Ricardo Migueláñez. Agricultural Engineer @rmiguelanez
R.M.- New features for this upcoming edition: The 7th edition of Fruit Attraction will include a new exhibition area called TheOrganicHub. Tell me about this new space. What else would you highlight about the upcoming fair?
R.C.- One of the advantages of a commercial event like Fruit Attraction is that each edition is a new opportunity, in the sense that supply and demand come together at a specific moment, subject to lots of other factors which can impact campaign marketing.
In this edition, we will include: TheOrganicHub, which is a new area specifically for the fresh organic product sector. This allows organic fruit and vegetable producers to present their brands and products to all members of the sector—importers, retailers, HoReCa, and the entire fruit and vegetable distribution channel—with a view to enhancing supply and export relations.
I would also mention a new area within the auxiliary industry called Distribution and Logistics, which will provide coverage to producers. Another new feature is Tech4Fruit, an area for companies that provide technology, solutions and innovation, etc. for farms to increase fruit and vegetable productivity.
In addition to the commercial area, the fair also has a complete program of activities and events, including one on organic products; the 3rd edition of Stone Fruit Attraction; the 1st International Kaki Conference, Kaki Attraction; and "Markets and marketing of organic fruit and vegetables in Europe", promoted by F&H, among others.
R.M.- Interest to participate in Fruit Attraction has been on the rise since the very beginning. Has that trend continued in 2015? How many additional exhibitors will this year's edition have compared with last year? What are the trends in terms of exhibitors this year?
R.C.- We expect around 1,000 exhibiting companies and 50,000 professional participants. The fair has increased the number of exhibiting companies by 300% since the beginning, which confirms that it is responding to the industry and helping Spain secure a position as the best place in the world to sell fruits and vegetables, both Spanish and foreign.
Producers are the main participants in Fruit Attraction, and they account for around 70% of exhibitors. The auxiliary industry accounts for 30% of total exhibitors.
Lately we've seen a notable increase in participation by European producers, especially those from France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Germany. This data shows that Fruit Attraction is already a major platform for European fruit and vegetable production.
R.M.- What does Fruit Attraction offer exhibitors to ensure that they come back year after year?
R.C.- Many opportunities, but mainly they participate because October is a very important month for international fruit and vegetable sales, because commercial contact between supply and demand agents is necessary, and because seeing one another face to face is vital for doing business.
R.M.- What kind of people visit the fair and what does it offer them that they don't find elsewhere?
R.C.- Fruit Attraction offers visitors business opportunities; the chance to learn about new varieties, flavors and brands; the possibility of seeing the best fruits and vegetables under one roof for three whole days; the ability to commence, maintain and conclude sales processes; the opportunity to strengthen commercial relations... attendees can read all about the event on our website and in the publication, FruitAttraction News.
R.M.- As Director of Fruit Attraction, what are your expectations in terms of attendance and participation in particular?
R.C.- As I mentioned, for me, the success of Fruit Attraction depends on the business volume generated, as well as participation numbers. At any rate, we do expect to see more than 50,000 trade professionals attend.
R.M.- How does the fair approach new markets? Where is Fruit Attraction going?
R.C.- It's focused on all markets, but in the end we see a notable increase in participation by European producers, especially those from France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Germany. We're also seeing a trend where international sales are shifting from northern to southern Europe and, in that regard, Spain is starting to be considered a commerce "hub" for re-exports.
R.M.- Fruit Attraction is the ideal event for national and international players and sector professionals to meet, and there are always parallel activities in that regard. What are they?
R.C.- There are several specific sector events that will attract professionals involved in research, production and international distribution: the 3rd edition of Stone Fruit Attraction, and the 1st International Kaki Conference—Kaki Attraction, which will address that fruit's current situation in terms of production and sales. There are also other events, such as Fruit Retail, organized by Alimarket; "Markets and marketing of organic fruit and vegetables in Europe", promoted by F&H; and the 2nd Forum for Agri-food Journalists, #FIPA15, which will analyze the production and marketing of European fruits and vegetables.