Ricardo Migueláñez. Agricultural Engineer
Fruit Attraction, the international trade show for the fruit and vegetable sector, has become a leading sales event for the industry, and the 6th edition will be held at Ifema (the Trade Fair Institution of Madrid) from October 15th to the 17th. Wikispanishfood.com interviews Raúl Calleja, the Fair's Director, who tells us about new features of the upcoming edition. Specifically, Calleja highlights that participation will increase by 30% and total exhibition space by 7% with respect to 2013 numbers.
Fruit Attraction has strengthened its position to become the leading fruit and vegetable trade show. What does it mean for the organization that companies recognize your work by returning year after year?
It's very satisfying, but we shouldn't forget that Fruit Attraction's success is the result of hard and outstanding work by all participants. FRUIT ATTRACTION is the industry's leading event, held at the right place, at the right time. It's a strategic alliance between the sector and trade fair specialists, a professional event organized for and by the industry.
Six years after its creation, we can confirm that our hard work has borne fruit; today, three months away from the next edition, we have an excellent outlook for participation, which is up 30% compared with 2013, and the total exhibition area will expand by 7%.
What new features and benefits are available to exhibitors planning to participate in Fruit Attraction in the months running up to the fair?
Before the fair, participants have notable visibility on our various platforms, from the web and press releases to the newsletter we send to thousands of sector professionals which, in addition to containing interviews and news, primarily highlights new features at participating companies.
At Fruit Attraction, activities and conferences are held simultaneously with the fair. What do you have planned for this edition?
There are interesting parallel activities, including a comprehensive program of events we're working on with a view to offering professionals the chance for deeper analysis of various issues. For example, we will have a symposium on berries entitled “Fresh & Life”, organized by FRESHUELVA and FEPEX, together with IFEMA. Those activities are part of the Fruit Forum, and we will also offer presentations as part of the Innova Forum.
The combination with gastronomy is a unique feature of Fruit Attraction. Can we expect to see more of that in 2014?
Yes. Fruit Fusion will be held again at the upcoming edition and, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment and Madridfusión, it will include exciting cooking demos with some of Spain's top chefs. Additionally, this year's edition will feature an award for the Vegetable Dish of the Year, and Vegetable Week will also be organized in Madrid, in which many restaurants in the region will participate. Nevertheless, fruit and vegetable consumption in Spain remains among the lowest in Europe.
What activities do you have planned to encourage consumption?
Fruit Attraction is a professional event, whereas associations, such as 5 Al día, work to promote consumption. We aim to support those associations and we raise awareness about their activities as part of Vegetable Week.
The exhibitors at Fruit Attraction in recent editions have been international, which some Spanish companies view negatively. Going forward, will it remain open to companies from other countries or will it be strictly Spanish?
It's not an event solely for Spanish products; rather, the idea is for the main regions of Spain to coexist with production and sales models developed in other places. In fact, Fruit Attraction has become a top international event, especially in Europe. At the last edition, we had participants from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK, China, Chile, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Venezuela, Canada and Peru.
What would you say to a producer who's thinking about exhibiting at Fruit Attraction?
Fruit Attraction is the trade fair that brings together supply and demand in the international fruit and vegetable industry. Moreover, it's held in October, which is a key period for collection campaigns. In just five editions, it has become the main event for the sector to showcase its products and the preferred fair for European distributors to build their networks between consumer and producer fruit and vegetable markets.