Record edition of Macfrut launched

9 May 2018

The international showcase for the fruit and vegetable sector has officially opened. Today marked the beginning of the 35th edition of Macfrut, the international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector held at the Rimini Expo Centre until 11 May, with an opening ceremony attended by Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Administration, Juan Guillermo Zuluaga Cardona, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia (Partner Country 2018), Giuseppe Pan, Councillor of Agriculture of the Veneto Regional Administration (Partner Region 2018) and Paolo De Castro, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut, began by saying, ‘Macfrut is growing not only in terms of quantity, with 10% more exhibition space than last year and 100% more over the last four editions, but also - and especially - in terms of quality.’ He then continued, ‘Colombia is our Partner Country and is one of the main fruit and vegetable producing countries in Latin America. In fact, its fruit and vegetable sector is growing strongly and requires technology and packaging, so it is also an important market for our exports and technologies.’

‘War, fear and terror must be overcome, making room for a new Colombia where agriculture can truly be the driving sector,’ said Juan Guillermo Zuluaga Cardona, Minister of Agriculture of Colombia. ‘Our products, which are not just coffee and bananas, are exported to many countries around the world. Over the last year, exports have increased in double digits and the European Union is an essential partner for us.’

Paolo De Castro, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, made a heartfelt appeal for Europe to be united and strong: ‘We must support agricultural policies, and we have recently celebrated the success of the Omnibus reform of the CAP, which has further strengthened farmers’ organisations that no longer need to keep worrying about antitrust laws, and we must now continue along the same lines.’

Before the ceremonial ribbon was cut, President Renzo Piraccini presented the Macfrut Award in memory of Rolando Drahorad, a key figure in the fruit and vegetable industry and a pioneer in fruit and vegetable marketing. His wife Christine and son Thomas collected the award.

The numbers of Macfrut 2018
The numbers of Macfrut, which has grown exponentially in the last four years, are impressive. Macfrut is spread over 8 halls in an area covering more than 55,000 square metres, with over 1,100 exhibitors, a quarter of which are foreign, more than 1,500 buyers from all over the world attending, and about 100 events including conferences, meetings and seminars to take stock of the international fruit and vegetable industry. There is also a larger number of visitor coaches, organised by companies, associations, magazines and universities, which have increased from 20 at the last edition (including three coaches from abroad) to 50 this year (seven from abroad, coming from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia).

The many novelties at MacfrutInternationalisation and innovation are the two cornerstones of Macfrut, the only supply chain trade fair on the trade fair scene. On a global level, 25% of exhibitors are from abroad, representing more than 40 countries of four continents. There are many new entries (such as Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique, Uzbekistan, Honduras, El Salvador and Greece) and numerous individual foreign exhibitors in single exhibition spaces, along with the presence of the world’s leading distribution chains.
Also on an international level, there has been a significant increase in the number of global buyers, which are now more than 1,500, with major producers and importers of tropical fruits expected to attend the first European summit of the Tropical Fruit Congress. The support of ICE-Agenzia for promotion abroad and the internationalisation of Italian companies and the support of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Administration, aimed in particular at incoming Chinese buyers, played 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, a global leader in credit insurance.
Another great novelty is the AcquaCampus dynamic area: a 500-square metre demonstration field where visitors can see cutting-edge irrigation systems in operation, presented by world-leading companies.
Macfrut is also a trade fair packed with interesting content. Approximately 100 events are scheduled, including conferences, business meetings and conventions personally organised by exhibitors, with a major European Summit on tropical fruits, the Tropical Fruit Congress dedicated to mangoes and avocados.

Fruit and vegetable sector: the cornerstone of the agri-food industry
The production value of the fruit and vegetable sector, a key sector for the Italian agri-food industry, has reached 12 billion and 329 million euros, which accounts for 25% of the production value of the entire agricultural sector. Italy ranks among global leaders with more than 10 million tonnes of fruit produced per year, comprising fruit, citrus fruits and table grapes. Greenhouse and open field vegetables, along with pulses, potatoes and table olives, account for more than 15 million tonnes (Source: CSO Italy).
The year 2017 will be remembered as the year of record-breaking exports. In fact, for the first time, exports exceeded €5 billion (+5.1% to be precise, marking a 2.5% increase), therefore the fruit and vegetable sector ranks second – after wine – in terms of value in the Italian agri-food industry (Source: ICE Agenzia).

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

Elena Vincenzi/Luca Speroni

International Press Office Macfrut c/o fruitecom

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