The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

115 top stories from Fruit Logistica 2015

Review: After another superb week in Berlin, Eurofruit and the FPJ bring you a bumper crop of highlights from the show

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115 great stories from Fruit Logistica 2015
  1. New products
  2. 1. The Aurora seedless papaya, marketed by Aviv Flowers Packing House in Israel, saw off competitors from Belgium and the Netherlands to collect the coveted Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2015.
  3. 2. Belgian auction BelOrta claimed second prize in the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award for its yellow on-the-vine cherry tomato dubbed Lemoncherry.
  4. 3. Italian firm Naturitalia was exhibiting on its own for the first time and used the opportunity to showcase Jingold-branded kiwifruit, including new green variety Boerica, which is being marketed as Jingold Bliss.
  5. 4. Franco-Moroccan tomato specialist Azura launched its new range of premium tomatoes under the Azura Collection, a selection chosen for the supreme taste of its tomatoes.
  6. 5. France's Agro Selections Fruits has added apples to its taste-oriented range of fruit, Regal'in, which was initially launched for stonefruit in 2012.
  7. 6. Hispalco has introduced pineapples from Benin and cherries from Turkey to its premium range. The Valencia-based company prides itself on the exclusivity of its Monna Lisa, Unicorn and Hispalco Bio brands, which are aimed squarely at the luxury end of the market.
  8. 7. Enzafruit announced increased plantings of its Envy apples in southern Europe, in South Tyrol, Spain and France, where sweet-tasting and rustic-looking apples are especially popular.
  9. 8. Kiwifruit marketer Zespri Europe announced increased availability of its highly sought-after SunGold yellow-flesh kiwifruit this year, allowing for wider promotions in Europe.
  10. 9. Seed company Tozer Seeds was on hand to explain why kale is still a big area of growth for the future, with variety innovation focused on better flavours, unique shapes and colours to introduce novelty.
  11. 10. Dutch importer RoVeg promoted a new line of organic blueberries, part of its Puro Mundo Bio range.
  12. 11. It’s going to be a packed 2015 for vegetable seed developer Rijk Zwaan, with the launch of Sweet Palermo peppers, the expansion of its Salanova lettuce range, the introduction of Silky Pink and Internal Red tomatoes, and a big push for the Dutch group’s Sensational Traditions range.
  13. 12. Brazil’s HLB Specialties revealed it was trialling a two-piece clamshell for its Golden papayas in Europe following the success of a four-piece pack sold through US retailer Costco. Sales director Lorenz Hartmann de Barros said the eye-catching packs provided greater protection for the fruit and allowed it to retain more humidity during coldstorage.
  14. 13. Thai fresh produce exporter Siam Jumbo International launched its ready-to-cook fresh-cut vegetable packs for the European market, and said it was developing organic fruit and vegetable production to supply global markets.
  15. 14. UK-based company CN Seeds launched new, compact coriander and dill varieties. The firm is also building a new seeds technology warehouse, to enable it to expand further.
  16. 15. Japan’s Kochi Prefectural Trade Association presented Yuzu lemons, which are now available for the first time in Europe.
  17. 16. Cyprus company Alion displayed some highly innovative products including purple and white striped aubergines as well as miniature, cube-shaped versions of the same vegetable.
  18. 17. Oh, look out, it's… Darzilla!!!
  19. People
  20. 18. While most people in Hall 25 were distracted by the ever-present Chiquita lady and the Despicable Me minions, Brazilian billionaire and new Chiquita owner José Luis Cutrale (below) spent a few hours on the company’s stand on Wednesday morning before heading off, no doubt for a well-earned banana and orange juice smoothie.
  21. Weitere #Impressionen der #fruitlogistica #messe in #Berlin
    Weitere #Impressionen der #fruitlogistica #messe in #Berlin
  22. 19. Dole’s new general manager for business development in Europe, Sevki Isin, was at the event for meetings with members of the company’s international management team. The group also announced plans to launch a new consumer campaign called My Energy later in the year.
  23. 20. Didier Crabos (below) earned apple brand Pink Lady plenty of press coverage as it celebrated its 20th anniversary: the festivities concluded with the Pink Lady Europe president emerging from a giant cake and singing John Lennon’s Imagine.
  24. 21. For the first time, entire buying teams from both German discounter Aldi Süd and Swiss retail group Migros visited the show. In the past, both companies have apparently only sent one or two people.
  25. 22. Jesper Klausen of Coop Denmark revealed the retailer had just reduced prices on all of its organic fresh fruit and vegetables. “Organic produce is growing in popularity in Denmark,” he explained.
  26. 23. Klaus Josef Lutz and Christiane Bell of BayWa (below) hinted at plans to develop the group’s international fruit business further in 2014, possibly investing in the berry business in Europe and Latin America. The company, which owns Southern Hemisphere-based supplier Turners & Growers, is considering further investments in production this year, following recent acquisitions in New Zealand and Peru.
  27. 24. Zespri's stand packed a clear international flavour, with the kiwifruit giant sending staff from New Zealand, Asia, Europe and South America to this year’s event, including newly promoted chief operating officer Simon Limmer. The company also revealed it had appointed a new representative to develop the South African market.
  28. 25. Philip Smits, former managing director of Dutch marketer The Greenery, was at the show to promote the work of ABZ Seeds, a Netherlands-based strawberry breeding company at which he is now chairman of the board.
  29. 26. German importer Port International’s managing director Mike Port was looking forward to celebrating his company’s 140th anniversary later in the year.
  30. 27. Meeting visitors at French group Compagnie Fruitière’s stand was Matt Smith (below), the company’s new technical manager for bananas, who moved from Mack Multiples in December.
  31. 28. Taking part for the second year, Niels Borgers of United Fresh Services said the Dutch independent banana ripener had enjoyed a strong first full year in operation, and had even opened up to areas such as ripe and ready fruit.
  32. 29. Industry veteran Agim Kalanderi (below left) was giving his son Joni Kalanderi (right) his first taste of Fruit Logistica. Joni began working in the international sales department of Turkish company Özler Tarim in January.
  33. 30. The Sepp Blatter award for outlandish quote of the week had to go to Prof Dr Uwe Schmidt of Humboldt University in Berlin: “We might need to find a new way of producing plants in future, even on remote planets.” Maybe let’s just get to Mars first, eh?
  34. 31. New Zealand-based post-harvest equipment supplier Compac’s new global head of sales and marketing, Mark Riley, attended the event for the first time. The group also unveiled a new look at this year’s trade show.
  35. Brands and campaigns
  36. 32. The Netherlands’ Best Fresh Group unveiled a new brand called Sous Fresh, aimed primarily at customers in the foodservice arena.
  37. 33. The 25-year-old Belgian importer Special Fruit showed off its new BerryFresh logo and label at Fruit Logistica, in addition to new resealable packaging for its berry range.
  38. 34. Italian premium strawberry brand Candonga is targeting the premium end of the market in several European markets over the coming year. Set up by Planitalia, the Candonga Club now has 15 members producing around 11,000 tonnes across 250ha.
  39. 35. French kiwifruit marketer Primland presented its new-look Primland and Oscar logos, plus new tagline 'Be kiwi, be happy’, part of a strategy to position itself as a globally recognised kiwifruit marque and serious contender to Zespri.
  40. 36. Greek exporter Zeus Kiwi announced the coming launch of a new premium brand of kiwifruit named Olympus, devoted especially to the Asian market.
  41. 37. Apple brand Pink Lady hinted at a possible Star Wars tie-in for its Disney-branded Pinkids range later in 2015 by running the trailer for the film franchise’s upcoming seventh instalment.
  42. 38. A new EU-funded campaign will be developed over the coming year to replace Italy’s Fruitness, Enjoy it! promotion, which is set to come to an end after a nine-year run.
  43. 39. UK firm G’s is launching its popular Love Beets brand in Germany, as well as putting a strong focus on its organic offer in northern Europe. The company has tripled its organic land in Spain to over 300ha in the last two years alone, according to Adam Hill, senior account manager at Pascual Marketing.
  44. 40. Apple brand Kiku’s global development continues apace. Its expansion was underlined at this year’s event by the number of Kiku members meeting at is new stand in hall 4.2.
  45. 41. Dutch potato specialist Quiks showed off its new identity, which brings together various business units under a single, unified brand.
  46. 42. Brazilian exporter Brok Fresh launched Pura Vida bananas, which the company claims are ideal for marketing specific events such as the Olympic Games or the Football World Cup. The fruit is grown by Brazil’s Tropical Nordeste, which is in the process of converting 100 per cent of its farms to organic production.
  47. 43. Ecuador’s MM Export will roll out its premium exotics brand Tamya to new products this year and sees luxury European department stores like Harrods and Kadewe as the perfect fit for its airflown yellow pitahayas.
  48. 44. South African cricketer AB De Villiers, who will be starring for his country at the upcoming World Cup, will also be batting for citrus brand GoGo as part of a promotional endorsement deal. Marketer EKM Exports is looking to expand into the cricket-mad Indian subcontinent in the near future.
  49. FRUIT LOGISTICA 2015
    FRUIT LOGISTICA 2015
  50. 45. Dutch vegetable group Rainbow Growers had this novel idea for getting its promotional campaign off the ground.
  51. 46. Indian pomegranate grower-shipper Sam Agritech launched its Pickme brand of fresh-aril packs for the European market at Fruit Logistica - the realisation of a shared dream with Israeli pomegranate specialist Sohara Farm Ltd to supply the world with pomegranate arils year-round.
  52. 47. Professional images of fruit from photographer Howard Shooter enhanced the revamped stand at UK supplier AG Thames, as part of the company's ongoing brand refresh.
  53. 48. BanaBay managing director Mark O’Sullivan said the company might explore changing its name now that the growing business has expanded its product range beyond bananas.
  54. 49. Seed specialist Sakata said it was overseeing a big marketing push on Bimi (Tenderstem) in Europe.
  55. 50. In the UK, meanwhile, Sakata is looking to take more of an active role in promoting what it described as “under-exploited” Piel de Sapo melons.
  56. Great stands
  57. 51. UK-based produce giant Fresca Group made its first-ever appearance as an exhibitor, making up for lost time with an impressive double-decker stand complete with sofas and a bar.
  58. 52. The concept behind Total Produce’s stand was 'Local at heart, Global by nature’, a theme that “captures the essence of Total Produce,” according to CEO Rory Byrne. “The collective resources of our international group are channelled to those who can apply them to best effect – local fresh produce experts.”
  59. 53. Spanish company Hispalco had a new twist on the traditional trade stand with this nightclub-themed effort.
  60. 54. Portugal made sure it made the most of its official Fruit Logistica Partner Country status, creating an attractive space that was around double the size of previous stands. Portuguese exhibitors were expected to secure business worth more than €100m at the show.
  61. Portuguese farm minister Assunçao Cristas heralds Portugal's role as this year's partner country of @FRUIT_LOGISTICA http://t.co/F7gBNkSY6k
    Portuguese farm minister Assunçao Cristas heralds Portugal's role as this year's partner country of @FRUIT_LOGISTICA pic.twitter.com/F7gBNkSY6k
  62. 55. Compagnie Fruitière boasted its own stand for the first time this year as the company demonstrated its independence from Dole, continuing its focus on its own brands and its full range of products.
  63. 56. Spanish company El Abuelo turned heads, quite literally, with elaborate displays of carved melons in the first of the Spanish halls. One viking-esque sculpture proved very popular as a selfie spot for many passing punters.
  64. 57. Chef demonstrations of innovative sweet potato products, including sweet potato cake, were the order of the day at North Carolina grower-exporter Scott Farms, which also announced it has merged marketing and brand programmes across its US and European operations.
  65. 58. Karsten put its stand visitors at the heart of its table grape production with the addition of this impressive vine.
  66. 59. Salads and herbs specialist Langmeads celebrated its continued growth with its biggest stand ever in hall 8.2, which consistently drew in the crowds with its full-sized living herb wall and its Estrella beer tap.
  67. 60. This year the Spaniards appeared to have outdone the French in terms of the best lunchtime spot - queues behind a vat of paella as wide as a Fruit Logistica aisle in the Spanish hall beat offerings of delicious, but tiny, scallops and red wine at their French colleagues' equivalent.
  68. 61. Someone in the marketing department of German exhibitor ELO clearly knows that people love Lego. This stand mascot was a huge hit and drew in loads of visitors.
  69. 62. Sicilian citrus brand Arancia Rosaria made the most of its connections with the winning car from last year's Ferrari Challenge in Abu Dhabi.
  70. 63. Best fresh produce Eiffel Tower… ever!
  71. 64. Dutch importer Nature's Pride encouraged its staff to keep thinking about produce, even on their break…
  72. Colleague René had a relaxing moment in our #Fruitlogistica stand and dreamed about EAT ME baby pineapples... http://t.co/N2w7ZhicEc
    Colleague René had a relaxing moment in our #Fruitlogistica stand and dreamed about EAT ME baby pineapples... pic.twitter.com/N2w7ZhicEc
  73. 65. Dutch company Koppert Cress knows that unusual, eye-catching products are essential to stand out from the crowd at Fruit Logistica.
  74. 66. And we expect the Egyptians were eyeing this particular citrus stand with envy…
  75. not from concentrate.. #fruitlogistica #Berlin #deutschland
    not from concentrate.. #fruitlogistica #Berlin #deutschland
  76. Expansion plans
  77. 67. One area of development that Univeg will focus on this year is increasing the volume of vegetables it sells. Business development manager Frédéric Rosseneu said the firm planned to make vegetables more of a strategic item and work with seed companies to drive innovation.
  78. 68. Dutch firm HillFresh confirmed it had opened a new trading office in Verona. HillFresh Italy will be led by former Fruttital boss Moreno Bonfatti.
  79. 69. Thai fresh produce grower-shipper Blue River has set up a UK marketing arm, Blue River Europe, to handle exports to European retailers – a move that has "massively" boosted business. Fresh-cut curry kits and ripe-and-ready-to-eat Nam Dok Mai mangoes are the company's star products.
  80. 70. Peruvian exporter Camposol is building 10,000 dwellings at its main production site in Trujillo to house its rapidly expanding workforce, which is projected to reach 20,000 by 2018. Chief operating officer José Antonio Gómez explained the aim is to relocate workers permanently by guaranteeing them at least eight months employment a year.
  81. 71. Packaging firm Ilip is opening an office in the UK, its first outside of its native Italy. The office will be run by Jonathan Baldwin (below), formerly business development manager at Associated Packaging.
  82. 72. David Anthony said US company Ruby Fresh had found the perfect source of pomegranates during the Californian off-season. The group planted in Peru for the first time three seasons ago and is now expecting a return of 150 containers in 2015, which could jump to 600-800 containers in 2016.
  83. 73. In a press conference emphasising a record-breaking year for the Port of Antwerp, Wim Dillen highlighted growing demand in Far Eastern markets for products such as chicory, cherries, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears exported through the Belgian port.
  84. Technological innovation
  85. 74. Roland Sjardijn (below) of Agrolux Europe revealed the uptake of next-generation LED lighting in the European glasshouse sector was increasing steadily.
  86. Roland Sjardijn Agrolux Europe
    Roland Sjardijn Agrolux Europe
  87. 75. Re-usable packaging supplier Ifco Systems announced a new deal to supply German retailer Rewe Group’s eponymous supermarkets and Penny discount stores with a black version of its innovative Lift Lock RPC, a first on the European market.
  88. 76. Transport temperature control solutions expert Thermo King didn't just show off its new Passive Refrigeration Technology Concept in Berlin, it also allowed the braver visitors to take a walk inside a working unit to demonstrate the temperatures and humidity conditions required to preserve the quality, taste and weight of fresh harvested produce.
  89. 77. In Hall 8.2, software and cloud computing company Live Trace pounced on passers by to demonstrate a new traceability solution that allows growers to take a photo in the field, enter location co-ordinates and generate a unique QR code.
  90. 78. Dutch firm BG Door International unveiled a new model of how its innovative cooling and ripening technology works. Made using a 3D printer, the model highlighted how BG’s gas-tight doors are delivering value to the cool chain.
  91. 79. Italian machinery specialist Unitec was keen to emphasise how its technology enabled growers to distinguish between different quality grades and parameters – key aspects of the technology it had on display such as Cherry Vision 2, UNI_ONE LF Jolly and Unical_200.
  92. 80. Coveris was at Fruit Logistica with a science-based stand showcasing innovations such as its Modified Moisture Atmosphere Packaging, which it says features no trade-off between gas and moisture, as well as laser perforation – a technique currently in commercial testing for potatoes.
  93. 81. Announcing a global distribution partnership with JBT, Spanish labelling group Laser Food made a bold prediction: “We think laser labelling has the potential to become the new standard in the labelling of fresh produce,” stated the group’s Stephane Merit.
  94. 82. Machinery firm Marco said punneting at source is a technology more and more fresh produce companies are looking to invest in.
  95. Trade developments
  96. 83. South African family-owned farming group Halls celebrated its 125th anniversary in Berlin, where it stressed its commitment to long-term, socially responsible growth.
  97. 84. Brazil’s Jaguacy was confident the European avocado market would continue to grow strongly. With its own Hass production set to rise by 30 per cent a year over the next three years, the company is targeting new customers in Spain, Russia, Finland and Morocco amongst other countries.
  98. 85. Monserrat Valenzuela, Citrus Committee Chile, hinted at growth for the country’s citrus exports to Europe: “We believe that the market for citrus fruit in Europe holds great potential. Currently just 6 per cent of our yield is supplied to Europe. Fruit Logistica is therefore a great opportunity to acquire new customers.”
  99. 86. Chilean exports of cherries, blueberries, nectarines and plums are up significantly on last year but the 2014/15 table grape campaign has got off to a slow start, according to Asoex, with a drought in northern regions having a major impact on early production.
  100. 87. Costa Rica’s pineapple industry is preparing for the imminent opening of the Chinese market, where Edgar Sánchez of Procomer is confident the fruit will prove a hit with consumers.
  101. 88. Shipping line Hamburg Süd has high hopes for its new joint venture Europe-Mexico-Caribbean Service with Del Monte. The company also said it had made a strong start to its trading life at London Gateway.
  102. 89. The Panama Canal expansion project will open up new opportunities for Brazilian melons in Asia, shaving some 15 days of the current 40-day journey. Luiz Roberto Barcelos of Abrafrutas said he was confident the Chinese and Japanese markets would open in 2015.
  103. 90. Indian grape exporters are braced for a tough season, as the devalued rouble and weak euro seriously dent their returns. Nagesh Shetty from Mumbai-based exporter Deccan Produce said he fielded increased interest in Indian table grapes, largely on the back of the country’s widening varietal profile.
  104. 91. Attending Fruit Logistica for the first time in his capacity as Turners & Growers’ new general manager for New Zealand pipfruit, Bruce Beaton said apple production across the country was shaping up well, although early indications suggested the crop would be smaller than 2014.
  105. 92. Huertos Collipulli shipped its first organic blueberries to China after becoming the first Chilean company to receive the required certification. Cristóbal Duke said the consignments had been very well received and volumes will be ramped up in the 2015/16.
  106. 93. The Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters said Ghanaian exporters had seen a rise in demand for sweet potatoes in the UK market, as well as increasing interest in the West African country's range of exotics – including potential potato alternative the cocoyam – from other European countries, said Frederick Ayeh (below).
  107. 94. Nationwide Produce director Tim O’Malley said the Europe-focused business is finding deflation “quite frustrating”, having caused higher volumes but a dip in turnover.
  108. 95. Tony Reid, marketing director at Vitacress, mused on the growing popularity of salad bowls – lamenting their lack of cost-efficiency, but noting that the industry needs to look at how it works with this trend.
  109. Improving standards
  110. 96. The annual Fruchthandel Retail Awards, which highlight the best fresh produce offerings from retailers in Germany, saw Edeka E-Centre and Globus SB-Warenhaus Holding come out on top in the full-range retail and hypermarket categories respectively.
  111. Global (hypermarkets) and Edeka (supermarkets) win German Retail Awards for 2015 #FruitLogistica via @Fruchthandel http://t.co/HGjYVffKUM
    Global (hypermarkets) and Edeka (supermarkets) win German Retail Awards for 2015 #FruitLogistica via @Fruchthandel pic.twitter.com/HGjYVffKUM
  112. 97. Marketing specialist Cristina Ravazzi and Globus SB-Warenhaus’ produce director Hans-Jürgen Kirsch joined Italy’s Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli in demonstrating how fresh fruit and vegetable sales can be significantly increased using better visual merchandising techniques.
  113. 98. At its annual press conference, certification body GlobalGAP announced several new formal partnerships with groups including UK environment and farming certification marque Leaf, Belgium-based supplier Univeg and German retailer Rewe, all aimed at reducing audit duplication and costs for producers.
  114. 99. Meanwhile, Leaf itself has developed a so-called Chain of Custody system that it will roll out over the coming 18 months. The online system is said to bring more transparency to the supply chain.
  115. 100. India wants to position itself as leading global produce brand, and believes its new food safety website hortinet will show the world the highly reputable quality of its offer, said Apeda's AS Rawat.
  116. 101. Pakistan is on the cusp of a horticultural revolution that will transform the quality and consistency of its produce and boost its exports by 200 per cent in five years, say suppliers referring to a recent surge in public and private interest and investment in production and post-harvest standards.
  117. 102. Cornelie den Otter of Dutch Fairtrade marketer AgroFair said the company was working on a new waste management project in Peru in collaboration with Barendrecht-based sustainable trade group Taste.
  118. 103. Mylnefield Research Services spoke with businesses from more than 30 different countries at Fruit Logistica interested in growing its varieties.
  119. Lots to learn
  120. 104. Dutch tech firm Priva gave its stand potential new customers plenty to think about by asking an illustrator to visualise their commercial ambitions.
  121. 105. Hortyfruta and Proexport presented the results of a €3m, three-year campaign to win back the trust of European consumers after the 2011 E.coli outbreak. The ‘We care, you enjoy’ promotion was fronted by German actress Esther Schweins and reached 850m people.
  122. 106. The Fruit Logistica Future Lab series proved extremely popular - crowds were spilling out of the designated area to hear a talk by scientist Catherine Baroffio on the SWD fruit fly and how to stop it.
  123. 107. Rick van de Zedde (below) of Wageningen University gave a fascinating update on the development of vision-guided robotics in the fresh produce industry. The EU is funding a €14m project to develop robotic systems to help its food industry compete against nations with cheaper and more abundant workforces.
  124. 108. Fruit Logistica provided the perfect platform for the launch of the inaugural Cool Logistics Asia. The conference will be held on 2 September at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong, with sessions targeting key trends and challenges within the Asian region’s perishable logistics and temperature-controlled transport sectors.
  125. 109. As industry investment in the post-harvest equipment sector increases, so does the battle to retain intellectual property. A number of exhibitors throughout the technology halls at this year’s trade show had signs warning against close-up photography, in an attempt to warn off prying competitors.
  126. 110. A worrying trend was highlighted by Dr Mirjam Hauser, senior researcher at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, during the 34th Fresh Produce Forum. She told delegates that while today’s consumers were in a position that comfortably allows them to buy vast amounts of products, many have little idea of what products are actually good for their health.
  127. Thanks to the mascots…
  128. 111. Whoever was inside this Jazz apple mascot for the three-day exhibition deserves an all-expenses trip to the apple's original home in New Zealand.
  129. 112. Creating a buzz…
  130. 113. We think they're potatoes…
  131. 114. But first prize has to go to Fruit Logistica's best-dressed salad…
  132. And finally…
  133. 115. The Eurofruit and Fresh Produce Jounal stand in all its glory.
  134. Ready! @eurofruit and @FPJlive at #FruitLogistica. Visit us at 6.2/A06 next to Dole, Cobana, Flandria, Evrosad… http://t.co/LULKEgnaAi
    Ready! @eurofruit and @FPJlive at #FruitLogistica. Visit us at 6.2/A06 next to Dole, Cobana, Flandria, Evrosad… pic.twitter.com/LULKEgnaAi
  135. Plus… Fruitnet's Fruit Logistica podcast, recorded live in Berlin.
  136. And a stunning video from FreshProduceReview, showing the very best of this year's show…
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