34th edition of Macfrut inaugurated, increase in international participants

10 May 2017

The 34th edition of Macfrut, the international trade for the fruit and vegetable sector, was inaugurated today and is being held in Rimini from 10 to 12 May, with the participation of 1,100 exhibitors, 1,200 buyers and 40 participating countries. 

The ceremonial ribbon was cut by Italian Deputy Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, Andrea Olivero. The authorities present included Yang Yi, Director-General of the Foreign Economic Cooperation Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture of China, and MEP Paolo De Castro, thus proving the increasingly international appeal of the event, with about a quarter of exhibitors from abroad and China as the Partner Country for the 2017 edition.

"You, as Macfrut, have taught us all an important thing: the value of aggregation, the overcoming of certain peculiarities. You emphatically stated that together we can win, and this should serve as an example for everyone - said Andrea Olivero, Deputy Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies - The fruit and vegetable sector is thriving, with excellent results for Italian exports, but what we need to do is continue to improve, make new agreements, enhance interactions, guarantee more protection for the production sector against climate changes and sudden market transformations.”

"Success doesn’t happen by coincidence - said MEP De Castro, who has grown very fond of the event - Macfrut is like a machine that operates effectively and grows year after year."

"Macfrut is indeed growing – the President of Macfrut, Renzo Piraccini, explained - and this is confirmed by its numbers. From 2010 to 2014, the event saw the participation of 250 foreign buyers. Today, we have more than 1,200. We are pleased that the many foreign countries we visited in order to introduce Macfrut are growing with us, since they have realised that focusing on the fruit and vegetable sector is crucial to develop their own economy. On a global level, there is also a constantly growing demand for plant production - Piraccini continues - and, as for innovation and quality, Italy has no rivals in this sector. The Italian fruit and vegetable industry is an example of absolute excellence, from producers to packaging."

The numbers of the fruit and vegetable sectorItaly is a world-leading producer with over 10 million tonnes of fruit produced every year (fruit, citrus fruits and table grapes), more than 15 million tonnes of vegetables (in greenhouses and open-field, along with pulses, potatoes and table olives), according to data provided by CSO Italy. Fruit and vegetables are a key component of the Italian agri-food business: it is worth 14 billion euros in terms of gross saleable production, equivalent to 25% of the agricultural gross marketable production.

Today, the fruit and vegetable sector ranks second for agri-food exports in Italy, with a 4.9 billion turnover, up 5% on the previous year, second only to wine exports worth 5.6 billion euros. The main geographic export areas are the European Union, which absorbs 80% of produce (4 billion euros), non-EU European countries (6.7%, 4.4 billion euros), the Middle East, North America and North Africa (all with 2.1%).

Macfrut 2017: internationalisation and innovation
The two key aspects of Macfrut are innovation and internationalisation. With regard to the latter, this year exhibitors from abroad have increased by 30%. More than 40 countries will take part in the event with numerous new entries, representing the five continents. New countries include Angola, Ethiopia, Uganda, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Uruguay. Delegations of traders are expected from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. A large number of delegations will arrive from India and the Middle East (in particular from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrein).
China, the Partner Country of the 2017 edition, deserves a special mention. Twenty exhibitors are attending and another 30 importers have also been invited.
As for innovation, there is even more news. Starting from an absolute novelty in the trade fair scene: Macfrut in the Field. A large 700-square metre area set up in the exhibition halls, featuring a real test field to showcase the most innovative agricultural machinery, which can be seen in action every day from 11am to 1pm. The field tests will be filmed from above by a giant airship drone.
The spotlight will also be on the plant revolution with innovations in the sector of microgreens, buds and baby leaves. All the global leaders in this field will attend the trade fair, as well as major seed companies in Italy thanks to the strategic agreement with Assosementi.

For further information, please visit: www.macfrut.com   

Elena Vincenzi and Alice Camellini
International press office Macfrut

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