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Browse the photo gallery

The enthusiasm of exhibitors confirms Macfrut as an international event

56,200 people attended the three-day fair at the Rimini Expo Centre, 13% more than last year. There were a lot of elements Macfrut can be pleased with: the high level of visitors, operators and foreign buyers, increasingly present also due to the attractiveness of the Italian production, as well as the scientific events involving leading world experts.

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Renzo Piraccini, president of Macfrut.

"I would like to report something an exhibitor told me during the event, i.e. that Macfrut has become essential to understand in which direction the sector is headed. This is our objective, and the fact that exhibitors have understood it means we are moving in the right direction. The teamwork of an entire chain is represented at Macfrut and represents the success of this edition. For us, this goal is the starting point to tackle new challenges, as we are aware that our country deserves an event with an international scope. That is why we will already start working on an even richer and more international 2025 edition," reported Macfrut president Renzo Piraccini.

The ribbon cutting ceremony that opened Macfrut 2024.

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From Halls B5 and B5-D5
Almost all exhibitors in Halls B5 and B5-D5 said they were happy with the flow of visitors. The busy first day generated a lot of expectations as regards the second. The fact that Macfrut focused on internationalization with a new layout and mixed halls was much appreciated.

The Calabria (Hall B5/D5) and Sicily (B5) regions were well represented. Over 250 sq m were dedicated to the former, set up by the Department of Agriculture and Arsac, featuring over 20 companies and consortia. The produce range included fennel from Isola Capo Rizzuto, potatoes from Sila, red onions Tropea, bergamot oranges, watermelons and even avocados, without forgetting the processing sector.

Sicily is highly specialized in high-quality productions (first of all, citrus fruits and by-products, as well as some vegetables) and the support towards internationalization activities is an essential objective to guarantee competitiveness in the future.

In Hall B5, Italmercati invested on an actual Market Island that illustrated its network, a few single markets and the local Emilia Romagna Mercati business network.

The simultaneous presence of Cibus in Parma, however, led some to consider the faults of the "Italian System" and almost all the exhibitors interviewed explained that there should have been at least a few days between the two events. For example, Gianni Indino, president of CAAR-Centro Agro Alimentare Riminese, reported that "many asked us why Macfrut in Rimini and Cibus in Parma were practically organized on the same days, meaning they could not attend both. Although we understand it is done so that international buyers only have to come to Italy once, I believe they could have been organized one right after the other."

From Hall B3
Most companies in Hall B3 were generally pleased. Many people attended right from the first day, with a peak on the second and quite a bit of movement until 2 pm even on the third day. "We can say we are pleased. We mostly met and planned with our existing clients," commented Markus Tscholl, coordinator at Asta Frutta Alto Adige.

Markus Tscholl.

From Hall A1
Carmela Suriano, EMEA Director at Nova Siri Genetics also confirms how Macfrut is a point of reference on an Italian level for the international fresh produce sector. "The new services offered to exhibitors and the growing participation of foreign players help establish interesting contacts. Our presence in Hall A1, dedicated to varietal innovation, and the focus on strawberries organized together with Macfrut Academy, helped us share the results of our genetic improvement program and new varieties with a wide audience."

Carmela Suriano, Pasquale Casalnuovo, Alida Stigliano, Graziana Suriano and Nicola Tufaro.

"We perceive an increased attention for varietal innovation and market demand. This fair is dedicating more and more space to research, which is nowadays strategic for the fresh produce sector. Climate change and demand for healthier products have modified research."

Group photo of some of the participants in the chestnut section.

Multiple conventions dedicated to chestnuts were organized in Hall A1. As reported by Giancarlo Elmi from Mitica, "once again, Luciano Trentini won his bet and, thanks to him, our segment is discovering new prospects."

Some exhibitors from halls C1 and A1 are asking the fair to improve the signage at the entrance, or to let growers and technicians know that the two halls are those more connected to their activities, thus improving the flow of visitors.

From Hall C1
Many describe Macfrut as satisfactory, crowded and unexpected, especially those that took part for the first time, such as Combimetal Carrera in Hall C1.

Production technician Rocco Carrera reported that "we are pleased with the fact that we have finally showcased our 3-row system for the soilless cultivation of strawberries to those who still had not managed to visit our crops in some Italian regions. We thought most visitors would focus on the fresh-produce halls, but they did not. Many growers, students and university professors visited us as well and were curious about the prototypes on display. There were dozens of foreign operators from the Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Norway, Spain, Palestine and South Africa. They know how our solutions work and that they can become an asset for their daily activities."

Giusi, Antonio and Rocco Carrera together with Giovanni Napoli.

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Foreign exhibitors
As for foreign exhibitors, a lot of people came in from African countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and Uganda with both traditional and processed products. These countries are trying to introduce other productions or expand their markets.

South America was also well represented with exporters and products ranging from pineapples to avocados, cassava and grapes. Some national stands were very large, but they were mostly representation ones without company managers or products.

It was interesting to see how many Eastern European countries brought high-quality products such as cherries or blueberries. The same can be said for tomatoes from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Bulgaria. Asia was represented by a large number of Indian companies and a stand from Vietnam.

From the halls overlooking the pools
The sunny days meant exhibitors could enjoy the natural light and were an unmissable chance to dine and discuss al fresco, especially at lunchtime. Halls B1/D1 to B3/D3, which overlook the courtyard, enjoyed a continuous flow of visitors from day one.

VIP Sales Manager Kurt Ratschiller from stand 038 in Hall B3 discussed the ongoing apple season, stressing how Italy continues to be the leading market for VIP as it absorbs around 60% of the production, with Club apples from the premium segment registering a 50% increase in sales compared with the past season.

"Macfrut has worked very well, we have noticed a lot of interest and more positivity with respect to the past edition, when people discussed more about the increase in the cost of raw materials. We met a lot of people, so we managed to grasp all the opportunities of the Italian market and had the occasion to talk about our summer products (strawberries, cherries, berries and mountain cauliflower), sold mostly on the domestic market."

The cooperatives part of Legacoop Romagna, such as Apofruit Italia and Terremerse, also reported being pleased with the fair, just as the seed, labor and organic worlds with Sativa, L'Ortolano, Coviro and Canova. The Frigoriferi Industriali cooperative and the research sector working with various cooperatives also took part.

"Macfrut 2024 is a record edition: 1400 exhibitors, 40% of which from abroad. A lot of local cooperatives and companies attended, as they knew they had to be the protagonists during such an important phase for our economy. The event has proven it can go beyond the traditional economic borders also thanks to the staff of Cesena Fiera, which is admirably managed by Renzo Piraccini together with IEG," reported Legacoop Romagna president Paolo Lucchi.

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See you at Macfrut 2025 (May 7-9), which will be presented on September 11th in Cairo.

Can't find your photo or not at the stand while we were there? Send us your photo (horizontal and with a minimum width of 1300 pixels) to [email protected] and we will add it.

Article by Maria Luigia Brusco, Vincenzo Iannuzziello, Cristiano Riciputi and Nicky McGregor