Fruit Logistica 2020

Fruit Logistica (www.fruitlogistica.com) is one of the world’s largest fresh produce trade fairs. It is a showcase for almost every aspect of global horticulture. It takes place annually at the Messe, Berlin for 4 days at the start of February. The fair features 3,200 exhibitors over 137,504 square metres, welcomes almost 80,000 visitors and, if you were to walk every aisle past every stand at least once, your fitbit would have expired and it is rumoured you’d have walked 16 miles. It is awesome.

Fruit Logistica at the Messe in Berlin, North Entrance
Fruit Logistica at the Messe in Berlin, North Entrance

Countries, growing regions, companies and fresh produce brands come to show off every type of fresh fruit and vegetable. Central to the show is innovation. Whatever your discipline you will find something new: From seed varieties, new farming and processing machinery, to technology, logistics and of course new fruit and veg varieties. Visitors come to discover the latest developments, to meet customers and suppliers and enjoy the bockwurst and beer.

New in 2020

As a specialist fresh produce PR consultancy, PamLloyd PR MD Dieter Lloyd was busy with clients wearing their shoe leather down on the Fruit Logistica carpets. Exhibitors included Gs Fresh (Gs-Fresh.com) is one of the UK and Europe’s largest farming businesses growing salads, beetroot, onions, celery, mushrooms and radishes to name only a few. Zespri (Zespri.eu) took centre stage in Hall 27 and launched their new branding at the 2020 show to wide acclaim.

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BerryWorld (BerryWorld.com) handed out welcome punnets of fresh produce to visitors who’d seen enough currywurst and  Barfoots (Barfoots.com) were busy with team members doing the rounds. One of the benefits of Fruit Logistica is that because so many people come, it is quite an economic way to see suppliers and customers all in one space, especially if you’re only popping to Berlin from a corner of the EU (or Britain).

Because PamLloyd PR has 20 years working with fresh produce businesses, we are always on the look out for ideas that will be interesting to our clients. As a result the tomato displays caught the eye and they were everywhere; in art, as natural sweets (Moyo), as veggies for foodies (Food Fellows) and Stoffels’ premium brand Toma’Dor, looking more like like Ferrero Rafaello than a pack of tomatoes.

 

Yoom!

Innovation in tomatoes took centre stage at this year’s Fruit Logistica. Yoom (www.yoomtomato.com), a dark purple tomato variety from Syngenta, won the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA) voted for by visitors to the show. The tomato was bred for taste (thankfully), nutritional attributes and colour and claims a unique sweet/sour umami flavour.

The new tomato was also bred to have more flexible growing characteristics, including being suited to grow under artificial light, an important consideration in indoor and vertical farming. Indoor and vertical farming was one of the trade fair’s hot topics and the focus of a number of talks.

Micro leaf herbs being grown under pink light.
Micro leaf herbs being grown under pink light. The light is suitable for growing all kinds of plants indoors.

Vertical Farming

According to Ernst van den Ende, the MD of Wageningen University Plant Science, quoted by German vertical farming business Infarm (InFarm.com), “The planet will need to produce more food in the next four decades than all farmers in history have harvested over the past 8,000 years.” Vertical farming is seen as one of the solutions to feeding 9 billion people beyond 2050.

Vertical farming is seen as part of the solution because it can bring growing into urban centres and even into our stores. Growing population moving to cities, reducing CO2 emissions, food waste and plastic packaging and improving food safety and nutrition are all considerations used to inform the debate.

Businesses like the German company InFarm signed contracts worth $200 million over the past 6 months with European retailers, including our own M&S, to provide instore growing stations for crops like herbs and baby leaf. Their claim is that modular farms are 57x more efficient than soil-based agriculture at the size of an instore cabinet. In a 24 metre tall unit suitable for wholesalers InFarm claim efficiencies 400x more than soil based agriculture and 15x more than greenhouses.

Artist's impression of an urban farm store in a city
The future of growing in cities to feed 7bn people by 2050
InFarm concepts of modular farms for retail and wholesale
InFarm concepts of modular farms for retail and wholesale
InFarm retail micro leaf growing units currently in German shops
InFarm retail units currently in German shops

 

Finally, many producers and their marketing campaigns were featured at the show. It’s always interesting to see how different countries and cultures market a product to home shoppers and trade markets. To finish off here is a small selection of how other people do produce marketing.