• Fruit Attraction 2017, more international than ever, has cemented its position as one of the world sector’s top events

    Organised by IFEMA and FEPEX, the trade fair took place from 18 to 20 October.

    The trade show exceeded all expectations, with more than 68,000 trade professionals taking part, 18,947 of whom came from 110 countries.

    A total of 1,500 exhibiting companies from 34 countries took part, 20% more than the previous year.

    The ninth edition of Fruit Attraction 2017 proved that the event has become one of the main international events for the fruit and vegetable sector, held in a key month for business meetings between the offer and demand. A total of 68,161 professionals from 110 countries took part, that is 17% more than last year, and 1,500 companies from 34 countries, an increase of 20%. The trade fair fulfilled its objective of being an effective business scenario for agents in the sector. Organised by IFEMA and FEPEX, Fruit Attraction 2017 was held from 18 to 20 October in Halls 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 at Feria de Madrid. This was the biggest and most all-encompassing edition ever, occupying 45,000 square metres with fruit and vegetable suppliers and services from throughout the value chain.

    The visitor profile consisted of importers, exporters and marketing professionals (33.6%), wholesalers (11.4%) and producers (25.6%). The main marketing, retail and supermarket chains from around the world were all at Fruit Attraction, looking for innovative products and new formats from suppliers.

    One of the most important improvements was the significant increase in international participants. This year, a total of 19,947 sector professionals visited the event, that is more than 97% than last year. Europeans predominated the international visitor profile, particularly those from Italy, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Belgium, confirming that the fair is a key business event for European production, marketing and distribution.

    What’s more, every year the trade fair gains popularity in new geographical areas, such as Latin America. There were visitors from 15 Latin American countries, namely Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Many of the 1,564 visitors from these countries were from Brazil, Chile, Peru and Argentina.

    There was also significant growth in visitor numbers from Africa. This year, the fair welcomed trade professionals from 16 countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Tunisia, most of them from Morocco and Egypt.

    At the same time, Asian visitor numbers are growing every year, particularly from China; Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Qatar, Japan and Singapore.

    As well as this programme, there was a successful new feature called the “Guest Import Country”. The chosen countries were China and Brazil, and the initiative attracted 50 buyers from each country. Through this programme, Fruit Attraction, in cooperation with ICEX, succeeded in encouraging trade relations among EU countries and these extra-community markets, supported by a full schedule of round-tables, guided tours of Fruit Attraction, and B2B sessions.

    In terms of participants in the exhibition from outside Spain, these accounted for 37% of the total, with 557 international companies from 33 countries. There were numerous participants from France, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands, reflecting the strength of the European and Spanish offer. In addition, this ninth edition was attended by some new countries such as Colombia, Greece, Israel, Senegal and South Africa.

    In the domestic sphere, Fruit Attraction 2017 was attended by all production areas, showing the strength and innovation of all of its varietal and horticultural diversity. A total of 935 companies or 62% of the total took part in the trade fair on a floor space of around 34,400 square metres.

    Once again, the producers’ exhibition area, Fresh Produce, was the segment with the largest number of representatives, with 1,089 exhibitors. The auxiliary industry was also out in force, with 376 companies showing the strength of the entire fruit and vegetable chain. For the first time ever, this year the fair welcomed other specific areas such as Smart Agro, focused on the implementation of technologies to generate new agri-food products and services, with the aim of increasing the productivity of farms, Nuts Hub, for nuts, and Fresh'N'Star, with the full gamut of participating enterprises, workshops, and product displays, featuring the two protagonists of this edition, which were lettuces and pomegranates. The new Lanzadera Programme was also introduced. This aims to raise the profile of new sector companies, which have been created in the last two years. A total of 15 exhibitors took part.

    In addition, the Lanzadera Prize was awarded to the Paturpat Cooperative which was delighted to accept. “Fruit Attraction is our benchmark fair. We have been attending since the very first edition. We mark the dates in our diary in red at the beginning of the year. It has always been an event full of strength, but with each edition it has improved, becoming an unmissable event for the entire Spanish and international sector, and for our team, of course.” The prize, which is worth 12,000 euros, will be donated to a cooperation project in the Republic of the Congo.

    Technical Seminar Programme
    As well as the trade show, Fruit Attraction hosted an extensive schedule of technical seminars and activities, which offered professionals a space for debate and knowledge exchange.

    One of the highlights of the show was the Global Fresh Market Forum, organised by FEPEX in collaboration with ICEX and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as Stone Fruit Attraction, courtesy of APOEXPA-FEPEX; Lettuce Attraction: The World of Vegetables , by PROEXPORT, and With or without phytosanitary products? by AEPLA/FEPEX.

    The Trade Fair was also the setting for the 6th International Postharvest Unlimited Conference, and for other seminars, such as The pomegranate: new opportunities for an emerging fruit by D.O. P. GRANADA MOLLAR DE ELCHE, Technology Attraction. Science, business and technology revolution, by BIOVEGEN, Seed Planet Forum by ANOVE, Adaptation of the stone fruit tree industry to climate change by FECOAM, Innovation in the agri-food sector made reality by AMETIC, and ecological chains in Spain by REVISTA F&H.

    Pasarela Innova and Foro Innova
    Once again, this year, the sixth edition of the Pasarela Innova was a leading event consisting of a space to draw attention to the latest products, varieties and brands newly launched by exhibiting companies in the fruit and vegetable market. This time, a total of 34 innovative products were shown in the area.

    Foro Innova also hosted several talks, presentations and technical seminars on new developments and solutions for the fruit and vegetable sector launched by participating companies.
    The sector’s most important trade exhibition also featured Fruit Fusion, a space for dissemination, innovation and interpretation of the best fruit and vegetable products for use in catering. This was the gastronomic area of Fruit Attraction, featuring attractive demos and cooking shows.
    Madrid Food Bank
    As usual, Fruit Attraction helped to collect fruits and vegetables from exhibitors for the Madrid Food Bank. They gathered more than 42,000 kilos of fruits and vegetables for charitable use, even more than last year. These were sent to 14 organisations that used them to benefit 7,500 people.

    Organised by IFEMA and FEPEX, the ninth edition of Fruit Attraction took place in Halls 5, 6, 5, 8, 7 and 10 at Feria de Madrid, from 5 to 7 October and was opened by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Isabel Garcia Tejerina.