Fruitful Fruit Logistica

Besides neatly presented crunchy vegetables and colorful fruits of all sorts and from all geographical regions, the yearly Berlin-held mammoth event Fruit Logistica proved to be a trade fair offering participants a platform for raising pressing questions and discussing the future of this specific business segment. So attending this year’s show was really worthwhile.

Roughly 80,000 visitors and exhibitors flocked into the halls of Messe Berlin from 7-9 February, presenting their produce and exchanging views with industry experts, growers, traders, forwarders or simply interested individuals dropping by their stands. The crowds were such that the aisles were clogged with people, making it extremely difficult to find a quiet place for undisturbed conversations.


Hot topics prevailed
The perishable business is on the go, evidenced by figures presented at Fruit Logistica and emphasized by experts at meetings. But where is it heading at? How will the fruit trade develop in the medium and long term? What will be the future trends in shipping perishables? And how will packaging change to meet tougher ecological standards? Hot questions tabled at the fair.
Figures were presented by Cargolux. According to the carrier, last year more than 2.4 million tons of fresh products were flown on board of aircraft, an increase of 3.3 percent to 2016. With more than 1.1 million tons, fruits and vegetables comprise around 46 percent of all fresh products in air cargo, states the airline in a release.
It is expected that by 2030 the perishables business will surpass the €3.9 billion mark threshold per annum. 

Disruptive business
Presumably, the most valuable contribution, a Trend Report compiled by consultancy Oliver Wyman, was presented one day before the trade fair officially kicked off. The study focuses on three areas – cold chain logistics and technology, the rise of online retail, and foodservice. Stated Rainer Muench, a leading author of the report: “The marketplace for fresh fruit and vegetables is becoming increasingly globalized and interconnected.” This, in turn, he reasoned is changing the way fresh produce is carried from its origin to its destination. And touching the supply chain he spoke of its continual flux as it is permanently reshaped by the emergence of new market segments and the evolution of consumer demand. Businesses all along the supply chain – from growers to retailers – are expanding and consolidating and are increasingly becoming disruptive. Their advances, Muench concluded, “coincide with a notable drive towards greater efficiency and transparency, a trend that is assisted by seemingly unstoppable technological advance.”

Messe Berlin is traditional organizer of Fruit Logistica, held this year from 7-9 February  -  pictures: hs
Messe Berlin is traditional organizer of Fruit Logistica, held this year from 7-9 February - pictures: hs

This was consented by Will Wollbold, global brand manager at Fruit Logistica, who stated: “No matter where you work in the fresh produce industry, disruption in fruit and vegetable distribution will enable you to anticipate key issues affecting the trade, and help stakeholders and decision-makers to understand them better. It will also help you to answer questions that relate directly to your business proactively.”

Pook gets the eco seal
This year’s Fruit Logistica ended, as all forerunners did, with the price awarding ceremony, honoring and recognizing outstanding novelties across the entire fresh produce supply chain, from production to sale.
The 2018 Fruit Logistica Innovation Award winner is “Pook Coconut Chips,” elected by a majority of the 80,000 attendees.
Pook is a German start-up specialized in healthy and vegetarian food. Their tasty products are vegan, made of gluten-free starch and contain no preservatives. Many Fruit Logistica attendeeds hads the opportunity to convince themselves personally that Pook Chips are astonishingly well tasting.

Heiner Siegmund

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