Fruit Attraction 2018 beats records and reaffirms itself as one of the main world events for the fresh produce industry

9 November 2018
Fruit Attraction 2018 has closed the doors of its 10th edition with participation by 81,235 professionals from 122 countries, representing a growth of 19% on last year. This event has been decisive for the industry as a whole due to its capacity to bring together fruit and vegetable producers and distributors. The Fair thus demonstrates once again that it is the international meeting point for professionals in the entire supply chain; the right place at the right time. 
Organised by  IFEMA   and  FEPEX , Fruit Attraction 2018, which was held from 23 to 25 October, put on the largest and most complete of all its editions with the participation of 1,621 companies from 40 countries, and an occupation of 51,400 net square metres of sector supply- 15 % more than at the last event-.
The change of the days of the event to Tuesday to Thursday, instead of the usual Wednesday to Friday, was a resounding success, reflected in the 69% growth in visitors on the last day of the fair. These data confirm the effectiveness of extending the activity to three full days with the fundamental objective of enhancing the useful commercial time of the event.
One of the most outstanding aspects was the remarkable increase in international participants which, registering a total of 27,994 professionals from 122 countries, represented an increase of more than 40%. Once again, those from Europe were the most numerous, especially those from Italy, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Belgium, confirming the Fair as a key meeting point for the sector's European marketing and distribution. On this occasion, we should also mention the professionals who attended from Brazil, Chile, Morocco, Peru and South Africa.

In addition, the participants of the Guest Import Market programme, jointly organised with the ICEX Spain Export and Investment, and which this time were Canada and the Arabian Peninsula region, numbered 374 professionals from Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
In terms of exhibitors, international participation accounted for 36% of the total , with 580 companies from 40 countries , especially noteworthy those from the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Greece, and the strong growth of France , as well as non-EU countries like Chile, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina and South Africa, among others, creating a complete southern hemisphere area for the first time. In addition, Angola, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, India, Iran, Mali, Malta, Russia and Serbia participated in the fair for the first time.
Once again, the producer's exhibition area, Fresh Produce, registered the highest representation with the participation of 1,143 exhibitors. The auxiliary industry, with 417 companies, also had an important part to play, demonstrating the strength of the fruit and vegetable chain. 
Flower&Garden Attraction
As a new feature, this year the fair hosted the flower and plant sector in Flower & Garden Attraction. A new key event within this industry, housed exclusively by Hall 1 of IFEMA.
In the words of Guillermo Martínez from Sisanflor, "meeting face to face is what we invest in and we are very happy with this first edition and hope to come for many more years". Antonio Almagro from Moldeados Plásticos Alber, says "We wanted to try it. It is a very big investment as a small company, but necessary if we want to expand". "We attended Flower & Garden Attraction especially for export, making contact with people from other countries. And the national market; being in the central area also had a large number of visitors,” affirms Vicente Gil-Mascarell, of Semillas Mascarell. "The type of customer is different from other fairs, more focused on distribution, supermarkets, supermarket chains; a different audience that also has to be reached", adds Andrés Guzman, of Viveros Guzman. And José Luis Taboada, from Viveros Taboada, points out that "We come to the fair to get ourselves known and to show the product and its quality". 
Exhibition areas at the Fair
In 2018, several areas were further developed, such as the Organic Hub, devoted to companies that produce organic fruit and vegetables; the Smart Agro area, which focuses on the use of new technologies, and the Nuts Hub, where the spotlight is on dried fruit. The Innovation Hub and Foro Innova were the areas dedicated to innovation and new business ideas in the sector.
Here the fair hosted the Accelera Awards for Innovation and Entrepreneurship : of 39 participating companies, the winners were UNITEC, with their product Blueberry Vision 2 Unitec Technology and RIJK ZWAAN IBERICA S.A., with Lechuga Snack.
Technical Seminars Programme
In parallel to the commercial exhibition, Fruit Attraction also staged an extensive programme of technical conferences and activities, which offered professionals a space for debate and exchange of knowledge.  
One of the most notable was the World Fresh Forum, a business and institutional networking space organised jointly with the ICEX to take exploit opportunities in the Arabian Peninsula and Canada. There was also the Biofruit Congress, which debated the future of organic markets; the Walnut Attraction seminar, which analysed the current situation in the walnut industry in Spain and Europe, the International Persimmon Congress, Persimmon Attraction, the 5th International Congress of Seedless Table Grapes, Grape Attraction; Digital Attraction, dealing with experiments, innovation and internationalisation opportunities in Smart Agro, and Technology Attraction, which discussed new opportunities in plant biology. It also hosted other sessions such as Opening New Markets: bilateral negotiations and logistics and Presentation of the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. Fruit Attraction was also the setting for the awards of the Association of Agri-Food Journalists of Spain -APAE-, and Fruit Attraction, which this year went to the journalists David Centellas Navas  and Manuel Ansede and the French magazine Vegetable.
Organised by IFEMA and FEPEX, the 10th edition of Fruit Attraction took place in Hall 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Feria de Madrid from 23 to 25 October and was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, Luis Planas.
The next edition of Fruit Attraction will be held from 22-24 October 2019.

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