Renzo Piraccini, Chairman of the Macfrut Fair:

'Perishability of stone fruit is our main problem'

All the important players in the European and world-wide fruit and vegetable industry will be gathering for the Macfrut Fair in the Italian city of Rimini from 9 to 11 May. During the three days of the fair, the entire value creation chain -from the early harvest sector, through production, marketing to processing and packaging machines and logistics - will be addressed. Renzo Piraccini - President of the show - is currently seeing some big challenges within the fruit industry.

Renzo Piraccini at last year's Macfrut

Mr Piraccini, you have already marked the Macfrut Fair 2018 as more international than ever. What is the long-term growth potential of the fair?
"The Macfrut has, in my view, a unique meaning within the industry. It is the only fair that is truly representative of the entire fruit and vegetable industry, in the sense that all the links in the value chain -from growers to retailers- are represented. During the three days of the trade fair, the trade visitor will have the opportunity to see all the latest news in the industry and to establish new business contacts. It is for a reason that the exhibition space has doubled in the last four years. In addition, the number of exhibitors has increased by 38 percent and the number of visitors by 50 percent. A quarter of the visitors are now foreign. These are impressive numbers that show the great potential of this event and I am sure that the fair will continue to grow in the coming years.”

German companies such as Biolchim, Dole, and the retail chain Rewe are represented on the Macfrut as well. What is the significance of the fair for the German market?
“The German presence is still small and the only German exhibitors at the show are actually pre-harvest technology companies, as well as the supermarket chain Rewe. However, German buyers in the fruit and vegetable sector like to come to the trade fair as trade visitors. This year, we're seeing a lot of interest from the importers for the Tropical Fruit Congress, which is dedicated to mango and avocado.”

Because of today’s trouble with the weather, protective solutions (foil tunnels, hail nets, etc.) are an important topic at the moment. Will these challenges be discussed at the trade fair?
"The problem of crop protection against climate impacts and the rational use of water are the two current issues in our sector. Not only are there many exhibitors with technological solutions at the fair, but we have also organized events where these topics will be discussed. Because Macfrut is not just an exhibition, but a content event. We are truly part of the fruit and vegetable supply chain and our expertise in the industry is our added value.”

To what extent is the importance of Italian products waning through the steady rise of exotic fruit (avocado, mango and papaya)?
“Consumption is changing significantly and avocados and mangoes are very popular despite the steadily increasing prices across Europe. The only way to stabilize the consumption of Italian fruits is to focus on quality, even at higher prices.”

During the fair, the current forecasts for peaches and nectarines are mentioned and discussed. What is the current production situation in terms of cultivated area, average yields and export figures?
"The European production forecasts are in fact an opportunity to take stock of this chain, which has had serious problems in recent years. The perishability of the products is the main problem and in the case of surplus without protection, prices go down considerably. In recent years, Italy has reduced its production from 1.7 million tonnes to around 1.3 million tonnes. At the same time Spain increased from 1.2 million tons to 1.5 million tons. In the case of full production, we have structural surpluses, because today's European market simply does not need 3.9 million tonnes of peaches. Furthermore, because of the perishable nature of the product, it is difficult to export outside Europe.”

For more information:
Cesena Fiera
Renzo Piraccini
Via Dismano 3845
47522 Cesena (FC) - Italien
Tel.: +39 0547 317435
Fax: +39 0547 318431

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