Macfrut 2018, 25% of exhibitors are from abroad

18 April 2018

Macfrut 2018 is approaching and is scheduled for 9-11 May at the Rimini Expo Centre: this three-day event will feature key players in the fruit and vegetable sector, one of the leading sectors in Italy, which ranks second for “Made in Italy” agri-food exports.
As exports continue to grow, so does Macfrut: more than 55,000 square metres of space occupied (+10% compared to 2017, +100% in four years), 8 halls, more than 1,100 exhibitors, of which 25% are from abroad (+40% in four years), and 1,500 buyers invited from all over the world. Macfrut, the only international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable supply chain, will feature 11 exhibition sectors representing all the segments of the industry: seeds; breeding and plant nurseries; field technology; technical equipment; production, trading and retail; organic; post-harvest machinery and technology; packaging and packing materials; fresh cut; logistics; services.

Macfrut, increasingly international
Today, exports play a major role for the future of the fruit and vegetable sector. It is therefore essential for an industry trade fair such as Macfrut to have international appeal and, to achieve this, it was promoted in four continents with a record number of 20 international missions, which attracted a large number of exhibitors and participants. This is all part of a general scenario characterised by an increase in the number of international buyers invited, which have reached a record number of 1,500 (250 until only four years ago), with which exhibitors can interact through the B2B multimedia platform made available to all involved. Moreover, Europe’s leading large-scale retail groups will be present, along with 30 international top buyers in the food sector invited in cooperation with CIBUS - International Food Exhibition, a large number of buyers and producers from Eastern Europe, and major importers from the Persian Gulf States (UAE, Bahrain and Qatar), India and South-East Asia (Malaysia and Singapore).
The support of ICE-Agenzia, for overseas promotion and the internationalisation of Italian companies, and the support of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Administration, particularly focused on incoming Chinese buyers, play an essential role in the internationalisation process. Macfrut's partners in this journey are the banking group UniCredit, main sponsor and business partner, and Coface, one of the world's leading credit insurance companies.

Macfrut, innovation and contentThe fruit and vegetable sector has always been one of the most innovative sectors in the agri-food business, and Macfrut is the ideal platform for presenting new projects. During this three-day event, many innovations will be on display, representing all sectors of the supply chain, from genetics used by seed companies to pre- and post-harvest technology, but also fresh-cut products. Italy has always been a global leader in the field of mechanical technologies for fruit and vegetable producers, specialised in either fruit or vegetables. On this occasion, 15,000 square metres will be dedicated to the pre-harvest area, i.e. Macfrut Field Solution, with all the main novelties in the sector. At the trade fair there will also be a “dynamic” area called AcquaCampus: a 500-square metre demonstration field where visitors will have the opportunity to see cutting-edge irrigation systems in operation, presented by world-leading companies.In order to promote innovation in production and in the technologies for the fruit and vegetable supply chain, the Macfrut Innovation Award ceremony will take place, once again, in cooperation with the Italian magazine “Informatore Agrario”. After being judged by a panel of experts, prizes will be awarded to major technical innovations in terms of environmental and economic sustainability and improvement in product quality. A special section of the award will be dedicated to “fresh-cut” products, which will also be the topic of an international conference coordinated by Professor Giancarlo Colelli.
Macfrut is also a trade fair packed with interesting content. More than 50 events are scheduled, including conferences, business meetings and conventions, which are organised by exhibitors themselves. Some of the events scheduled include: the international conference on European forecasts for peaches and nectarines, the challenge of wholesale markets in the new European distribution scenario, as well as the meeting of Rewe and Coop Italia suppliers.
The leading event is the Tropical Fruit Congress (10-11 May), the first European summit on avocados and mangoes, to be attended by the main producers and importers of these two tropical fruits.

Colombia, partner country
Colombia will be the partner country of Macfrut 2018, after Peru (2016) and China (2017). This South American country is a major fruit and vegetable producer, with more than 9 million tonnes produced. Thanks to its extraordinary biodiversity, it produces not only bananas and pineapples but also a wide range of tropical fruits, in particular avocados and mangoes. Colombia, however, imports more than 350,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and is therefore a key export market for European fruit producers. The fruit and vegetable sector is growing strongly, but Colombia requires technology and packaging so that it can raise its production standards and increase export competitiveness.

Veneto, partner region
Veneto has always played a prominent role in the Italian fruit and vegetable industry, and is the partner region of Macfrut 2018. In this region, vegetable crops are grown in open fields covering an area of 27,600 hectares, with a production value of about €615 million. Slightly less than a third of the land in Veneto is used for growing Radicchio, the key product of this year’s edition of Macfrut. Its history well reflects the development of this product: until a few years ago, it was given little consideration due to its low quality, but it is now going through a “rebirth” and is highly valued by consumers and haute cuisine. As for Veneto, orchards cover an area of about 20,000 hectares, for a total value of about €300 million. The most widely grown crops are apples, pears and kiwis. Altogether, Veneto’s fruit and vegetable industry (including potatoes) has a production value of approximately €1 billion.

Record-breaking fruit and vegetable exports
The year 2017 will be remembered as the year of record-breaking exports. In fact, for the first time, the €5 billion threshold (+2.5%) was exceeded, therefore the fruit and vegetable sector ranks second in terms of value in the Italian agri-food sector (Source: ICE-Agenzia).
The largest share of exports is represented by fruit growing (€3.7 billion), whereas the vegetable growing share is smaller but significant (€1.4 billion). An interesting fact is that the first 10 countries where Italian products are exported are all European, with Germany absorbing almost half of what it produces (with a 42% share, marking a 5.8% increase). It is followed by France (14% of the total share, +9.5%) and Austria (8% share). Finally, the country where Italy’s exports performed best was Spain, with a 12.8% increase.

Fruit and vegetable production in 2017 in Italy
In 2017, Italy produced about 18,400,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables for fresh consumption (including potatoes), up 3% compared to 2016 (Source: CSO). More than 6,000,000 tonnes of fresh fruit were produced, 5% less than in 2016, whereas 9,500,000 tonnes of vegetables were produced, 8% more than in 2016, of which about 1,400,000 tonnes were potatoes. Citrus fruit production, which has now reached about 2,900,000 tonnes, has grown by 5% compared to 2016.

For further information, please visit: www.macfrut.com
Elena Vincenzi/Luca Speroni
International Press Office Macfrut c/o fruitecom

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