Piraccini: “Macfrut is the fruit and vegetable trade fair par excellence”

The President of Cesena Fiera discusses the current trade fair-related debate in the fruit and vegetable sector
 
We have an incredible opportunity: in 2016, Macfrut will be the only trade fair in this sector to be hosted in Italy.
Why do we not, for once, try to put the controversies of this past year behind us and start working together to implement a leading trade fair of the fruit and vegetable sector that is worthy of representing this industry and its potentials?

We want to achieve this, starting from two key points:
  1. The majority of traders in the supply chain believe that Italy, the most important producer of fruit and vegetables in Europe, together with Spain, and world-leading country in the field of technology and packaging, should have its own trade fair-showcase in this strategic sector.
  2. Objectively, Macfrut is the Italian fruit and vegetable trade fair par excellence.
Of course, looking back at the past, we have made some mistakes. And, for sure, the greatest mistake of all is not having given Macfrut an adequate location, in terms not only of logistics but also of size and quality. I am saying this with no intention to stir up controversy but with the awareness that, if we had taken this step several years ago, things would be very different now.
However, I do not think that all is lost.

At last, we have come to the decision of hosting Macfrut in an adequate setting. For 2015 and 2016, this means Rimini, an exceptional exhibition venue in a location with huge appeal, yet nothing prevents us from considering hosting the next edition in a different city, especially if this can help bring the sector together.

A proposal strongly supported by exhibitors was also to reschedule the event at the beginning of May. I think that, realistically, this could be its future timing.
I firmly believe that, within a few years, we can manage to bring Macfrut back to being a major trade fair at international level, thus meeting the expectations of all the Italian traders in the supply chain. We are also well aware that, if Germany has been able to set up its own major trade fair and Spain has done the same for its own major segment, Italy must also be able to achieve this.

Macfrut’s great strength and distinguishing feature is the supply chain, a distinctive and unique value that is set to take us far.
Fruit Logistica has its main strength in the extensive German market, the first in Europe in terms of purchase volumes, which has been the driving force for the development of the trade fair in the North-European large-scale retail sector. With a strongly increased exhibition space, Fruit Logistica is an absolute market leader, yet it is now beginning to struggle due to the typical issues that characterise generalist trade fairs, and other events are now taking its place. Many Spanish exporters attend Fruit Logistica to boost their institutional presence but then choose to “play their cards” at Fruit Attraction.

Fruit Attraction fully enhances Spanish production, which has a great propensity towards exports and has well understood that having its own global showcase is a strategic element. Many buyers in the European large-scale retail sector have realised that, during the two-day event held in Madrid, they have the chance to meet the entire world of Spanish production.

Well, this is the example we intend to follow. I will say this clearly: our reference is much more Fruit Attraction than Fruit Logistica. Of course, our production system is not as strong as the Spanish one but, in many supply chains - such as apples, pears, kiwifruits and table grapes and in many horticultural segments - we still rank first. Above all, we can rely on our leadership in the fields of technology and packaging. Today, innovation in this sector is all about this. It is not by chance that the new international network, Mac Fruit Attraction, was born along the Cesena-Madrid axis.

Being able to combine production with the rest of the supply chain may well be the key element for developing Macfrut and the entire Italian fruit and vegetable supply chain.
Among the exhibitors attending Macfrut 2015, production and marketing represented only 29% of exhibition spaces, however we must take into account that a few major companies in this segment did not attend the event.

Despite this great disadvantage, the change of pace of the 2015 edition was clearly perceived and all the conditions required for further growth are now present.
Why don’t we roll up our sleeves and join forces to set up a major event that is truly international, and then discuss its future, without mutual vetoes and exclusively in the interest of this sector?

We want to give it a try!
Renzo Piraccini