Macfrut, highlights of the first dayMacfrut, highlights of the first day

Macfrut, highlights of the first day

Appeal made at the CSO Italy conference with a focus on pears, kiwifruit, apples, oranges and table grapes. The Tropical Fruit Congress on pineapple, lime, papaya and passion fruit has begun

Yesterday’s opening day of MACFRUT, the international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector, currently being held at the Rimini Expo Centre until Friday, 10 May, was packed with events. The spotlight was on Africa, the international partner of this 36th edition, which took part in the official opening ceremony, with the participation of Thsibangu Kalala, Minister of Agriculture of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa was also the theme of the round table “Italy-Africa: a Renewed Partnership for Horticultural and Agro-Industrial Development”.

Another theme on the first day was the export of Italian fruit and vegetables, especially pears, kiwifruit, apples, oranges and table grapes, which was addressed at a conference organised by CSO Italy focusing on the need to enter new markets. After a thorough analysis of the production and sales scenario with regard to these products, a round-table discussion took place between a number of key players in the Italian fruit and vegetable sector. Several issues emerged, including the continued Russian embargo, the closing of markets after the Arab Spring and the need to define rules for exporting products abroad. In order to compete on equal terms with Spain and other countries, we need to increase the competitiveness of the entire Italian economic system, from labour costs to energy costs, also combining production in districts to build critical mass in logistics. At the end of the meeting, various requests were collected and drafted into a document that was handed over to Giuseppe Blasi, Head of the Department of European and International Policies and Rural Development of the Italian Ministry for Agricultural Policies, who agreed with the requests made, urging everyone to cooperate.

First day of the Tropical Fruit Congress
What is the situation with regard to the consumption of tropical fruit and vegetables? This was discussed yesterday, on the opening day of the second edition of the Tropical Fruit Congress. According to data provided by CSO on consumption in the European Union, from 2013 to 2017 the consumption of pineapples, limes, papayas and passion fruits increased by 7 million tonnes, whereas in 2018 alone it grew by 16%, which allowed it to exceed 8 million tonnes. From 2009 to 2018, the countries that purchased the most exotic fruit were the United Kingdom (+27% compared to 2009), Germany (+19% compared to 2009) and Italy (+25% compared to 2009), followed by France (+73% compared to 2009) and Poland (+53% compared to 2009). Based on 2018 consumption data, bananas are the most purchased exotic fruit (71%), followed by pineapples (11%), avocados (6%), mangoes (4%) and plantains (3%). When combined, these types of fruits are not to be underestimated: in fact, consumers are curious to try them and they are still highly appealing to them.

The dynamic area of AcquaCampus
The trade fair hosts a demonstration area entirely dedicated to technologies used in the field of irrigation thanks to a three-year partnership agreement (2019-2021) between Macfrut and CER, the promoter of the AcquaCampus brand, which has been researching new irrigation techniques for the last five years.

Roberto Genovesi, head of dissemination and technical assistance in the CER – Emilia-Romagna canal area, explained: ‘Controlled and reliable irrigation is crucial for saving water and has major environmental and economic benefits for our company.’