Organized by IFEMA and FEPEX, Fruit Attraction 2019, which was held from 22 to 24 October, presented the biggest and most comprehensive of all its editions with the participation of 1,770 companies from 58 countries, an increase of 9% relative to 2018, occupying 55,938 square metres of net sales space - 10% more than last year. Figures that made Madrid the world's fruit and vegetable capital for three days. The Trade Fair confirmed its role as a fundamental instrument for a global approach to fruit and vegetable marketing, with its ability to promote the sector's global exports and act as the commercial hub for professionals throughout the entire value chain and the innovation framework for the fruit and vegetable industry.
One of the most outstanding features was the 23% increase in participants from abroad, who spent an average of 1.83 days at the fair, compared with the 1.55 overall average. Once again, those from Europe were the most numerous, representing 65% of attendees, up by 16% on the previous year. The biggest increase, 47%, was in the number of visitors from Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by North America, with a 31% increase, the Middle East, with growth of 21%, and non-EU European countries, up by 20%. In short, Fruit Attraction confirmed its position as a key commercial event for world production, marketing and distribution.
The number of visitors to the Guest Importing Countries, a joint programme with ICEX, whose guests this time were China, India and Singapore, was also up substantially. In the case of India, 259 visitors were registered, with a growth of 121%; Singapore, a total of 36 attendees, an increase of 140%, and China, 70% more, with 167 participants.
Fruit Attraction offered participants a platform for international drive and expansion with the International Guests Programme, which brought 1,015 major buyers, retail purchasing managers, importers and wholesalers from 86 countries to Madrid.
As in the last edition, holding the fair from Tuesday to Thursday was a resounding success, as reflected in increased numbers of visitors on all three days: the daily distribution of visitors was 32% on the first day; 48% on the second and 19% on the third.
As for the exhibitors, international participation accounted for 42% of the total, with 750 foreign companies from 58 countries, headed by those from Europe, which accounted for 89% of the total, most notably from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Belgium and the United Kingdom, while there were also increased numbers of participants from the Americas (Ecuador, Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Peru and Argentina) and Africa, (Egypt, Kenya and Morocco).
In the domestic sphere, Fruit Attraction 2019 was attended by companies from all Spanish production areas. A total of 1,020 companies, whose success lies mainly in the great attraction of Spanish fruit and vegetable production in international markets, precisely in a key month for planning seasons.
Once again, the Fresh Produce exhibition area accounted for the highest percentage of participation, 71.5%. Auxiliary industries, with 25.5%, also had a substantial weight, showing all the strength of the fruit and vegetable sector chain. To these were added Flower & Garden Attraction, with 2%, and Nuts Hub, with 1%, which shows the specialization of the fair and its verticality.
On this occasion, the Fair promoted areas such as Ecorganic Market, a specialized area for the marketing and export of organic products, as well as Smart Agro, focused on the application of new technologies. The Innovation Hub and the Innova Forum were the areas dedicated to innovation and business developments in the sector.
In this area, the fair hosted the Accelera Awards for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which went to Rijk Zwaan for its product Spicy Sparkle, the new leaf that straddles the border between rocket and corn salad, and Alhondiga La Union, for its WeCarePack, a biocompostable packaging solution based on plant waste for quality preservation of fruits and vegetables.
A complete programme of conferences made Fruit Attraction the knowledge centre for the sector, with sessions characterized by the great diversity of content, as well as the high level of participants and speakers. Notable among them were, for example, the World Fresh Forum, the Biofruit Congress. The AWM (Agriwater Management); session, Technology Attraction and the session on Brexit in the fruit and vegetable sector: Spain - United Kingdom vision.
The Fair again facilitated the collection of fruits and vegetables from the exhibitors for the Madrid Food Bank, which managed to gather 40,000 kilos of fruit and vegetable products.
Fruit Attraction 2020 will be held from 20 to 22 October at IFEMA.