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Photo report: World Food MoscowThe World Food trade show was held from 11 to 14 September in Moscow. The fair welcomed 1,433 companies representing 65 countries and about 30,000 visitors. Sixty-one percent of these were Russian. There were three exhibition halls filled with fresh produce from all corners of the globe. There were many stands from Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. Countries like Mexico, Peru and Argentina were also well represented. The Russians had impressive stands; Azerbaijan was present with mainly tomato-related companies and Poland with hard fruit. China was also well represented.
Once upon a time there were dozens of Dutch and Belgian export companies with stands at this show. That is now a thing of the past. The Dutch company, Interko, was there and Hoofdman Roodzant from the same country booked a last-minute stand. The six Belgian exhibitors joined forces with VLAM (The Flemish Centre for the promotion of agricultural, fish and other fresh produce), who were also there. Their common goal was connecting with existing clients. The trade being done at present is exporting products that do not have any importation restrictions.
According to Dries Sebrechts of DSF, "(Belgian) leaders need to be more sypathetic to the Russian point of view. They need to learn from their mistakes so that relations with Russia can be repaired."
The general consensus among the exhibitors was that the boycott has been going on for too long now. What has it accomplished? Countries have dug in their heels, resulting in a deadlock. It will not be easy to recover from this decision. Turkey has leapt at the chance to export fresh produce to Russia. The question is whether Russia is still waiting for produce from the EU. Their own production has increased immensely and will continue to do so in the future. Russia's neighbouring countries are growing better quality produce and the routes and contacts to countries across the world have been established.
Various fruit and vegetable producers from the Netherlands and Belgium came to the trade fair as visitors. Some out of curiosity, others to meet up with their existing international clients. See the photo report for an impression of the event.
Author and photographer: Andries Gunter
Publication date: 9/21/2017
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