After four long years, Fructura reopened its doors to those interested in growing fruit. The triennial trade fair was postponed by one year due to the global pandemic. But from May 18 to 20, it was held in the Trixxo Arena in Hasselt, the Netherlands, and, naturally, AGF.nl attended again.
Visitor numbers, sadly, did not reflect the exhibitors' enthusiasm. The empty aisles on Wednesday and, especially Thursday - when they had to contend with groups of school children grabbing what they could from stands - worried them. However, the organizers reported that they had received positive feedback from participants. That was mainly thanks to the content of the talks the organizers held, which the exhibitors found to be of good quality.
Fructura's organizers say more than 2,000 people visited the fair over the three days. On Wednesday and Thursday, there were about 450 visitors. That number tripled to around 1,200 people on Friday. This increase confirms the organizers' and exhibitors' suspicion that visitor numbers were disappointing because the event was held during the week.
They say that is why fewer "day-trippers" came to the Trixxo Arena. Also, many exhibitors thought the good weather kept the growers themselves in their fields, but Friday's less-good weather would have aroused interest.
About 115 exhibitors filled the 10,000 m² exhibition hall. Among them, the severe weather that hit the Netherlands on Thursday was the main topic of discussion. There was, of course, relief that it was finally raining after such a long dry spell. However, there was concern about that weather's extent. The storms did cause damage among Dutch fruit growers, so the Belgian participants kept a close eye on the weather sites.
People were generally pleased to see each other in person again but hope the next edition's visitor numbers will be better. The organizers will look into making it a two-day event next time. That will allow a little less spread of visitors. In any case, the next Fructura will be held in November, when the weather is far less likely to be as good.