Fruit Logistica 2012 didn’t break the 2011 attendance record, but it did set a record for exhibitors with 2,537 companies from 84 countries participating.
Attendance was at the same level as the 2011 show. More than 56,000 visitors from 139 countries made the trip to Berlin, according to Christian Göke, chief operating officer at Messe Berlin GmbH, the show’s organizer.
One-third of the exhibitors presented innovations or updated products during the show, and 50% secured new orders according to the release.
Exhibitors representing pear and sweet potato growers in the U.S. said they were pleased with the show.
Jeff Correa, international marketing director for Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore., and Steven Ceccarelli, sales and marketing representative for Farm Fresh, Faison, N.C., both said traffic on the show floor seemed a little slower than in 2011, but they said the trip was worth it.
Ceccarelli has been to Fruit Logistica eight years, twice representing Farm Fresh, which exports about half of its sweet potatoes. England is the biggest buyer, followed by Holland and France. This year buyers from Italy and Spain discussed possible deals.
“People were even more receptive this year than last,” Ceccarelli said. “Sweet potatoes are blowing up in Europe. I ship 300 to 400 tons per week to Europe. We have doubled our volume to Europe in the past year.”
Correa said pears from the U.S., especially the Northwest, are also enjoying growth in exports. He said about 40% of the crop represented by the Pear Bureau Northwest is exported. The bulk goes to Canada and Mexico, but between 15% and 18% go outside North America.
“The trip to Fruit Logistica is definitely worth it,” Correa said after the show. “I think the joint booth (USA Fruits) worked well for the exhibitors who participated in it.”
Courtesy Organic Trade Co.The Organic Trade Co. showed its pre-packaged grapes, mangoes and oranges at Fruit Logistica. Company officials said in response to customer requests at the show they would add 3-pound bags to their product line. The Organic Trade Co., which has offices in the U.S., Holland and Belgium, was one of the companies that made new business deals at the show. Marco Brakkee, vice president, said the company met new suppliers of organic fruit from the Southern Hemisphere.
“In the next few months we will start up some programs with them, for instance on organic plums and peaches,” Brakkee said.