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Photo report Interaspa 2019: asparagus and berry sector is in full development

During this year's Interaspa at the farm Oelkers in Wenzendorf, many exhibitors from the national and international asparagus and berry sector showed their innovations. The focus was primarily on variety development, product packaging as well as harvesting and processing technology. Despite the presence of some companies from Eastern Europe and Italy, the fair remains primarily an important meeting place for German and Dutch experts.

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Fred Eickhorst and Margitta Wülbers of the organizing Asparagus Handels- und Vertriebs-LLC

Variety of asparagus and berry fruits
Nowadays, a wide range of varieties characterizes both the asparagus and the berry sector: every year, a large number of new varieties with different product characteristics are approved on the market. Many refiners and marketers of young plants were also present at Interaspa to introduce trade visitors and interested parties to the latest, innovative varieties. The asparagus market for several years has been shifting from the classic white asparagus to green and purple varieties. Parallel to this trend, white asparagus is still on the market, mainly in the early sector, such as 'Robbems' from Nunhems, from Holland.

Michael Hirschelmann and Johannes Zott from Glaeser

There is also a lot going on in the field of varietal diversity for the berry fruits. The aim is to provide the northern European consumer strawberries 12 months a year; strawberries that meet their needs in terms of taste, fruit size and yield per hectare.

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Thomas Frisch of Mefus & Frisch presented a new flow ventilation system for soft fruit.

Packaging: sustainability is still of the essence
The second development area in the asparagus and berry sector is innovative and sustainable packaging concepts. The strategy of the food retailer comprises three main pillars, namely avoidance, reduction and recycling, confirms Frank Schuh of the international packaging group Lorentzen & Sievers. However, new solutions are being introduced for all marketing facilities in the industry, from direct marketing to wholesaling and food retailing, as confirmed by a round-up at Interaspa.

The Hepro team presented the optimized Hepro 1800

The modern solutions include cardboard trays, wooden baskets and asparagus cartons, as well as water-resistant asparagus bags with biodegradable coating. It is not unusual for new solutions to be created during an exchange, as exhibitor Oliver Wendt from Solidus Solutions learned. "During a customer meeting, a new concept for strawberries has emerged. We will certainly continue to work that out."

Oliver Wendt from Solidus Solutions.

Harvesting, sorting, cooling, processing and labeling: the technology behind the product
The technology for harvesting, sorting and cooling the agricultural product was also a particular focus at Interaspa. The demo field outside offered harvesting engineers a great opportunity to demonstrate their practices in practice. The individual stages of product preparation were also shown to the trade visitors on site: Krebeck GmbH, for example, exhibited an extract from its conveyor belt technology. Hepro GmbH presented the optimized model of the peeling system Hepro-1800 with curved belt, which allows for maximum output of 2,400 pc/h with only one employee.

Frank Schuh supplies innovative packaging concepts to the international food retail trade.

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In addition to some of their cooling solutions for asparagus, Mefus & Frisch also presented a brand new air drying system for all berry fruits. The procedure was used for the first time during this year's berry campaign, with success at some German growers. Finally, new labeling solutions were also on display: The Cyklop company has developed a rubber band process for various foods. The weight and volume of the packaging is thus significantly reduced, ending up at about 40 percent below the weight of a flow pack.

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