In fresh produce, organics and convenience stood out at the Fruit Logistica fair held in Berlin February 5-7.
Partially prepared foods that can quickly and easily be ready for eating by today’s busy consumer and varieties grown using sustainable methods were plentiful at the show. In fact, new products like BBQ Grill Mix from Switzerland and Uuru bananas from Ecuador were among the finalists for this year’s Innovation Award.
The Agricultural Market Information Service reported at the event that both fruit and vegetables experienced slight overall growth in 2013, reaching 1.74 billion tons worldwide.
In terms of the U.S .dollar value of the produce, however industry was up about 7% from 2012, with much of that growth was in organically/sustainably grown commodities.
“Fruit and vegetables are the world’s oldest foods. The passion within these products triggers emotions in our customers. That’s why the fresh produce department is a shop’s calling card,” said Hans-Jürgen Kirsch, director of product range management with the German hypermarket retailer Globus, at the opening press conference.
Kirsch added some criticism of the industry, saying it is partly to blame for the fact that shoppers have lost faith in how fresh produce tastes, insisting the food retail industry must ensure that “products aren’t put on sale until they are delicious to eat.”
There was a small Canadian presence at Fruit Logistica 2014, which hosted more than 2,600 exhibitors and about 58,000 visitors from 120 countries.
One of the seven Canadian exhibitors was Canneberges Québec, which grows cranberries in St. Louis de Blanford, reported steady traffic during the first few days of the fair.
The company is trying to gain customers in central and Eastern Europe and had its president set up several appointments with buyers from retailers and distributors during the three-day event.
“We have a few distributors in Holland and Belgium, plus a few clients in France. We are here trying to get our berries to other countries in Europe, especially in the central and eastern countries,” said Patrick Bédard, owner of Canneberges Québec, which sells it fruit under the name Baies D’Or or gold berry. Like others at the show, Bédard and his team were trying to make some gold of their own in Berlin.