Berry growers in Germany are already in full preparation for the 2021 season, and the trade fair duo expoSE/expoDirekt is usually a good opportunity for the sector to exchange ideas and find out about the latest trends. For this very reason, the cancellation hits the sector hard: "For us, an important opportunity to exchange ideas with our customers will be lost," says Christian Kruse, commercial director of Haygrove LLC.
Part of the team at the expoSE 2019 booth.
According to Kruse, expoSE is the most important event in the trade fair calendar of the manufacturer of extension and tunnel systems: "They want to show customers what innovations and optimizations they have developed in the past year. At the same time, we can talk to our customers there about what is happening in the sector. Protected cultivation is an important growth market in Germany and still has a lot of potential - we like to hear what our customers are thinking and how we can make their work easier". Even though the company of course still keeps in touch with its customers "there is a gap now", Kruse remarks. "Personal contact is and will always remain the best."
The booth at the expoSE 2019.
There is a lot going on for the German berry producers: "There is clear progress in automation and space optimization. We want to know what the industry is planning and what the future looks like. This helps us to predict what will be needed in the coming months. It would have been very nice to get this feedback in Karlsruhe."
Solid steel chains are used to attach the substrate troughs to the reinforced cross-bracing of the EzyVent tunnel.
The lack of personnel is still the biggest challenge for the industry, Kruse knows: "Especially now, during the crisis, the issue has become even more explosive. On the one hand, it has become even more difficult to find qualified workers, and on the other hand berries are booming once again due to their healthy ingredients. Healthy life and healthy work are top priority and it is a great challenge to address this shortage."
Right: The Pioneer Tunnel is perfectly suited for several crops, such as strawberries
Haygrove would like to develop further: "There are more and more racks and hanging substrate systems on the market. These make picking easier, increase picking speed and in turn reduce personnel costs. Protected cultivation is therefore a good alternative for cultivating fruit reliably and healthily". This year's key topics were therefore more efficient ventilation with EzyVent tunnels and the HSO Oval Steel, which allows tunnels to be built with a greater width, thus making better use of space.
Ventilation of the Gladiator tunnel
Even without the trade shows, Haygrove will not be sitting down in the coming weeks: "We definitely have enough to do. We're in the middle of the tunnel season - growers now have to tweak their cultivation for the coming season. So it's a very interesting season". Fortunately, despite the Corona restrictions, the work flow is still running smoothly so far. Kruse: "It certainly remains interesting."
The shape of the arch of the Pioneer Tunnel is crucial, underpinning the stability.
Note: expoSE 2020 will not take place this year due to corona. Instead, the organizing VSSE will provide a detailed online exhibition directory in the 2nd week of November. For further information please visit expo-se.de & FreshPlaza.de.