Macfrut ends successfully and will be held again in May 2017

(Rimini, 16 September 2016) With more than 38,000 participants, +9% of visitors compared to 2015 and +30% of participants from abroad, the 2016 edition of Macfrut ended with remarkable record numbers. Cesena Fiera, the organiser of the international trade fair of the fruit and vegetable sector that ended a few days ago in Rimini, is already busy preparing the 2017 edition, to be held in the spring, as in the past, from 10 to 12 May.

In fact, it is no coincidence that the main theme of Macfrut 2017 will be strawberries, the symbolic fruit of spring, featuring the event "Strawberry Days", in partnership with leading Italian strawberry producers. The partner Region and Country will be, respectively, Basilicata and China. Basilicata is Italy’s leading strawberry-growing region, whereas the Asian giant aims to become an increasingly strategic market for Italian and European fruit and vegetable produce.

An Organic section will also make its debut at Macfrut 2017, acknowledging a recent ongoing trend in several European countries. This initiative aims to highlight a constantly growing segment, of which Italy is a leading fruit and vegetable producer and intends to focus on this sector to re-launch its exports in North European markets.

Among other new features, the next edition will host the first "Macfrut Gourmet" - an area dedicated to artisan businesses in the field of top-quality fruit processing for modern distribution and specialised retail - but also "Macfrut in the field". The latter is an initiative scheduled to be held on the day before the start of the trade fair (9th May) and will involve a demonstration, in dedicated test fields, of cutting-edge technology applied in fields, especially for horticulture.

Meanwhile, the 2016 edition of Macfrut dictated some guidelines for the development of the fruit and vegetable sector at international level. In fact, Macfrut has responded to the call of Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the need for a "Marshall Plan" for Africa by re-launching it. During the international conference "The Role of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry in the Economic and Social Development of Sub-Saharan Africa", held in the presence of 18 representatives including ambassadors and sales departments, it emerged that fruit and vegetables may be the key to Africa’s development and, in this way, migration flows can also be contained. As a matter of fact, Africa's growth heavily relies on agricultural production, which consists of tubers (70%), tropical fruit (15%), vegetables (10%), citrus fruits (3%) and other fruit (2%), for a total of 355 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables produced. 

Albania is showing interesting development prospects in the fruit and vegetable sector and was one of the most successful countries at Macfrut 2016. With an increase in exports, 21% in the last five years, Albania is focusing on the production of field crops, such as vegetables, cereals and potatoes.

Macfrut 2016 also introduced several "green" innovations. During the technical conferences, among other things, a technique was presented, used in the field of soilless cultivation, which involves re-using the drained nutrient solution by adjusting the amount of water and nutrients to the amount absorbed by plants. Compared to traditional techniques, it eliminates environmental impact, since the nutrient solution is not released into the environment but is continuously made available to plants.

"The event has been met with general appreciation by all those involved due to its improvement in quality," says Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut. "The change of direction marked by the last edition has been stressed even further. This year we had a significant number of foreign professional visitors from Eastern Europe, Central and South America and Africa."

Now that Macfrut 2016 has just come to an end, we are already focusing on the next edition, which is set to begin in less than 8 months and will be held at the Rimini Expo Centre from 10 to 12 May 2017.