Fruit Today euromagazine interviewed Silvia de Juanes, Head of Communications at Fruit Logistica for Spain and LatAm , who explained the new edition of the trade fair’s latest developments and stressed the importance of the Spanish delegation at the event
Another edition of Fruit Logistica, how is it looking this year?
At its first edition over 25 years ago, there was a small international participation whereas today 90% of the exhibitors and around 80% of the trade visitors come from abroad. Fruit Logistica brings together the main agents from the worldwide industry and provides the ideal setting for doing business, as well as being the place to find out about the sector’s most relevant topics. This year, from the organisation, we want to promote the possibility of ‘connecting’. For this reason, we have created three new networking platforms with different interests: Start-Up Day, Career Network and the “Global Women´s Network.”
Has the number of exhibitors increased? Are there any important new developments?
We will have over 3,000 companies from 80 countries. Regarding new developments, new references are being presented for the first time that are generating great interest at the Start-Up Day. In addition to being able to visit the exhibitors in Hall 9, the projects will be presented during a session on Friday.
There is a prominent Spanish presence at the trade fair. What is the total number of Spanish exhibitors this year?
Spain’s importance in the worldwide fresh produce trade is reflected by the participation of around 400 companies. The Spanish participation, along with the Italian and Dutch presence, forms one of the most important delegations and it makes up 13% of all the exhibitors.
As a new event this year, within ‘Fruity Friday’, you are going to hold the “Global Women’s Network”, what does this consist of?
The Global Women´s Network event is a great opportunity for the women in the fruit and vegetable world to be able to exchange ideas, work together and promote worldwide farming.
As in society, is the sector becoming more aware of the importance of the women who work in it?
At Fruit Logistica, we are aware that women hold an increasingly important role within the companies in the sector, and we have developed a networking event to place extra value on this, to let them get to know each other and to become more visible and take on more a more leading role.
We believe that, at least in part, the problem lies in the fact that there still is this ingrained idea that farming businesses are men’s work… and this is no longer the case. For this reason, Fruit Logistica has organised the first “Global Women’s Network”, at which Vivianne Schappo, manager for Latin America of Robinson Fresh; Monica Bratuti, chairwoman of Turners International Marketing; and Julie Escobar, vice-chairwoman of SunWorld, will all take part. The session will take place on the 8th of February, at 10 am in Hall 6.3, room B.
Which other events should not be missed by visitors and/or exhibitors?
I am tempted to add discovering the products by the 10 finalists for the FLIA prize for innovation, the 20 projects from Start-Up Day and the talks from the Future-Lab to the list. In addition to this, there will be highly interesting talks about BREXIT and the new German container and packaging law, amongst other topics.
Which tools is the trade fair putting at the disposal of exhibitors and visitors?
Visitors should ought to look at the conference programme beforehand to ensure they do not miss any details and they can register on the Virtual Market Place (VMP) to contact the exhibitors. This platform means that any visitor who registers can be contacted, with over 77,000 professionals from the sector on the platform.
Finally, what challenges and aims does Fruit Logistica expect to encounter over the next few years?
We believe in the sector’s innovative force, and at Fruit Logistica we have created many spaces for innovation in different formats (such as the Future Lab, Spotlight, Start-Up Day, FLIA prize for innovation, TechStage, etc.). The Berlin trade fair is well-known as the most important international trade fair in the sector, where professionals find answers to all their queries.