In February Jim and Oli flew to Berlin to check out Fruit Logistica 2020. It’s Europe’s biggest fruit industry convention, and every sector imaginable of the fresh produce business is represented there.
Jim and I arrived in Berlin close to midnight the day before Fruit Logistica 2020 started. It’s a three-day event for the fresh fruit industry in Europe and takes place at Messe Berlin. The first thing you need to know about Fruit Logistica is… it is huge!
When we arrived on the morning of day 1 and saw the brochure for all of the exhibits and presentations, we quickly realised we would need to split up if we were to see even half of it. The expo fills 25 exhibition halls, each one full of industry trade stands covering every geography and every possible aspect of the fruit supply chain, from growing to packing to storing to transporting.
Exploring all the halls and meeting new people was fantastic, but Fruit Logistica is also a good opportunity to catch up with some of Outfield’s current partners. We caught up with growers from the UK and South Africa, and were finally able to meet face to face with a New Zealand grower that we have been running a trial project with. We had an especially warm welcome at the Richard Hochfeld Group stand, which was a great opportunity to meet more of their team… and to try some of their gin!
One of the best experiences from Fruit Logistica for me, was seeing all the different national trade stands from around the world. The larger fruit producing countries even had separate stands for individual regions. Spain had stands for Catalonia, Castile and Aragon, while Italy had half of an entire conference hall for its different regions and producers. Each stand was keen to show of the best bits of their regional fruit industry, which was very fun and informative.
Unfortunately I had to fly back to the UK after day 1, but Jim was able to attend all three days of the expo. Jim spent a lot of his time at the Fruit Logistica Innovation Area, which featured stands and presentations for new and up-and-coming technologies. So much in the fruit industry has been ripe for innovation for a while, and it was very heartening to see some of the solutions that are being put out there.
A particular highlight for Jim was meeting with Harrij Schmeitz, Director for the Open Innovationcenter Feed Design Lab. Harrij gave a great presentation about technology and the modern pressures on growers, which we at Outfield really agree with.
Over all, Outfield’s first experience with Fruit Logistica was a great one, and we look forward to returning next year. We’re also looking forward to Interpoma later this year, which is dedicated exclusively to apples. See you there in November!