate Change Agenda, the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, will receive €72 million in the next three years from the Next Generation EU Recovery Fund, approved by the European Council on July 21.

 

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EU allocates extra funds to promote fruit and vegetable consumption

EU allocates extra funds to promote fruit and vegetable consumption © MERCABARNA

© MERCABARNA

 

Spain’s exporters’ association FEPEX has announced it is pleased with the significant increase in the EU budget for promoting the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for a balanced diet, with the funds set aside rising from €8 million in the previous round to €19.1 million this time. The Commission has increased from €8 million to €10 million the budget for financing multiple programmes aimed at increasing the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, while also allocating €9.1 million to the co-financing of simple programmes with the same objective. 

The programmes will have a duration of between 1 and 3 years and will begin implementation in 2022.

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Surge in demand for Spanish citrus in second half of campaign

Surge in demand for Spanish citrus in second half of campaign
Photo: Cañamas

The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) reports that the second half of the citrus season has seen an increase in sales and prices for producers. This is due to a better balance between supply, which has been lower than expected due to adverse weather conditions, and demand, which is up due to the cold in Europe and the fruit’s immunological benefits.

AVA-ASAJA added that the interest is mainly focused on the subgroup of late Navels, Navel Powell, Barnfield and Chislett oranges (with prices at origin that tend to be within the €0.353-0.447/kg range) and, to a lesser extent, Navel Lane Late (€0.282-0.376/kg). There is also strong demand for the hybrid subgroup of mandarins, Tango, Nadorcott (€0.611-0.851/kg) and Orri (€1-1.3/kg).

For many varieties, these prices represent an approximate year-on-year increase of 10%. The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, said: “The campaign has taken a new turn and has left behind the serious marketing problems that some of the most widespread varieties such as the Navelina orange or the mandarin. Now commercial operators are once again expressing their keen interest in sourcing enough citrus fruits to be able to supply the markets in the coming months.”

The prospects are good for the remainder of the campaign.

 

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Russian discounter to open in Spain 

Russian discounter to open in Spain 
Photo: merespain.com

Russian budget retailer Mere, owned by the Svetofor Group, is to open stores across Spain this year. The firm claims that it will offer goods that are up to 20% cheaper than its rival supermarkets, with the range including everything from food and household goods to clothes and the latest gadgets.

Managing director of Mere in Spain, Andrey Murzov, said that the stores will be “spartan” and “no frills,”, but the savings on decor will allow really low prices.

“Everything is stocked on pallets or in boxes, in order to reduce overheads as much as possible and be able to offer very cheap products,” said Murzov. “This model of store is similar to what Lidl and Aldi used to do years ago. Our aim is to offer the best prices every day, thanks to a business concept that involves saving costs – rent, decoration and personnel.”

The retail giant has big plans, with more than 100 stores expected to be dotted around the country by 2025. This year, the first branch will open in May, expanding to 10 or 15 by the end of 2021. Although the exact locations of the supermarkets haven’t yet been finalised, they are expected to be launched in Andalucía, Valencia, Madrid, Murcia and Catalonia.

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San Telmo and Ecoembes unite for a sustainable future

San Telmo and Ecoembes unite for a sustainable future

San Telmo Business School, which trains senior managers of consumer goods companies has teamed up with and Ecoembes, a non-profit environmental organisation that coordinates the recycling of packaging throughout Spain, in an alliance to jointly promote the role of companies in creating a circular economy, as well as to identify possible public-private collaboration strategies for the same purpose.

Both institutions promote the added value that sustainability brings to companies in Spain to satisfy consumer demand. Thus, within this alliance, various practical sessions will be held, along with round tables with leading CEOs, traveling classrooms and tailor-made projects for specific companies. A key event will be a discussion titled: “Public-private collaboration as a boost to the Circular Economy”, which will feature, from the San Telmo Business School, Enrique Garrido, and the CEO of Ecoembes, Óscar Martín.