Tuesday 9th February 2016, 16:57 London
Fruit Logistica: 125 stories you may have missed
The Fruitnet team brings you a bumper crop of news from the world's greatest produce exhibition…
Fruit Logistica: 125 stories you may have missed
The Fruitnet team brings you a bumper crop of news from the world's greatest produce exhibition…
Well, if you're reading this, then it's official: you survived – or, er, missed out on – the biggest and best Fruit Logistica ever. Scroll down for a fresh crop of top stories, harvested by Fruitnet at this year's show…
1. Following its recent takeover by Brazilian juice company Cutrale, Chiquita returned to Fruit Logistica this year with a notably more open stand design – hinting at a more direct and determined approach to the way it markets its fruit worldwide. The company is preparing to redouble its commercial efforts in Europe by expanding its marketing department in the months ahead, meaning competition among the world’s multinational tropical fruit suppliers is set to intensify.
2. South Africa-based company Capespan confirmed it had acquired a 35 per cent stake in leading Indian fruit importer and distributor, the Yupaa Group…
3. German retailer Edeka signed a three-year deal to source snack tomatoes produced in the Netherlands by Greenco and sold through The Greenery. The agreement guarantees the supermarket chain a reliable, year-round source of mini tomatoes for its salad bars.
4. Warren Young, collaborative marketing manager at New Zealand kiwifruit company Zespri, said a new partnership with fellow NZ produce exporter T&G to sell Zespri-branded kiwifruit in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand would allow the single-desk marketer to “develop infrastructure in a market where we didn’t have it before”.
5. Belgian importer Special Fruit sealed a new strategic alliance with Portuguese berry grower organisation Bfruit, a move aimed at strengthening both partners’ positions in the European soft fruit sector.
6. German group BayWa put forward its plan for a major expansion of its business in Europe, starting with its acquisition of Dutch exotics specialist TFC Holland.
7. Total Produce returned with a sizeable stand, having just announced the acquisition of a 65 per cent equity stake in Los Angeles-based grower, packer and distributor Progressive Produce.
8. Total Produce and Dutch banana supplier De Groot International both showed off new mobile apps that allow instant communication between different divisions of their organisations. De Groot’s system is available for customers to use, as well as employees.
9. Spanish company Gruventa revealed it had opened a new sales office in Dubai. Jose Diego Manzanera, who will lead the Middle East operation, said the office underlined the Murcia-based company’s commitment to establishing itself in the region.
10. Serbian exporter Delta Agrar shipped apples to the Middle East for the first time in 2015, according to director of agro-service and marketing Julka Toskic, who said the market preferred high-quality, smaller-sized fruit.
11. For US produce giant Dole, this year saw a continuation of its recent health drive…
12. Spanish group Anecoop celebrated its 40th anniversary at Fruit Logistica. Looking ahead, the firm plans to launch a number of new projects, including a campaign for flat peaches next September.
13. Indian exporter Sam Agritech and Israeli grower Zohara Farm presented Sam Tulip, a new fresh herbs joint venture in India which will also start growing and shipping from Kenya in the near future. Meanwhile, the company which launched its PickMe brand for pre-prepared Indian-grown aril packs last year, has also become the first Indian company to export figs to the UK, tying up a deal with M&S through Univeg.
14. Peruvian company Camposol’s blueberry production is on course to triple next season to 12,0000-13,000 tonnes. Chief operating officer José Antonio Gómez said the second phase of its blueberry strategy – due to start in 2017/18 – will look at buying local production in key markets to guarantee year-round supply.
15. Shorter Chilean blueberry and cherry crops put paid to Huertos Collipulli’s market diversification plans this season, but the group said these would resume next year with plans to target UK supermarkets, Latin American markets and the eastern US.
16. One of Hungary's leading produce companies sees good potential for expansion…
17. First-time Fruit Logistica exhibitor Israeli herb grower Mazlinat was looking to boost its exports to Europe and abroad, according to general manager Yizchak Guslitser.
18. Israeli produce grower-shipper Agrexco looks set to exit the produce export business, focusing instead on logistics. Meanwhile, the group has set itself the goal of having its patented strawberry varieties grown in 29 different countries within seven years.
19. Bangalore-based exporter Y-Cook presented a new line in fresh bananas and mangoes, having begun supplying bananas and mangoes from its own production to the UK, Chile and Middle East. This year, Y-Cook expects to ship around 1,000 tonnes of bananas by sea, plus around 5,000 tonnes by air.
20. French stonefruit specialist Fruits Union marked 20 years of existence, the key to the group’s success being its ability to adapt, according to MD Vincent Faugier.
21. At the French embassy in Berlin, apple and kiwifruit exporter Blue Whale and potato breeder Germicopa were awarded special Fld-Sopexa awards for logistical innovation in exports during a special reception to promote French exports.
22. Banana prices are “due a correction” following a significant rise in average production costs across the world, according to Sevki Isin, general manager at Dole Europe. “The increased strength of the dollar versus the euro is a tremendous challenge for companies producing and sourcing bananas, and the big problem is that retailers in general are not willing to absorb any kind of price increase,” he commented.
23. Demand for blueberries and blackberries is growing notably faster than for other berry types, said Theo Houwen, managing director at Driscoll’s in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
24. Guatemala’s Total Fresh noted that a decline in Mexican blackberry production provided the ideal opportunity to boost its programmes to Europe this season. The company already ships to the UK, Ireland and Italy, as well as the US east coast, and is looking to make gains in Germany and France during the December to March shipping window.
25. With relations between Iran and western countries improving dramatically in the past couple of years, the country’s fruit could begin to find new commercial destinations around the world. That was the view of Redha Mansouri, chief executive of Dubai-based Fresh Fruits Company, who said he saw great potential especially for exports of Iranian stonefruit, cherries, kiwifruit and figs.
26. Brazil's melon exports could soon be on their way to China…
27. Citrus exporters in Cyprus reported they had been hit hard by the import ban in Russia, which in many cases previously accounted for 60-70 per cent of their sales. With Turkish oranges, grapefruit and mandarins also now banned, the European market is even more crowded, so much of that Cypriot citrus volume has apparently ended up being sold for processing.
28. Italian apple marketer VI.P Val Venosta explained that Egypt, among other North African and Middle Eastern countries, has fast become a major outlet for its fruit – to the extent that it is now the second-largest market for its apples outside of Italy.
29. German fresh produce giant Landgard signalled its keen interest in the Asian market with the establishment of a new joint venture to push its sales in China. In partnership with the Chinese company Rayen, the firm will develop relationships with new and existing customers in the country. The deal was welcomed by China’s ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, who visited Landgard’s stand at Fruit Logistica.
30. New Zealand’s kiwifruit has enjoyed a strong year in India, where Zespri recently established its first local marketing office in Mumbai in order to develop closer ties with its commercial partners in the country.
31. Plums from Spain are currently proving a hit in India too, with shipments apparently totalling around 800 tonnes per year.
32. A recent heatwave in South Africa has had its obvious downsides for fruit production, including a lack of water and potentially sunburned fruit. However, according to Hortgro’s Jacques Du Preez, extra sunlight has given the country’s plums a particularly strong, sweeter flavour this season – tying in nicely with a focus on taste for this year’s Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit marketing campaign in the UK and Germany.
33. Meanwhile, South Africa’s apple production has bounced back to 33.8m export cartons, up 3 per cent on the previous season and driven in particular by new plantings. Even more new planted area is expected in the next few years, said Du Preez.
34. It emerged that the chaos currently afflicting Syria and its neighbours has unexpectedly benefited exporters shipping produce by air from Lebanon, with additional flights commencing and low fuel prices reducing costs.
35. Rony Baruch, marketing manager for Israeli supplier Shallit Carrots, believes there is potential to supply Asian markets with the root vegetable during the winter months.
36. British Columbia is leading the charge for Canadian produce exports to Europe…
37. While Persian limes are perhaps not the first product that comes to mind when one thinks of Guatemala, Green Export hopes its recently launched Tres Marias brand will find favour among consumers in Europe, which it believes can provide a lucrative alternative to the US, where competition from Mexico is fierce.
38. A sunnier political outlook in Argentina regrettably does not extend to this season’s lemon forecast: with El Niño bringing heavier rainfall than usual, producers are on high alert for quality issues, but there is optimism that an earlier end to Spanish production will leave more space for the new crop.
39. Brazilian melon producers are anxiously awaiting the completion of an import protocol that would enable them to ship to China. AQSIQ inspectors visited production sites in late January.
40. Uruguay’s focus in the Chinese citrus market will be on filling the early-season window for airfreighted product, once the authorities approve an import protocol as expected later this year. Negotiations are also underway to open up the Philippines and Indonesia; both are promising markets for larger-sized fruit, according to Marta Bentancour of Upefruy.
41. Belgium wants to become a major exporter of apples and Conference pears to Canada during 2016/17 and is busy scouting for reliable importers. In late September, marketing group VLAM plans to lead a new campaign targeting consumers.
42. Mexican bananas could be about to gain entry to China…
43. Fleeting success for Ecuadorean bananas in China two years ago might have depended on production in the Philippines being down, but it has opened doors for them in other Asian nations, said Alfredo Castro of Ecuadorian banana exporter Ginafruit. Last year, the company began supplying South Korea for the first time, while its sales to Japan and Singapore are growing.
44. Aysel Oguz of Turkish exporter Eren Tarim believes the Russian ban will lead to improved standards for Turkish produce in terms of quality, packaging and labelling, as companies target western European markets.
45. Spain is showing significant interest in India and China, where it awaits the signature of import protocols. Catalan association Afrucat says it sees good potential for stonefruit including flat peaches and apricots.
46. Another Spanish firm, Fruits de Ponent, is mulling the potential of Caribbean countries such as Cuba. The company’s Santi Bonet says the completion of the Panama Canal expansion will also open up new opportunities for Spanish stonefruit in Asia.
47. An attractive product range and marketing window mean Colombia could play a more prominent role in the international market in future. “You can really see the dynamic development within Colombia’s fresh produce industry,” said Jonas Spahn, project manager for fruits and vegetables at Swiss organisation Sippo. “There are plenty of windows of opportunity that producers are eager to seize and investment in logistics infrastructure is increasing every year.”
48. This year’s Peruvian avocado crop will be significantly lower than expected due to the effects of El Niño. Leading exporter Camposol said output was initially forecast to be 30-40 per cent higher than in 2015 due to new production, but it now looks as though the crop will be similar to last year’s volume.
49. In the meantime, Peru is trying to get a bigger slice of the Chinese market, with grapes and avocados leading the charge. Peruvian fruit and vegetable export sales rose by 13 per cent in 2015 to US$2.15bn.
50. While hopes are fading that the US market will re-open for Argentine citrus in time for this season, Fabricio Costanzo of Citrusvil said he remained confident the country's new government would give the matter its full attention. “The fact that California has lost almost half of its production to [citrus greening] definitely helps our case,” he said.
51. British seed potato exports to Egypt fell by six per cent during the last year after tuber sizing restrictions imposed at the last minute. Total exports still topped 50,000 tonnes, with industry body AHDB Potatoes reporting that the season was better than expected. Head of seed potato exports Rob Burns said the organisation was focusing on new markets to ensure British exports have a wide portfolio of destinations.
52. Fyffes unveiled a new communication campaign called Discover More, which underlines the sustainability of its business by allowing customers to see more of what it does in terms of producing, sourcing and distributing fruit behind the scenes. Michaela Schneider, Fyffes’ business development manager for Europe, said the group hoped the campaign would result in greater appreciation for its products at point of sale, as well as increasing the number of bananas sold.
53. Avocado industry representatives from Brazil, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the US signed an agreement to form the World Avocado Organization, which will work to promote consumption of avocados around the globe.
54. As the show’s partner country, Egypt saw a significant increase in exhibitor numbers this year, from around 50 to over 90, with many stressing the advances that have been made regarding MRLs, quality and packaging to meet the demands of different markets.
55. Meet The Smart Dutch was the strapline for this year's offical Holland stand, which showcased Netherlands' considerable strengths as a fresh produce supplier (Photo: Ad Berends).
56. Leading fresh produce companies in Italy have backed a new, three-year campaign funded in part by the EU that will promote consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables across several markets including North America, Japan, China and the Middle East. With a budget of €3m, the project was unveiled in Berlin with the launch of a special 157-page book for buyers, containing a wealth of product sourcing information.
57. Fruit Logistica continued to put plenty of people in the party spirit this year, with several companies taking the opportunity to hold get-togethers for clients and partners. Among those letting their hair down in the name of marketing were Don Limon, Fruit Innovation, Pink Lady, Rijk Zwaan, SanLucar and the French interprofessional organisation Interfel.
58. In fact, Don Limon was driving its European lime sales in style…
59. Flandria, the quality label for Flanders, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. During those two decades, the Belgian trademark has become one of the biggest fresh vegetable brands in Europe, with more than 60 products and a volume of over 600,000 tonnes.
60. Hispalco’s groovy new Hippy Chick brand garnered plenty of attention in Berlin. The brand is applied to high-quality products with a more accessible price point than the company’s other premium labels and reflects the company’s push into new markets such as the Middle East.
61. Asoex, the Fruit Exporters Association of Chile, celebrated its 80th anniversary with a reception at this year’s Fruit Logistica. Representing the vast majority of the country's fruit exports, the group has played an instrumental role in boosting its members’ exports, which were worth US$3.72bn in the first eleven months of 2015.
62. A new concept to make cabbage trendier among consumers was presented by Danielle Bruin, sales and communications manager for Dutch seed firm Bejo, during one of Fruit Logistica’s Future Lab sessions. Coolwrap uses leaves from a sweet, flat cabbage variety to wrap a range of fillings and create a healthy, convenient snack. Already present in the Dutch market, Coolwrap has been exported in small volumes to Sweden. Bruin said it had good potential in other European markets.
63. Nordic company GreenFood continues to enjoy huge success with its Picadeli salad bar concept, according to group COO David von Laskowski. Speaking in Berlin, he explained that the pick-and-mix system, which offers a wide range of healthy, fresh salad ingredients, now had around 900 outlets in Sweden, making it the country’s second-largest fast food chain.
64. Italian club apple brand Evelina welcomed three new grower partners: Evrosad based in Slovenia, Nufri in Spain and Dole Chile.
65. Seed firm Tozer Seeds has renamed its sprout-kale hybrid Flower Sprout as Kalette in all markets. Already marketed under that name in the US and Australia, the company hopes that the more unified approach to branding will help it capitalise even further on recent growth in kale’s popularity.
66. Enzafruit’s Jazz apple continues to see demand outstrip supply, according to the company’s Tony Fissette, requiring the planting of additional trees in Europe. “In the next 5-10 years, New Zealand won’t be able to fulfil the demand in the summertime,” he said.
67. Sicily’s agricultural councillor Antonello Cracolici was in Berlin to promote the island region’s considerable potential as a supplier of fresh citrus, tomatoes and other products to markets around the world. “With organic agricultural production of more than 200,000ha, Sicily has the largest area of organically farmed land in the whole of Europe,” he explained. “But not all of it, including fruit and vegetables, is marketed to consumers and customers as organic. We need to do more to increase the value of this production.”
68. AHDB chairman Sir Peter Kendall opened the British reception at Fruit Logistica with a rallying cry for British companies, calling on them to take advantage of government support and export to the global marketplace. Kendall joined Tony Sims, director of UKTI in Germany, in urging suppliers to come forward and make the most of the available support.
69. The newly formed Polish Blueberry Association underlined its credentials as a major player in the European berry market…
70. Belgian producer organisation Hoogstraten unveiled a new logo and branding, having dropped the word Veiling (Auction) from its name. Under the Hoogstraten brand, product categories will be represented with different colours. The Flandria brand will now be used on packs as a quality label, rather than a brand.
71. German Fresh Food Markets (GFI) is once again helping to drive the promotion of wholesale and retail markets by participating in this year’s Love Your Local Market campaign, which will have its European re-launch in Paris in 2016. Closer to home, GFI will use the slogan Markets – Healthy Choice to highlight the quality and freshness of fruit and vegetables sold at its member markets.
72. Belgian marketer BelOrta has also made subtle changes to its brand identity, following recent mergers with other companies. As well as achieving another Innovation Award nomination for a clever pack design that encourages kids to eat tomatoes, it also showed off an entire display of innovative products including last year’s nominee, the Lemoncherry tomato.
73. Marleen Vaesen, chief executive of Univeg’s new parent company Greenyard Foods, said she had enjoyed her first visit to Fruit Logistica, where she had the opportunity to meet with many of the group’s international representatives as well as customers.
74. Chiquita’s new chief executive for bananas and pineapples Andrew Biles was in Berlin for this year’s show, although he remained tight-lipped on the company’s plans in Europe.
75. Portugal’s prominence as a key supplier was enhanced by the visit of the country’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Minister of Agriculture Capoulas Santos.
76. Hot-footing it from Berlin to warmer shores, Anecoop’s commercial director Paco Borrás will be accompanying EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan on a trade mission to Colombia and Mexico in an effort to open new markets for European agricultural products this week. Eight of the 34 companies that make up the delegation are Spanish.
77. South Tyrol’s apple industry has made an astute appointment with the addition of former international diplomat Reinhard Schäfers to its board of directors. Schäfers worked as an adviser at the German embassy in Moscow from 1988 to 1991, the year in which the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. Since then, he has served in a number of roles, including German ambassador to France and Ukraine, as well as spending time in Brussels representing German interests in the EU.
78. Peter Dall of the International Pome Fruit Alliance spoke about the need to invest in the right apple varieties…
79. Koppert Cress owner Rob Baan and Priva chief executive Meiny Prins insisted that sustainable production and an increase in plant-based diets are essential if the world is to feed an estimated global population of 12bn within the next three decades.
80. South African tropical fruit supplier and grower Halls has made two additions to its technical team. Former Chingford horticulturalist Faruk Ghumra has been named group technical manager, while Elodie Fagegaltier has joined the Rungis team as technical officer.
81. Abdou Khadre Niang of Senegalese grower-exporter EAP Sanossy stressed the need for investment and support from the country’s government and banks. “Senegal has the ideal soil and climate for producing most fruit and vegetables, but there is still a lack of know-how,” he said.
82. Richard Mulcahy, chairman of peak industry body Ausveg, said he hoped to see an Australian pavilion at the show in the near future, after leading a large delegation of growers to the event this year.
83. Renowned club DJ Greg Vickers has carved out a lucrative sideline exporting purple garlic from Peru. To date, the bulk of sales have been to Mexico but the focus in the year ahead will be on growing the company’s programme to France.
84. Nature's Pride marketing manager Jan Willem Verloop and Nature's Berries MD Mila Tchaoussova did their bit to spread the message about the Dutch company's Eat Me brand. (Photo: Mila Tchaoussova)
85. Visitors to this year's Fruit Logistica voted Genuine Coconut as the winner of this year’s Fruit Logistica Innovation Award. The product, developed by Spanish company World's Coconut Trading, fended off strong competition from runner-up Northern Greens’ Kitchen Minis tomato and Terra Natura's striped pepper Enjoya, which came third. This year marked the eleventh edition of the prestigious award, not to mention the eleventh year that Fruitnet has failed to bag the prize iPad given to one lucky voter.
86. Thai grower-shipper Blue River has launched Raw Nuts, an online service that delivers freshly picked young coconuts direct to European consumers. The service is available across Europe and has seen phenomenal growth, says UK and European sales manager Stuart Buchanan.
87. UK-based Hargreaves Plants unveiled an early-season white asparagus variety called Vittorio that offers high yields and good disease tolerance. The company also promoted a new green variety known as NJ1021, which it described as very early season and with extremely high yields of Class 1.
88. HLB expects to land its first organic papayas from Mexico on supermarket shelves across Europe at the end of March.
89. Ghana is looking at the example set by Senegal in terms of growing a wide range of products in the country. “We are planning to introduce new products,” said Yaw Preko Hayford of Albe Farms in Accra. “Senegal grows items like cherry tomatoes and strawberries that we are keen on trying out in Ghana.”
90. Brazilian company Doce Vida’s açai berry ice cream offered an interesting new way to consume the super fruit – one that some may find more palatable than its dried or powdered forms. Until now, only a handful of European companies import dried açai berries, but Wim Heemskerk said the company was looking to export them in all forms following strong interest across Europe.
91. Ben Dor manager Seffi Ben-Dor revealed that the Israeli grower-breeder was supplying Hong Kong-based importer Metspan with its specialist deciduous fruits.
92. Greek strawberry growers are reportedly investing in new varieties that are better suited to western European markets, following the disappearance of their main outlet, Russia.
93. Murcott, Tango and Orri are dominating new mandarin plantings in Uruguay as the country seeks to consolidate its position in the US summer citrus market. Despite a disappointing 2015 due to citrus black spot, the industry hopes to get back on track this year having implemented a far-reaching plan of action to contain the disease.
94. France’s Prince de Bretagne, which celebrates 40 years of marketing tomatoes this year, launched its new Ma Corbeille De Tomates basket, which includes a mixture of old and new varieties as well as a range of different colours.
95. Italian apple marketer VI.P underlined its commitment to developing new club varieties, especially in its more established markets where premium products are becoming more important as a means to differentiate supply. Marketing manager Michael Grasser explained that trademarked varieties such as Envy and Kanzi were playing an increasingly prominent role in the group’s product range.
96. When is a melon more melon-like than other melons? Apparently when it’s Bayer’s new Galia variety Galkia, which is designed to emphasise the fruit’s traditional flavours. Launched at Fruit Logistica, the tagline ‘A melon that tastes like a melon’ may leave the competition a little non-plussed.
97. Sun World is working hard to improve flavour in the world's grape business…
98. Jean Pierre Caruel of Sofruileg in France spoke about “incredible” projected growth for the branded kiwiberry Nergi. With partners in Italy and the Netherlands helping to build demand, Europe currently accounts for 95 per cent of Nergi sales, but this could change: “We are doing trials in Canada and Singapore via airfreight, and these have been a great success.”
99. Morocco’s Les Domaines Export saw its Nadorcott mandarin achieve the Saveur de l’Année award for taste for the seventh consecutive year, while the company’s melons and cherry tomatoes also received awards.
100. Colombia’s biggest producer of spearmint, La Corsaria, said it was launching a premium range of organic herbs later this year for Europe and North America.
101. Spanish breeder Planasa was pushing hard to promote new raspberry variety Adelita, billed as the only primocane raspberry that can produce fruit throughout the winter in sunny areas like Huelva or central Mexico, as well as in summer in cooler northern European countries.
102. Visitors to the Dutch hall were able to sample Holland Strawberry House's new variety Delizzimo, a premium-quality strawberry grown exclusively from seeds.
103. Vegetable seed specialist Rijk Zwaan showed off Knox, a new range of lettuce varieties that are less susceptible to pinking after being cut.
Logistics, packaging, technology
104. Major retailers are increasingly keen to display wood-effect crates on their shelves as it creates a mental picture of freshness and locally grown produce in consumers’ minds, according to Polymer Logistics’ French head Isabelle Noesen. The group has begun supplying such crates to Walmart and Carrefour, among others.
105. Air France is preparing to launch a trial of Able Freight’s Kold Kart dolly, a portable refrigerator to regulate consignments of perishables and pharmaceuticals when they are waiting on the runway or ramp prior to being loaded on to a plane.
106. Australian manufacturer Heuch presented a solar-powered refrigerated container, marketed in Europe by BG Door. The solar chillers can be placed right at the point of harvest, with 24 hours of battery life allowing them to operate without fuel, generator or grid connection.
107. Click4Fruit, an online global trading platform connecting fresh produce growers and exporters with importers and traders, made its debut at this year’s show. MD Michael Boasson said the system allowed easier connection between exporters and importers, with the advantage that the system was fast, trustworthy and secure.
108. Perfotec unveiled a new material that apparently enables flowers to be transported without water for as long as a week, while retaining the same shelf-life in stores. Such technology could revolutionise the long-distance transport of cut flowers.
109. Post-harvest solutions provider Decco Worldwide revealed it was building a new factory in Brazil as it further expands its presence in Latin America.
110. Kenya’s horticulture industry is completing the pilot of its Farm2Fork national produce traceability system, which aims to strengthen grower compliance to food safety standards in order to improve sustainable market access for horticulture producers.
111. Unitec president Angelo Benedetti told a special press briefing about the creation of UT Instruments, a division specialising in the development of portable devices for the fresh produce supply chain. UT Instruments is a joint venture between Unitec and TR Turoni.
112. French tech firm Maf Roda highlighted a prototype chainless grader for spherical fruit such as apples and citrus. Uniway has a patent pending and is described as ideal for smaller producers.
113. NZ firm Compac took the opportunity to showcase its new Spectrim optical sorting platform, with the company’s chief technology officer, Ken Moynihan, highlighting the solution’s benefits and advances within the sorting industry during a well-attended presentation at the Tech Stage.
114. Tech specialist Marco has developed a new software module designed to increase packhouse workers’ productivity, with screens set up to show in real time which workers are performing best… and worst.
115. Afco said its new Uniq quality seal could mark a turning point for the corrugated cardboard packaging industry. The label offers several packaging types, each with different quality requirements based on standardised measurements including transport times.
116. Shipping giant Maersk has invested in 30,000 new containers in the past year, as well as equipping its entire fleet of 250,000 reefers with new remote container management technology, the company’s head of reefer management Shereen Zarkani revealed.
117. When you need an alternative to composting over 85m kg of unwanted, end-of-season tomato plant material from growers in the Dutch region of Westland, where do you turn? To Solidus Solutions, perhaps, which has pioneered the use of tomato plant fibres to enrich organic and waterproof solid-board packaging for two groups, Duijvestijn Tomaten and Harvest House.
118. John Toner of the United Fresh Produce Association was keen to inform visitors of a new trade event, The 2016 Global Cold Chain Expo, which will take place in Chicago this June. The event brings together United Fresh 2016, Food Marketing Institute’s FMI Connect and the International Floriculture Expo to “provide more value than ever before to the fresh foods and retail business”.
119. Another NZ tech specialist, BBC Technologies, has rolled out its Curo-16 filling system over the last 12 months, completing four installations in Europe alone.
120. To the person who kicked Dimmidisì's soup bowl mascot in the rear end: that bowl of soup is coming after you next year!
121. One member of Berlin's police force was spotted making it very clear to a colleague in the international trade press that flying a drone over Messe Berlin is "not exactly legal".
122. Congratulations to the grower who did his level best to talk up the potential of Jazz apples during a special reception hosted by… Pink Lady.
123. A number of people we spoke said they liked the racy Adam & Eve images on the stand in Hall 21. The trouble is, the pictures were so distracting, many couldn't remember the name of the company. Ah yes, of course, it was Veos.
124. To the four people looking perplexed as they worked out how to inflate the Chiquita banana outside Eingang Süd: you didn't let us down in the end!
125. Officially the best tree made from fresh fruit and vegetables…
Finally, thanks to everyone who visited us on the Fruitnet stand. See you next year if not before!