The world’s most international fresh produce event returns to Berlin on 5-7 February 2020, as the global fruit and vegetable industry targets greater sustainability, further innovation and a brighter future. With 3,300 exhibitors from 93 countries – more than ever before – taking part in this year’s show, Fruit Logistica once again plays host to the largest congregation of fruit and vegetable companies and professionals on the planet.
Demonstrated by the sheer breadth and variety of products on display courtesy of this year’s official partner country Ecuador, the scale of Fruit Logistica 2020 reflects the wide array of top-quality, fresh fruit and vegetables now reaching the international market. For many of the country’s exporters, visiting the show will create new commercial opportunities. “Our mission is to open up to new markets in Europe,” says Luis Rojas, president of the Santa Rosa Small Agricultural Producers Association. “We are going to Berlin to meet potential buyers who, with their purchases, will help rural agriculture families to progress.”
Trade visitors can also discover an industry that is rising to meet several major challenges, with improved sustainability top of the list. As the Fruit Logistica Trend Report 2020, Do The Right Thing (Right), explains, an increasing number of buyers and consumers are looking for sustainable supply models that address issues like climate change and corporate social responsibility. As a result, fresh produce companies stand to gain a key commercial advantage if they can ensure products are grown, sourced and distributed in a more ethical and environmentally friendly manner. Many of the suppliers and service providers exhibiting in Berlin appear more than ready to seize that opportunity.
As Madlen Miserius, Senior Product Manager at Fruit Logistica explains, the event continues to draw in an expanding number of exhibitors with unrivalled potential to grow the business. “Over the next three days, you will meet the best in the global fresh produce trade,” she promises. “You will receive the best insights, get to know the best innovations and benefit from the best networking opportunities. Simply put, you will be able to do the best business!”
Change for the better is a running theme
Being the best when it comes to sustainability is a theme that runs throughout the world’s leading fruit and vegetable trade exhibition. This was very much in evidence during the event’s official Media Preview, where concerted action on sustainability and a commitment to innovation emerged as the key trends at this year’s show. Those themes will feature prominently across a unique series of events and awards that makes Fruit Logistica the marquee appointment in the business calendar for visitors from 130 countries across the globe.
In Hall 9, Smart Horticulture Global’s new 44 Minutes format to bring much-needed focus to topics like integrated pest management, vertical farming, and robotics and AI. Elsewhere, exhibitors and trade visitors can get expert advice on major industry topics at the Fresh Produce Forum in Hall B/CityCube; get to know innovative products and concepts in the Future Lab (Hall 27); learn about issues affecting distribution networks at the Logistics Hub (Hall 26); and see the technologies of tomorrow at the Tech Stage (Hall 9).
Investing in people and nurturing their development represents a hugely important piece in the sustainability picture at Fruit Logistica 2020: the event’s commitment to promoting the role of women continues with the return of the Global Women’s Network, while the Networking Lounge in Hall 10.1 will transform into the new Fruit Logistica Career Network Area on Friday, 7 February, offering vacancies and other professional opportunities for students, graduates, young professionals or industry-experienced experts.
Navigate the produce world
This year’s revised exhibition layout has simplified the trade fair for visitors by grouping countries and segments together. In Hall 8.1, for example, specialists in greenhouse technology will exhibit alongside one another, offering visitors a one-stop for that particular part of the business. Leading international exhibitors – including BayWa, Edeka, Fresh Del Monte, GlobalGAP, SanLucar and Zespri, as well as a strong Belgian contingent represented by VLAM – now occupy Messe Berlin’s brand new Hall 27, the venue’s largest single exhibition space. Just around the corner in Hall B, meanwhile, visitors can find even more products and services from South-East Europe and the Mediterranean.
Concern over coronavirus
This year’s Fruit Logistica will be missing many of its valued customers – exhibitors and trade visitors – who attend every year from China, an unavoidable consequence of the recent coronavirus outbreak. Just a day prior to the event, it is understood that around 50 per cent of Chinese companies had cancelled their participation.
Who will win the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2020?
The Fruit Logistica Innovation Award remains one of the most highly coveted prizes in fresh produce business, in large part because each year’s winner is chosen by members of the industry who visit the trade fair. For two days on 5-6 February, any of the tens of thousands of people attending the event can vote for their preferred choice – naturally having first cast their eye over the ten selected nominees at a special showcase between Halls 20 and 21. On the final day, Friday 7 February, the winning product, service or technical solution will be announced during a special ceremony in the same place at 2:30pm.