The international launch that Spain had been waiting for – Organic Food Iberia and Eco Living Iberia, Spain’s biggest trade event dedicated to organic food and sustainable products, has been hailed a significant and overwhelming success by its joint-organisers Diversified Communications and IFEMA.
The inaugural event, which took place earlier this month on 6-7 June, wrapped its first show at IFEMA Feria de Madrid with 5,240 attendees. From doors opening, the aisles were packed with big-name organic food retailers, multiple health stores owners, supermarket buyers, distributors and wholesalers – and not to mention plenty of Spanish press, TV and radio – all looking to spot trend-setting organic food and sustainable innovations (including eco-living and beauty products) from 500 participating exhibitors.
Anticipated as one the most important organic events this year, the show has benefited from strong government support since the beginning, including the backing of the Ministry of Agriculture from Spain and Portugal.
Carmen Crespo Díaz, Minister of agriculture, livestock, fisheries and sustainable development in the Andalusian Regional Government; José Miguel Herrero Velasco, general director of agri-food industries; Fernando Miranda, general secretary of food and agriculture, Jaime Ferreira, president AgroBio Portugal; and Dr. Miguel João Pisoeiro de Freitas, secretary of state of forestry and rural development at Ministry of Agriculture Portugal – were all welcomed to the show in a special opening-day ceremony, which took place early afternoon on 6 June.
Francisco Javier Maté, sub director general at Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, comments that Organic Food Iberia and Eco Living Iberia is “an opportunity in a very well-regulated market” which help “unite producers, companies and administration, all in one place.”
Carsten Holm, managing director of Diversified Communications UK, is delighted with how successfully the launch has been received: “The organic sector is growing rapidly in Spain and Portugal, with Spain already established as the leading producer of organic in Europe.”
“Consumer interest is now following and growing rapidly. There is no doubt that this region has a significant organic and sustainable food production movement – so we were confident the show would do well. But we could never have prepared ourselves for the incredible reception that we have received from both exhibitors and thousands of buyers. It instantly felt like an established event with a great atmosphere, and everyone is saying that it was long overdue.”
“In over 30 years of organising trade shows this is, without a doubt, the most successful launch I’ve been involved with. I’ve no doubt that the event will go on to further establish itself as the essential event on the international calendar – not just for Spain and Portugal, but as a truly world-class international trade show!” he says.
“Impressive representative of organic in Spain”
Feedback across the show floor has been full of praise for the launch, including positive testimonials from leading supermarkets, big-name buyers, and exhibitors.
“It’s an event with an impressive representative of organic in Spain. We hope that in the future we will see even more foreign producers, so we can discover and compare what is being done in other markets too. The show has been a complete success for us, and I would like to thank the organisers for developing such a professional show of this level in Madrid,” says Raquel Herzog, bio market manager at Carrefour.
“Attending Organic Food Iberia has been a great experience. It was about time that Spain, as the largest producer of organic products, had a fair like this. It deserves it, and for professionals like us it has been very interesting. I found a great variety of products and exhibitors for my business, and of course, I'll be attending next year's edition,” says Rocio Babio Rios, Gestora Compras, Gadisa Retail S.L.U.
“We have discovered a great variety of products here, so we are very happy with our visit. There have also been some surprises, like discovering some types of oils and new soft drinks that can be very useful for our customers. We’d love to come back again next year,” says Leonardo Gómez Foronda, chef at Chateauform.
Exhibitor Javier Rees from Reed Export Consulting comments: “I just wanted to say thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in what was a very successful show. The feedback that we are receiving from both exhibitors and buyers alike has been very positive. The Spanish organic food and drink industry was crying out for a professional, local trade fair, and you certainly delivered. I hope we can continue to collaborate in future editions.”
“Organic Food Iberia is a great chance to reach many people in the industry. It’s useful for the wine sector because, if you are a smaller company, this kind of professional event is great to make you known in the market. We will definitely be back next year!” says exhibitor Rocío Pinto from Marqués de Riscal.
More than 60 education sessions covered a wide variety of topics in four dedicated theatres – Organic Talks, Wine Talks, Eco Living Talks, and La Cocina “Alimentos de España” sponsored by Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture. Well-known, respected chefs took to the stage to demo the best organic recipes, whilst industry thought leaders shared exclusive insights about organic wine, agriculture, rural development, sustainable restaurants, climate change, biodegradable plastics, food waste, and more.
Another show feature that certainly generated a wealth of visitor interest was the New Product Showcases. With many launches timed specifically to coincide with the event, attending buyers were able to enjoy an exclusive preview of exciting new product developments, plus were able to vote for their favourite products throughout the day on 6 June. The winners were then announced in a dedicated award ceremony – for the first Eco & Organic Awards Iberia – after the show.