Thousands of people are preparing for their trip to Berlin, where from 6 to 8 February the 2019 edition of Fruit Logistica will take place. Setting up the event itself takes a lot of preparation as well and it’s about time to see what can be expected from the biggest fair of the year.
More than 3,000 exhibitors from 90 countries around the globe return to Fruit Logistica year after year. Madlen Miserius, Senior product manager for Fruit Logistica, claims that next to the old and familiar, visitors can expect some new and fresh faces as well: “While we are extremely proud to have so many longstanding and faithful customers, we are also pleased to welcome new exhibitors to Berlin. Armenia, for example, is taking part with a national pavilion for the first time. In addition we have a number of exciting new features – whether you're a visitor or an exhibitor. In Hall 9 we are not only adding a new exhibition space with its own entrance, but also further strengthening the Machinery & Technology segment, which has continuously gained importance over the past few years. Hall 9 will also be the site of our first Start-up Day event on Friday, 8 February 2019.”
Start-up Day is one of the new features for the event. It is created as a unique future-focused platform the for industry. “The idea is to drive innovative change forward across the value chain. As the leading exhibition for the global fruit trade, Fruit Logistica is a perfect venue because this is where all the key industry players come together. Start-up Day focuses on visionary topics: digital farming, ag-tech and supply chain management. On Friday hall 9 will turn into a networking hub for start-ups and established companies within the entire fresh produce sector.” Miserieus says. “Let me give you one example: The progress in digital transformation is being exploited by the Dutch ag-tech start-up PATS Indoor Drone Solutions. Small drones autonomously attack flying insects and pests. With this solution, harmful insects, such as moths, are detected and eliminated. This prevents further spread of the pest, reduces the need for (bio) insecticides, and minimizes the work involved in plant protection. Another highlight will be the Start-up Stage showcasing 20 start-ups presenting their business models and talking about new technologies as well as their future visions for the industry.”
According to Miserius, more than 75,000 trade professionals from over 130 countries are set to visit Fruit Logistica 2019: “Our trade visitors are top-level decision-makers from all over the world. Three out of four trade visitors hold a leading management position in their companies. 85 percent of the trade visitors are involved in the purchasing and procurement decision-making process within their company. Therefore we hope for our customers that there will be a record number of business deals.”
Although there seems to be more competition for a exhibition like Fruit Logistica, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: "Competition keeps us and others innovative and helps us to be even more creative. Fruit Logistica is the leading industry event and has become a very important ritual for the key players in the world of fresh produce. Companies representing the whole value chain meet in Berlin - from seeds to retailer, but the core focus is the producer, the trader and the buyer,” Miserius explains: “The key elements of success are really quite simple, we are making sure that we deliver the best business opportunities, the best innovation and the best information to the global fresh produce trade so that they want to come here and do their business, launch their products and learn more about the sector.”
At the Holland-pavilion more and more Dutch greenhouse suppliers have made their entry. Miserius doesn’t want to choose between a focus on traders or production. “We believe that both are linked to each other and we are expecting a growth for both, the traders and the producers. We are convinced that the greenhouse and greenhouse technology sector is full of innovative power which shows at Fruit Logistica. That’s why we feature the topic in the Future Lab and the Fresh produce Forum. Greenhouse technology from the Netherlands has been setting the international standard for horticulture for over a century. New technologies, such as LEDs and robots are rapidly developing.”
For Miserius the upcoming online retail is an interesting sector to keep an eye on. “The fresh produce procurement decision makers of online retailers have become an essential channel partner for growers, exporters, importers and distributors who are present at Fruit Logistica from 90 countries around the world. Information plays an equally important role for Fruit Logistica participants. Fruit Logistica Trend Report 2018 reported on the rise of online retail and the implications for bricks-and-mortar retail regarding their profitability. The report explores the impact that online retail may have if their market share gained significantly in the fresh produce sector. This year the Fruit Logistica Trend Report 2019 scrutinizes the role of fresh produce in the grocery retail business. ‘Surprises in Store’ offers new insights into how a number of factors are influencing consumer demand.”
Fruit Logistica has always been a stage where intellectual minds share their vision, experience and expertise. These speakers are a fundamental part of the event, says Miserius: “Knowledge and expertise form the best foundation for solid business planning and sound decisions in an increasingly complex world. I can highly recommend the comprehensive Fruit Logistica supporting program from 6 to 8 February to everyone who is interested in innovative solutions and current trends. A detailed program overview is available under Events on the Fruit Logistica website. All of the speakers will be top-class. Nevertheless there is one event I would like to point out to you since it’s going to be a premiere at Fruit Logistica: The Global Women’s Network which is taking place on 8 February from 10 to 11.30 am in hall 6.3. Three passionate women in the industry Viviane Schappo , Monica Bratuti and Julie Escobar have put together more than 25 years of experience to create the first network event for Women in the Produce Industry at Fruit Logistica. Amongst others Linda Carobbi from Italy, Jenny Du from the United States and Ebby Loo from Malaysia will “rock the boat” at this network event.”