The many professionals that make up the entire value chain of the global fruit and vegetable sector will have the opportunity to meet again in Madrid after a long break due to the global COVID-19 health crisis. Fruit Attraction will hold a special edition, which will once again offer the sector the advantages of face-to-face meetings.
Although many companies in the sector have already confirmed their presence as exhibitors at the fair, there is still some uncertainty and indecision, following the upturns in the number of cases observed in much of Europe. Those who have made the decision to set up their stand at Fruit Attraction explain why they have chosen to do so.
Planasa: "Now is the time to have a positive attitude".
"Exhibiting at Fruit Attraction gives us an opportunity to meet with all our national and international clients and with potential ones who do not yet know us or have only met us virtually", says Paula Crespo, Marketing Manager of Planasa, one of the world's leading operators when it comes to plant varieties and nurseries, especially in the berry sector. "Little by little, Fruit Attraction has become a meeting point and the sector's leading event for practically every country in the world. It is remarkable how the fair keeps growing each year and how new markets and new companies are joining in the important work of dissemination and organization that is carried out."
Representatives of Planasa at the latest regular edition of Fruit Attraction.
"Not having been able to participate in person last year has been noticeable in the sense of not being able to meet in person with customers and retailers to discuss and finalize what had been discussed in previous visits to the farms. But these visits have also not taken place for the same reason. We believe that the digital format brings a lot of value to bridge the distances that the pandemic has caused and to keep us connected with the reality of the sector, but being physically present is essential to address certain issues and close agreements for collaboration and sales," says Paula Crespo.
"For the time being, we have decided to participate in the next edition. And this will be our position as long as the health situation allows us to guarantee safety, not only for our team, but also for our partners and customers. We are optimistic regarding the possibility of holding the event in person, but we remain cautious and we'll be keeping an eye until the last minute to be sure that the right measures are implemented to guarantee a safe development of the event," he says.
"The message I'd like to send to those who are still undecided is that they should definitely participate while remaining cautious like us, taking into account that a cancellation notice may still arrive in September, or that they themselves may eventually decide that they do not want to take the risk, but now is the time to have a positive attitude. Fruit Attraction and IFEMA are implementing many safety measures and are offering many guarantees against a possible cancellation," he says.
Huercasa: "Our prospect is to recover normality in trade relations".
For the Spanish company Huercasa, Fruit Attraction is one of the best ways to present its new products and formats to the market and to target current and potential customers with them.
Huercasa team at Fruit Attraction 2019.
"The past year has been an atypical one in which we've all had to replace business trips and trade fairs with telematic meetings which, although useful, have made us miss personal contact, which for us is fundamental in the relationship with our customers and suppliers. Our biggest hope is to recover normality in commercial relations, which will also entail recovering a certain normality in our lives. We hope and wish that the circumstances will make it possible for us to hold a normal edition of Fruit Attraction, with many exhibitors and visitors," said the commercial director of Huercasa, Eduardo Lambás.
AM FRESH: "The train is on the move again, and it would make no sense to stay at the station at such a critical time".
"At AM FRESH we understand that Fruit Attraction offers a great opportunity not only to exhibit our products and services, but also to showcase who we are as a company. Moreover, it gives us a unique chance to interact with our ecosystem, strengthen the links we have with other companies, explore new partnerships and, in short, learn from each other," says Patricia Sagarmínaga, Marketing Manager at AM FRESH.
"Over the past year we have seen how trade shows have been replaced by online events, webinars and virtual presentations. Technology has aimed to alleviate the impact of the pandemic as far as possible, but nothing can replace personal interaction and, in a sector like ours, it is not the same to be able to smell, touch and taste a fruit as to see it in a photo or video, nor can you fully appreciate how a fruit looks in the packaging specially designed for it. You have to be there and feel it to make sure that the end consumer will have the best experience," says Patricia.
The AM FRESH team at the latest regular edition of Fruit Attraction
"We are looking forward to meeting again in person with our customers and partners, to see first-hand what has been happening in our sector and what is expected to happen in the near future, as the fresh sector has been one of those that have been boosted by the pandemic. The train is getting back on track and it would make no sense to stay at the station watching it go by at such a critical time."
Netherlands: "The Dutch hall will be full, we even had to book extra space."
Dutch companies have no intention of missing the opportunity to exhibit in person again, as interest is even higher than in other years.
Visit of the Spanish Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Luis Planas to the Dutch hall in 2019.
Yvonne Wigchert, coordinator of the Dutch Holland Fresh Group hall, which will be located in Hall 10, says that so far, the mood is good ahead of the exhibition. "Companies are looking forward to a physical trade fair and to being able to meet again. The Dutch hall is already full. I even had to book extra space."
VOG Consortium (Italy): "We will see how the organizers manage the physical presence and the influx of visitors."
VOG Consortium General Manager Walter Pardatscher says that Fruit Attraction, since its foundation not even 15 years ago, has proven to be one of the most important trade fairs in the sector.
"We are very happy to be able to celebrate this edition in person. While we'll need to remain cautious and take all the necessary precautions, it will be the first international opportunity to meet again in person. We will have to see how the organizers manage the physical presence and the influx of visitors, but it is a first big step towards normality. For us, Fruit Attraction is a very important part of the apple season and we will be there presenting the new varieties of the VOG Consortium. The exhibition will also give us the opportunity to present the new Marlene® campaign, with many new things to discover."
Distrimex (France): "Our core business is centered on exchange and meetings."
"Having a stand at an international event like Fruit Attraction allows us to showcase the company, the products and the brands. Moreover, exchanges with professionals in the sector are necessary in this line of work. The fair is a concentrate of information," says the French importer and exporter Distrimex.
Representatives of Distrimex at the latest edition of Fruit Attraction.
"Due to the health crisis and the impossibility to travel, this edition will be special, as it will be the first major event since the pandemic started. We expect a good turnout despite the restrictions. We will be able to talk with our partners and seek new contacts. We hope to reconnect with our core business, which is centered on exchange and meetings," they say.