Fruit Attraction celebrates its X Anniversary in this edition, consolidating itself as the great international reference in the fruit and vegetable sector. We have spoken with the director of this fair, Raul Callejas who has revealed to us that in just 10 years, this world meeting has gone from the 8,400 participants to more than 70,000.
ECA-What does it mean for Spain that 10 years of this horticultural meeting be completed?
RC- It is a pride and is the fruit of the intense work of all those who form the sector. Spain is the first exporter of the European Union and one of the top three exporters worldwide, as well as being one of the world’s leading producers. So it has the fair that corresponds to it and the one demanded by the industry itself.
As a director, it is an honor and a responsibility to have the opportunity to contribute to the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector, developing with FEPEX a first level platform that in only ten years has positioned itself as one of the main commercial meetings around the world. I have nothing but words of thanks to the team, to all those who have contributed their grain of sand and to the horticultural sector that trusted in this project.
ECA-What balance can you make of these ten years?
RC- The effort and the work are paying off. We affirm excellent participation figures with a growth of 16% in both exhibitors and surface. The first edition accounted for an exhibition area of 7,400 square meters and registered the participation of more than 8,400, but in this edition the 45,000 square meters are surpassed and more than 70,000 attendees are expected. With these figures confirms the confidence of the sector in this first-class fair at the service of companies as a platform for international momentum and expansion.
ECA- What would you say has been the key to the success of Fruit Attraction?
RC- It is the conjunction of many reasons. Spain is a fundamental country within the fruit and vegetable industry, which means that it has a great capacity for buyer attraction, for its variety, for its quality and for its history: they have always called us ‘the garden of Europe’. Secondly, the fair is held in October, a key month in the planning of campaigns for the distribution chains for the winter, being a real commercial meeting. This is not a fair to see things but to close agreements, plan supplies and campaigns.
And third, the conjunction and coordination between FEPEX and IFEMA. They have the sectoral knowhow. There has also been much work these years in the demand, in the professional visitor, in which a lot of money is invested through the program of international buyers. Today we can say that Fruit Attraction does not only come from national or European visitors, but from all over the world, specifically from 120 countries.
ECA- And what is the current trend within the sector ?
RC- The sector is in good health but is in a constant state of alert and review, especially for all the new disruptive changes that will hit the market in the next 10 years: the emergence of biotechnology, the new value chain, the profiles of new consumers, the entry of online commerce in the fresh produce sector, etc.
Maintaining the first positions requires business infrastructure, investments in updating and modernizing the horticultural farms, incorporating improvements to the processes to reinforce it and ensure its sustainability in the future. It is necessary to deepen the diversification of sales abroad and speed up the removal of existing phytosanitary barriers in many countries. On the other hand, the innovation process must be accelerated, reinforcing the funds and programs destined to finance the farms.