Fruit Logistica attracts industry leaders from around the world

By: Tisza Andrea Date: 2024. 03. 26. 19:41

Fruit Logistica, the world’s leading trade fair for the fruit and vegetable industry, set a new record this year in Berlin: between 7 and 9 February 2024, buyers and trade visitors from more than 140 countries met more than 2,770 exhibitors, who represented 94 countries on 5 continents.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/4

Innovation and the latest trends in the spotlight

Fruit Logistica once again played a central role in showcasing innovations and discussing the latest trends in the sector, with six stages and a packed programme of events.

The Farming Forward stage, which was built for the first time, featured renowned international organisations such as the CEA Alliance and Wageningen University and Research Centre, and covered topics like controlled environment agriculture (CEA), the sustainability of indoor production, the future viability of vertical farming and new technologies. At the Startup Day Fruit Logistica welcomed 20 promising young entrepreneurs. One of the focal points of this year’s event was subversive digital-based innovations in logistics and supply chains.

Greenhouse growers are among the early adopters of artificial intelligence. They have to make a myriad of decisions on a weekly basis, made easier by AI-based data collection. Grow Director is targeting them with its products: using machine learning they help automate crop production both in controlled environments and in the field

Innovation Award: top ideas with big potential

The annual Innovation Awards (FLIA) competition, which rewards outstanding innovations in the fresh produce value chain, received around 70 entries this year, from which a panel of experts selected the five best ideas in each category. Professional visitors then voted on their favourites for the eighth edition of the Innovation Awards (FLIA) and, for the first time, for the complementary FLIA Technology Awards. Zucchiolo from Spain, a new variety of courgette won the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award.

The Fruit Logistica 2024 Innovation Award goes to Unica Fresh Zucchiniolo from Spain

Mirical: biological crop protection in a box

The newly announced FLIA Technology Award went to Dutch company Koppert for its packaging concept called Mirical. Mirical (Macrolophus pygmaeus) is a predatory bug that can fight greenhouse whiteflies, which often infest greenhouse vegetables. Instead of plastic, Koppert now offers the predatory bugs on corrugated cardboard strips and cardboard trays that can be attached directly to the plants, which not only makes the predatory bug more effective but also keeps makes the product fully compostable. Fruit Logistica has also published its latest annual trend report on the future of vertical farming, entitled “Arrested Development”, which can be downloaded for free from the event’s website.

This year’s FLIA Technology Award goes to Koppert from the Netherlands for its Mirical packaging concept

Extreme weather, declining yields

Michael Koch, who summarised the data published in the European Statistics Handbook 2023 on behalf of the Agricultural Marketing Information Company (AMI) told: the impact of weather conditions on fruit and vegetable markets was evident again last year. Its result for the fruit sector was a drop in yields compared to 2022. According to AMI’s calculations, only vegetable yields slightly exceeded the 2022 level, mainly due to the fact that global water supply in 2023 was a little better than in the previous year. Besides the environmental effects, prices across the value chain continued to rise in 2023. There were countries where the cost of living crisis slightly reduced fruit and vegetable consumption, with the organic sector in particular suffering. Michael Koch also mentioned a positive outcome of last year’s events: producers finally received a share from rising food prices. //

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