Macfrut has already started planning the 2018 edition, which will be held next year at the Rimini Expo Centre from 9th to 11th May. Once again, Macfrut will feature many innovations, analysing and showcasing trends in the diverse fruit and vegetable industry.
These are the strategic guidelines for a trade fair that will be full of new features and contents, for both exhibitors and visitors, once again laying emphasis on its two mainstays: internationalisation and innovation.
The main theme of the 35th edition will be Radicchio, which has gone from being a poor product to a symbol of “Made in Italy” excellence. The positive trend of this horticultural product is a good example of “rebirth”: until a few years ago, it was given little consideration also due to its low quality, but today it is highly valued by consumers and haute cuisine.
The Partner Region will be Veneto, which has always been one of the cornerstones of the Italian fruit and vegetable industry, since it boasts more than 9,800 hectares of horticultural crops grown in the open and 20,000 hectares of fruit trees.
To prove that internationalisation remains one of the key themes of the event, the chosen Partner Country is Colombia. In fact, many business opportunities are now available with this country following the peace process that started a few months ago. Colombia is a major fruit importer, with 350,000 tonnes of fruit imported every year, of which 100,000 tonnes of apples that also come from Europe and Italy. There are also good prospects for the kiwifruit market. Colombia is also a leading fruit and vegetable producer, with a yearly production of approximately 9 million tonnes, 1.8 million of which are exported, mostly including bananas but other types of tropical fruits are also grown, such as avocados.
One of the great innovations will be the Tropical Fruit Congress, a Forum that may even become an annual event dedicated to tropical fruit, a segment that is becoming more and more appreciated by consumers (last year, Italian consumption of tropical fruit increased by 2.1%). A comprehensive overview will be given in order to promote tropical fruit, focusing on where and when it is produced, how it is transported, how it is preserved, how it is sold, and how it is consumed. In fact, tropical fruit is still not very well known among consumers but also among buyers and retail store managers.
Another three initiatives of the current edition of Macfrut have been confirmed, with new special focuses: the New Retail Solution, dedicated to retail stores in the future, will pay special attention to a new way of displaying tropical fruit in stores; Macfrut Organic, in cooperation with CCPB, focusing on the rapidly growing organic farming segment of which Italy is a leader as a producer of organic fruit and vegetables; and Macfrut in the Field, featuring field demonstrations of precision horticulture 2.0 machines and equipment.
Given that Macfrut is not just a trade fair but also an international development hub for the fruit and vegetable sector, the programme of the first road shows has already been prepared, which will be aimed at promoting both the trade fair and the Italian fruit and vegetable supply chain. Three continents will be involved: Asia (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan), Africa (Ethiopia and Angola) and South America (Colombia and Chile). Due to the great success of “Macfrut in the Field” and the international interest in Italian agricultural technology, some of these stages will involve practical demonstrations of agricultural machinery for the horticultural sector.