Fruit Logistica focuses on technology and packaging

Extending shelf life and improving products a focus at Fruit Logistica 2015

This year’s Fruit Logistica 2015, the global fresh produce event held every February in Berlin, spotlighted recent advances for both growers and their retail customers in the areas of marketing, packaging and systems.

There was a new platform for these innovations called the Tech Stage, which featured new tools used in the fresh produce industry to improve the shelf life and quality of products sold and lower costs for the extended supply chain.

A great example of the innovations on the Tech Stage was BreatheWay, an intelligent membrane capable of regulating the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide at varying ambient temperatures from an American company called Apio. Other technical solutions on the Tech Stage included cultivation techniques and post-harvest handling, processing technology and facilities, packaging technology and facilities, packaging and packing materials, large containers, pallets and logistics and tracking systems.

Similar to last year, the exhibitors at Fruit Logistica 2015 clearly reflected the appeal of the organic and fresh convenience foods segments, with more than 600 companies displaying organic products and another 250 booths from the fresh convenience sector, reported Gérald Lamusse, Global Brand Manager of Fruit Logistica. The conference attracted a total of 2,750 exhibitors from 83 countries representing every link in the fresh produce supply chain. About 60,000 trade visitors from more than 130 countries came to Berlin for the event, including more than 500 from North America.

"Few trade fairs worldwide lead their sector as clearly as Fruit Logistica. This is confirmed by the record figures as well as Fruit Logistica’s status as the fresh produce industry's most important platform for business, innovation and information," said Messe Berlin CEO Christian Göke.

The trade show floor featured a few Canadian growers like Acadian Seaplants as well as commodity groups like the BC Blueberry Council and Potatoes Canada. >

Loblaw also had a booth, showing its President’s Choice-branded produce. Cravo Equipment of Brantford, Ont. promoted its retractable roof greenhouses for growing vegetables, lettuce, berries and tree fruit.

The news on the consumption of produce around the world is also very favourable. According to the latest figures from AMI, the agricultural market information service based in Bonn, about 970 million tons of vegetables and about 820 million tons of fruit (including melons) were produced worldwide in 2014. Data revealed during the event showed production of both fruit and vegetables has risen steadily in recent years.

In 2014, the fruit harvest in the EU almost matched that of the previous year, at just under 38 million tons, while the vegetable harvest of approximately 63 million ton was about 4% higher than 2013. In addition, the average private household consumed 155.7 kg of fresh produce

Consumption of fresh vegetables increased by almost 2%, at 70.3 kg per average household. However, consumer spending decreased by more than 1%. Tomatoes, carrots and onions remain the highest-selling products in terms of weight, although all three saw a slight fall in purchased volumes. There was significant growth for cucumbers and sweet peppers, the next highest sellers, and asparagus had the largest relative increase.

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