Macfrut looks to the future with optimism. In order to meet the expectations of its target audience, the international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector is set to take place in May 2021 as a major face-to-face event, hoping that the Covid-19 emergency will be over by then: the 37th edition of Macfrut is scheduled to be held from 4 to 6 May 2021 at the Rimini Expo Centre.
Melon will be the event’s key product, symbolising the quality of Italian fruits and vegetables, and will be discussed and promoted during a series of events involving buyers and visitors.
The Partner Region will be Sardinia, a region where the fruit and vegetable sector significantly increases the total value of domestic agricultural production (23%).
Alongside these novelties, the new exhibition project, the Spices & Herbs Global Expo, which was put on hold due to the Covid-19 emergency, will be resumed. It is the first exhibition in Europe dedicated to the world of spices, officinal plants and aromatic herbs, which is set to become a global meeting point for producers, technicians, researchers, traders and processors. It will be complemented by an extensive programme of conferences and dedicated events, including the presentation of the Observatory on spices and officinal herbs, created as a result of the partnership between Cesena Fiera and ISMEA (Institute of Services for the Agricultural Food Market).
There will be an international focus on “Fruits and spices along Marco Polo’s route”, and the emerging markets of the Far East will be in the spotlight, especially those of Central Asia and of the Indian Ocean, where fruit, vegetable and spice sales are growing rapidly.
The first initiatives to promote Macfrut 2021 internationally will take place in Central Asia – specifically in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan – which, in this first phase, will be in digital mode. Presentations are also scheduled in South America (Colombia, Chile, Cuba and Peru), Africa (Zambia) and, in particular, in China, with which we will continue our partnership established during Macfrut Digital. Once again, the ICE Agenzia – Italian Trade Agency offices around the world and Macfrut’s network of foreign agents will play a strategic role.
The commitment to digitisation also continues. In fact, two of the main Forums of Macfrut 2021 will be hosted on a digital platform as well, as in the recent edition of Macfrut Digital. Two events will be held both face to face and online: the Acqua Campus, showcasing innovations in irrigation, and Macfrut Field Solution, dedicated to cutting-edge technologies for the horticultural sector, with a special focus on melons. The other two main focus sessions of Macfrut, instead, will take place in the traditional format: the Biosolutions International Congress, dedicated to the biostimulant and biocontrol industries, and the Greenhouse Technology Village, dedicated to greenhouse horticulture innovation.
With this road map in mind, the President of Macfrut, Renzo Piraccini, is optimistic: ‘Although the current situation calls for caution,’ he says, ‘we are convinced that in May 2021 we will have the right conditions in place to hold a major event, which is something the fruit and vegetable industry really needs. If this is not the case, we have prepared alternative options that we will take into consideration, in a very pragmatic way, together with our exhibitors.’
Macfrut Digital between 2020 and 2021
The outcome of the first trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector held on a digital platform was positive. Despite some difficulties in the initial phase, the numbers speak for themselves: 32,212 participants during the three-day event, with 18,164 individual professional visitors and 219,524 pages viewed.
It recorded a large number of foreign participants: 49% of visitors were from abroad representing 152 countries, of which 60% from Europe, 12% from North Africa, 10% from Sub-Saharan Africa, 6% from the Far East and Australia, and 4% from North America, Russia and Eastern Europe. A total of 600 buyers registered on the platform, 4,492 B2B meetings were requested, and 3,840 messages were sent via the “Write to us” button.
The exhibition halls most popular among visitors were Production and Trade (8,421 visitors), the International Halls (5,203), Machinery and Systems (3,424), Packaging (3016) and Plant nurseries (2,200).
An interesting figure is the number of visits: 52.5% through mobile devices and tablets, 47.5% through desktop computers.
The Macfrut Digital project will be repeated, packed with new content, from 28 to 30 September 2021 in parallel with another global event: the International Asparagus Days.
Therefore, Macfrut continues to take a digital approach to be integrated with the “traditional” trade fair format.