Normally in January the entire fresh produce sector would be preparing to head to Berlin for Fruit Logistica. This year everything is different and the Fruit Logistica Special Edition will take place on 18, 19,20 May. We asked Madlen Miserius Senior Produce Manager for Fruit Logistica about her expectations for this special edition.
How do you plan to organize an exhibition, if you look at the current lockdown?
It’s very clear to everyone that in the current conditions it simply wouldn’t have been possible to hold Fruit Logistica as an on-site event in February as always. So when it takes place in May, our Fruit Logistica Special Edition 2021 gives the global fresh produce business the first opportunity in almost 18 months to meet face-to-face in a safe, COVID-secure environment. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the situation in May, when combined with our new concept, will make it possible to meet onsite here in Berlin.
Do you have a plan B (digital) in case the organization may be impossible in May due to the Corona Virus?
This new concept of Fruit Logistica Special Edition is our plan B. At this stage we are not planning a purely digital event. We plan an on-site event with digital elements. We all know that trust between buyer and seller plays an essential role in the fresh produce business. And to build that trust it is clear that face-to-face meetings are essential. That's why we want to make them possible.
How many exhibitors have been registered to date? What numbers are you expecting?
As we speak more than 500 companies from more than 50 countries have registered. Even though Fruit Logistica Special Edition 2021 is reducing the total space available, it still offers the opportunity for a maximum number of registered companies to showcase their products onsite.
Look, it’s clear that the number of participants Fruit Logistica Special Edition does not bear comparison with the numbers that came to Fruit Logistica in February 2020. But our focus isn’t on huge numbers in 2021, it’s on the quality of the people and businesses that will attend. And that’s always our top priority at Fruit Logistica.
From which countries/continents/sectors are the most exhibitors coming from? Do you see a shift or change?
Fruit Logistica Special Edition 2021 brings together in a completely new way every area of the fresh fruit and vegetable value chain. Our more compact format divides the business into seven separate segments or product areas namely: fresh produce, packaging, logistics, seeds & fertilisers, machinery & technology, greenhouse technology, and cultivation equipment. Almost half of the registered companies are from the fresh produce sector, and more than 20 percent are from the machinery and technology sector.
The country-pavilions will be divided in a different way. How were the reactions?
We have received very positive feedback from the organisers of national pavilions. They are aware that this new situation needs them to make adjustments. We are in close contact with each of them to find the solution that guarantees the best business result for them at Fruit Logistica Special Edition 2021.
When everything is back to normal, will you than go to the old structure?
What I can already say for certain is that Fruit Logistica 2022 will take place again in February. When preparing an event our premise is always to facilitate the best business, show the best innovations, and give the best information. And this will also be our focus in the preparation of Fruit Logistica 2022.
Can you give our readers a peak into the digital elements that will be added?
Fruit Logistica Special Edition will be supported by a series of online tools within our redesigned Virtual Market Place. It is designed to help participants better plan their visit, connect with key players of the industry, and strengthen business relationships. Our exhibitors will benefit from our new digital package: it includes online scheduling of business meetings, online presentation of participating companies, and chat functions. Furthermore, access to the full event programme will be live and on demand. The new Virtual Market Place will be online in the course of February.
How will the innovations be presented this year?
Fruit Logistica Special Edition 2021 showcases the latest innovations in one central space on the fairground at Messe Berlin. Every innovation at every part of the value chain is highlighted within an exclusive area called “The Innovation Club”. The new format consists of two areas: The Innovation Zone, and Innovation Insights & Awards. The Innovation Zone includes dedicated exhibitor stands for innovative companies that want to showcase their new products or solutions live; Innovation Insights & Awards features every nominee of the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA), and honours outstanding fresh produce innovations from farm-gate to supermarket shelf that have gone to market in the 12 months before the event.
Spotlight highlights the latest product launches and premieres featured Fruit Logistica Special Edition already before the start of the event. And the The Future Lab is an event programme of expert presentations about the future of the industry that focuses on the next products and solutions to hit the market before 2025.