A leading international exhibition for fresh produce traders, Fruit Logistica, has started in Berlin, covering all aspects of fruit and vegetable growing and sales. Competition is as fierce as never before.
Some 2,600 exhibitors from over 80 nations have come to Berlin to attend the Fruit Logistica as the leading international meeting place for people in the fresh produce market. The event has once again attracted both the big names in the trade as well as many small and medium-sized companies from around the globe.
They have until Friday to inform themselves about the latest fruit and vegetable varieties and learn more about new trends in packaging, storage, transport and product presentation.
Some 1.74 billion tons of fruits and vegetables were produced last year, with fresh produce having become a lot more expensive in many regions, including Europe.
Argentina in focus
In Germany, prices for fruits rose by 7.2 percent last year and those for vegetables increased by 6.1 percent, significantly above a very moderate inflation rate in 2013. But while Germans were found generally willing to pay more, many were not exactly thrilled by what they found in stores.
"We need a taste explosion again, and not produce that may be exotic, but is anything but ripe and tasty," said Hans-Jürgen Kirsch, who works for the Globus retail chain.
The 2014 edition of the Fruit Logistica features Argentina as this year's partner nation.
As one of the most important producers in the southern hemisphere, Argentina exports fruit and vegetables to around 100 countries, with shipments abroad amounting to $1.7 billion (1.26 billion euros) annually.
Europe is Argentina's most important trade destination, with 32 percent of its exports arriving on the continent.
hg/ipj (dpa, Reuters)