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Macfrut 2020, the Tropical Fruit Congress will be dedicated to avocados

Macfrut 2020, the Tropical Fruit Congress will be dedicated to avocados

The programme for the third edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress, the only event in Europe dedicated to exotic fruit, has been finalised: once again, it will be held during Macfrut, the international trade fair for the fresh produce industry, from 5 to 7 May 2020 at the Rimini Expo Centre, Italy 

Cesena, 26th February 2020 – A two-day event with more than ten international speakers and a single theme. These are the numbers of the third edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress, an international event to discuss exotic fruit, to be held during Macfrut on 6 and 7 May 2020. The star of the event will be a single fruit, namely avocado: in the last few years, avocado consumption has increased exponentially worldwide, especially in the EU. In fact, in the 2018-2019 season, avocado consumption in Europe increased by 19% over the previous season and by as much as 111% over 2013-2014, with an estimated total of 636,119 tonnes. In terms of sales volumes, the first consumer country in Europe is France, with 145,000 tonnes consumed, followed by the UK (105,633 tonnes), Germany (82,327 tonnes) and Spain (72,122 tonnes). Italy ranks sixth, with 22,340 tonnes, up 29% from 2017-2018 and up 248% from 2013-2014. However, in terms of per capita consumption, Denmark ranks first (2.69 kg), followed by Norway (non-EU country – 2.53 kg), the Netherlands (2.32 kg), France (2.16 kg) and Sweden (2.07 kg). (source: professional sources+Eurostat)

Data processed by CIRAD, based on EUROSTAT

The third edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress will be spread over two days. 

The first day will be Wednesday 6 May, from 2.30pm, with a session coordinated by Roberto Della Casa – Agroter/Bologna University, focusing on the avocado market in Europe. Daria Lodi of CSO Italy will explain consumption patterns in Europe; Thomas Padilla, Senior Director of Export Sales at Mission Produce, will focus on new countries that supply avocados to Europe, such as Peru, Colombia and Guatemala, and will explain how these supplies will help to meet the growing demand for consumption all year round; Said Bannany, Director of Total Exotics, instead, will talk about traditional supplier countries. These speeches will be followed by a round table on how to sell avocados in Europe, which will be attended by buyers and retailers who will share their direct experiences.

The second day will be Thursday 7 May, from 10am to 1.30pm, with a session coordinated by Pierre Escodo, Director of Eurofresh Distribution, focusing on production and post-harvest and what’s new in the sector. The speakers will provide an overview of the situation in several key countries in the sector: Michael Horney of Peruvian Agritrade will explain how the sector has evolved in Peru; Jorge Restrepo, Executive Director of Corpohass, will provide an overview of Colombia, while Andrea Passanisi of Sicilia Avocado will focus on avocado production in Italy. Speeches will also be given by Therese Bruwer of Westphalia, who will describe the various cultivars of each producer country, and Eelke Westra of Wageningen University who will present a research on improving avocado quality in the post-harvest phase. To conclude, a technical workshop on post-harvest innovations will be held, with the participation of major technological players.

Sponsorship: companies can be a sponsor at the Congress, in GOLD or SILVER mode. So far, the companies that have joined include Ziehl-Abegg, Aweta, TR Turoni, Spreafico, Felix-Instruments, Dole and Procomer – Essential Costa Rica.

Registration: registrations are now open and special rates are available until 31 March. For further information and to register online, please go to the “Register Now” section of the website 

For further information: 

For the press:

Elena Vincenzi/Stefania Duminuco

International press office Macfrut c/o fruitecom – Tel. +39-059-7863894

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MACFRUT 2019: Pineapple under the spotlight on the second day

MACFRUT 2019: Pineapple under the spotlight on the second day

The second day of the Tropical Fruit Congress, with the focus on pineapple, the announcement of the 2020 edition of the International Strawberry Symposium and the round table on brand value. Day two of Macfruit was again crammed with data, discussions and news on the fruit and vegetable sector and its innovations.

Tropical Fruit Congress

The second day opened with the Tropical Fruit Congress’s focus on pineapple.
“The pineapple is the second most important tropical fruit after the banana,” Pierre Escodo of Eurofresh Distribution began.

In 2018, 50% of world pineapple exports were shipped from Costa Rica, with volumes of 8 million tonnes, with the Philippines in second place in the export rankings. The biggest importers are the United States, while in Europe the most important destination is the Netherlands with 318 thousand tonnes, 77% of which is then re-exported. The third largest buyer market is China (185 thousand tonnes), but Russia is also making a comeback with impressive figures, with imports growing by 16% last year alone.

“The time has come,” Mr Escodo continued, “to support this market’s long-term growth by focusing on new varieties such as baby pineapple, being aware of the new players entering the market, such as China, Ecuador and Africa, and simplifying the product consumption process and the fresh fruit segment. If, and only if, these factors are combined, there is vast growth potential for pineapple in the medium-term future.”

Quality, effective logistics, traceability, nutrition education, eco-sustainability and responsiveness to consumer trends are the directions in which international tropical fruit growers are moving.

“In Costa Rica, pineapples shipped to the United States account for 35% of agricultural exports,” Upala Agricola of Costa Rica explained, “followed by Europe and, very slowly, also by the Chinese market. If we want to expand in the future, we have to keep improving our product, to achieve larger sales volumes, as well as resolving our logistics problems with Asia and the Middle East. Without a doubt, the new challenges to be borne in mind also include the adoption of organic growing methods.”

S&W Fine food International, from the Philippines, has won the islands their place as the world’s second biggest pineapple producer: “Aware of consumers’ latest demands, three years ago we were already starting to sell pineapple cut into slices or sticks and frozen, a revolutionary product that retains the distinctive sweet flavour and the same nutritional properties as the fresh fruit.”

Italian company Dole, which launched the ‘Dole Earth’ online platform a few years ago, aims for greater quality and transparency: “Through our website, we set out to empower consumers, who can type in the five-figure code they find on the fruit itself to identity the specific plantation where the pineapple was grown. We also believe strongly in nutrition education for consumers and support for a correct lifestyle, so we have developed our ‘100% natural snacking’ messages, which identify pineapple as the perfect snack for eating at any time of day.”

Fresh products producer Robinson Fresh provided an overview of general market trends: “World pineapple output is growing, but consumption habits are changing: in general, demand for ready-to-eat product is on the increase, and the market has to adapt with creativity and new packaging solutions. In some countries, this mechanism is already up and running: for example, in the United States 54% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product that is ready to eat.”

The view from Italy was provided by Alessandro Dal Bello, Vice President of Sife, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler whose core business is the distribution of bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica: “Instead of concentrating on price, to increase pineapple sales we need to put our energies into product transformation, not forgetting the sustainability of the packagings used. Any policy we adopt must be independent of the strategies of the major chains: this is essential if earnings are to be shared throughout the supply chain.”

Confirmation of the new pineapple consumption trends also came from world market survey leader Kantar, which explained that: “In line with the tendency to prefer products that are easier to use, ready-to-eat pineapple is one of the top alternatives to conventional snacks.”

International Strawberry Symposium

The focal event of the afternoon was the round table on the International Strawberry Symposium, which is to return to Italy 32 years after it was last held here. Since 1988, when the very first International Strawberry Symposium took place in Cesena, the event has always been organised abroad. For its return to Italy, the Symposium is planning a series of appointments at different locations, with field visits from Basilicata to northern Italy, and a core congress in Romagna.

The Italian edition of the Symposium, which will welcome hundreds of researchers from all over the world, will be organised by the Crea Olive, Fruit and Citrus Research Centre (Centro di ricerca Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura), Forlì location, and Università Politecnica delle Marche, while the logistics have been contracted, further to a public bidding procedure, to Aim Group International. “Three years ago, in Canada, we fought off strong competition from the Dutch,” Gianluca Baruzzi of Crea begins, “and this is an incredible opportunity for Italy, a showcase in which our country can display itself to the world in its best possible light, with no rivalries. It is amazing to think that the stand that hosted the round table alone displayed about a hundred specimens of 42 different varieties, from Italy’s 3800 hectares of strawberry fields.

Brand value in fruit and vegetables

To what extent does brand guide consumers’ choices in the store? What are the values and expectations in relation to branded fruit and vegetable products? These were the questions underlying the survey by SG Marketing presented at the conference on “Brand value for fruit and vegetable consumers. Experience, strategies and examples.”

The survey revealed that for consumers, the fruit and vegetable grower’s brand is a genuine value, the basis for guaranteeing consistent quality, that a mix of private labels and grower brands is essential to increase the fruit and vegetable area’s added value, and that the point of sale is still, and will continue to be, the place where the brand really comes into play.

The round table which followed heard contributions from five major players in the sector, representing a model of excellence for fruit and vegetable marketing: the VOG Consortium with the Marlene brand, La Linea Verde, Citrus L’Orto Italiano, Almaverde Bio and Consorzio di Tutela del Pomodoro di Pachino IGP.

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Macfrut to host the second edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress

Macfrut to host the second edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress

The second edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress, the international event covering topics involving exotic fruits, will be held at Macfrut from 8 to 10 May 2019. Over the course of three days, market, consumption and trade trends will be examined, as well as the scientific developments, technologies and sales strategies of exotic produce, which is increasingly in demand in global markets.

This year, it will be a three-day event. On the first day, Wednesday, 8 May at 3 p.m., market data regarding the tropical fruit sector in its entirety will be presented, with a special focus on lime, papaya and passion fruit. At the end of the day, a workshop will be held with the participation of buyers and representatives of the European large-scale retail trade.

The second day, Thursday, 9 May (from 10 a.m.) will be fully dedicated to pineapple, with speakers addressing specific topics and aspects regarding this fruit, from field production to distribution.

The third day (Friday, 10 May, from 10.30 a.m.) will feature a technical workshop for importers and distributors, jointly organised with Professor Carlos Crisosto of University of California in Davis, on the handling and ripening of tropical fruits, in particular mangoes and avocados. The aim is to provide information in order to offer consumers fruits that are perfectly ripe.

If we consider how much the tropical fruit sector has grown in Spain, tropical fruits are an excellent opportunity for converting agricultural land in Italy. Several agricultural companies in Sicily and Calabria are already growing not only mangoes and avocados but also other fruit species such as passion fruit.

‘Last year’s Tropical Fruit Congress, a high-profile international event, was a huge success thanks to the participation of the many European buyers who attended Macfrut,’ Enrico Turoni, the board member of Cesena Fiera who manages this global congress, explains. ‘I would also like to point out that many northern European companies import tropical fruits and handle fruits such as kiwis and table grapes: it is a unique opportunity for the exhibitors taking part in the trade fair.’

For further information on the event:

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Tropical Fruit Congress, the point on world and European production of mango and avocado

Tropical Fruit Congress

The Tropical Fruit Congress, held on 11th-12th May within the Macfrut fair in Rimini, was a sell-out. This first edition was dedicated to mango and avocado with speakers from across the world discussing production, trade and consumption trends. The first day focused on marketing and quality, while  the second day, coordinated by  the journalist Pierre Escodo, turned the spotlight on production.

Daniel José Bustamante Canny, president of ProHass Peru outlined how this variety is produced in Peru and other South American producing countries. “Chile is the oldest producer in South America, while Peru is the number-one exporter to European markets. Colombia is the real rising star and has been growing very fast in the past few years. It is the only country that can guarantee supply all year round.”

The Hass variety has conquered Europe and is the most cultivated in South America. According to AMAP data, in 2018 Peru expects to produce over 300 thousand tons of Hass avocado on an area of ​​almost 30,000 hectares. Chile, the second largest supplier of avocados to European markets, has an area of ​​23,500 hectares and produces 225,000 tons of Hass. In third place comes Colombia, with about 80,000 tons from 15,000 hectares. Now the sixth largest exporter to Europe, Colombia has seen exports to the continent increase by over 55% between 2016 and 2017 with a further rise of 33% forecast in 2018.

Outside South America, Europe also has a growing ​​avocado production area. Spain is now the world’s seventh highest producing country, with an area of ​​about 10,000 hectares and a yield of about 6,000 tons per hectare (12% of which is in the Canary Islands). Spanish avocado is entirely sold on the domestic market. Enrique Colilles, general manager of the Spanish company Trops, considered the situation in Europe regarding production, trade and consumption of both avocados and mangoes. “The avocado market is experiencing great growth in consumption in most EU countries, with an average annual per capita of 1 kg (2.5 kg in Scandinavia),” said Colilles. Between 2015 and 2017, European consumption recorded an annual growth of 20% and still has a lot of remaining potential. The industry is now focused on selling the fruit at the perfect degree of ripeness as the consumer is still not able to recognise when this fruit is ripe.” Italy has also started producing avocados, mainly in Sicily, with about 260 hectares on mainly abandoned or exhausted lands that have been reclaimed and converted to the production of this type of fruit.

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A rise in the number of international participants at the Tropical Fruit Congress


About 80% of initial registrants are from abroad, largely from South America. Participation of the main European importers

The number of international participants at the first European summit on avocados and mangoes at Macfrut 2018 is on the increase. At the Tropical Fruit Congress, to be held at the Rimini Expo Centre on 10-11 May, of the 150 plus registered by 20 March 80% are from abroad.

A large number of participants come from South America, which has always been a major producer of exotic fruits, so much so that it accounts for 62% of the supply of avocados in Europe (source: World Avocado Organization). Other countries participating include the Dominican Republic, Colombia – the partner country of Macfrut 2018 – Peru, Brazil and the USA, as well as a number of African countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and Zambia.

There is also great interest from Europe, where the consumption of these products has reached double digits in many EU countries (to name a few, Sweden, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain). Spain, the leading European producer of mangoes and avocados, will be widely present at the Tropical Fruit Congress with Frutas Montosa, Hortosabor, Reyes Gutierrez, Trops and Anecoop.

Many European importers have already registered for the event, including a large attendance from the Netherlands with Nature’s Pride, Liquidseal Fruit, Jaguar Fruit and Hall’s Bv; from Great Britain with Ripe Now, Grencell and The Avocado Company; from France with Thomas Nelson and Fruitrop; from Belgium with Special Fruit.

Last but not least, about 15 international newspaper journalists have been accredited.

Moreover, all congress participants will be provided with a Yearbook that includes data on mango and avocado production and consumption, with a special section dedicated to the key players in the supply chain.

Info. The event is open to a limited number of participants (up to 300 professionals). The registration fee is 100 Euros. To register, please go to

The Tropical Fruit Congress is organised by Cesena Fiera. The sponsors of the event are AgroFresh, Aweta, Bertuzzi Food Processing, Cold Energy, Felix Instruments, Frunet, Ghelfi, Graziani, Mc Garlet, Nespak, Reyes Gutierrez, Sermac, Spreafico, Tr Turoni, Turatti and World Avocado Organization.