Exclusive: Fruit Logistica – A Success for the Potato Industry
Whether they are processing equipment manufacturers, storage solutions providers or agricultural innovators, all industry players PotatoBusiness spoke with at Fruit Logistica last week say this edition was a great opportunity to meet customers and to showcase their latest innovations.
For example, Key Technology – a leading company in digital sorting, conveying and process automation technologies for the food industry – had several machines on display during the event including the Veryx Belt-sort Feeder and Veryx Digital Platform.
“Sorting is becoming more important for the potato industry, considering the bad weather conditions, especially in Western Europe last year, which is why equipment of this kind, such us our Veryx Belt-sort Feeder, Veryx Chute-sort Feeder, Veryx Digital Sorting Platform and other machinery in our portfolio are must-haves for the industry. With regards to this edition of Fruit Logistica, I believe it is a more dynamic show that in the past and interest in Key Technology’s equipment on display is very strong,” said Karel Van Velthoven, customer engagement manager at Key Technology.
Sorma Group was also present during Fruit Logistica 2019. With 21 types of packaging suitable for more than 30 products, the company presented its potato packaging solutions for fresh product, as well as an innovation in artificial vision system installed on its own SormaTech grader, named InstanDEF-QI 2.0.
“Fruit Logistica is a great change for us to meet many leads and to show visitors our innovations, among which the artificial vision system. Today we have reached another major milestone. With SormaTech, we have completed the perfect circle: we can now offer flexible solutions for every post-harvest phase, from grading to packaging,” Mario Mercadini, marketing official with Sorma Group told PotatoBusiness.
When asked to comment about the Fruit Logistica experience, Gidi Dekker, chief commercial officer at Tolsma Grisnich said: “Fruit Logistica is an important platform for us to engage with our clients, especially those coming from abroad, whom we don’t get the chance to interact with face to face very often. In terms of novelties that we are promoting at the show, our innovation center is always active and most of our partners and potential clients are aware of what we can offer to potato storage operators.”
Fruit Logisitca also touched upon present-day issues like food waste, which continues to remain a challenge. But the good news is that for almost all manufacturers of potato processing and storing equipment, sustainability and food waste remains one of the main focus points, when investing in R&D for machinery that can help potato processors make the most of the product, minimize loss and improve yields.
Moreover, the event, organized by Messe Berlin, focused on providing an overview of the advances made in agriculture, as well as in technology. To support novel and original initiatives, Fruit Logistica also offered its Innovation Awards.
Tomra Food chose Fruit Logistica Berlin as the platform to discuss Tomra Food’s capabilities and future aspirations. Tomra’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Stefan Ranstrand, gave a speech at Tomra Food’s exhibition stand about the company’s offering, values, and future aspirations. At the heart of his talk was the message that Tomra can contribute to global sustainability by helping to reduce food waste, at the same time as enhancing the technical and economic performance of food producers.
“One of our big aspirations for the future is to help our customers even more to reduce food waste and improve yields,” Ranstrand said. “By pioneering the design and manufacturing of sorters and graders of many different types and sizes, Tomra offers technical solutions not found elsewhere. Our ability to combine different sorting technologies – color cameras, near infra-red (NIR), spectroscopy, and laser-detection – makes a difference.” The result of this technical sophistication is that produce is accurately graded and safety-assured at the same time as reducing waste.
The Agro Sector Was Very Well Represented
One of the companies in the agricultural field, with solutions for potato growers as well, is Arrigoni from Italy. Its main business focus is the design and production of protective screens and nettings for crops and Arrigoni focused its presence at this trade show on the agriculture of the future. As the company’s CEO Paolo Arrigoni told PotatoBusiness, “the control of pests usually involves an intensive use of pesticides, but this in turn affects both the environment and human health. Climate change, however, will contribute to global migration or the expansion of many species of insects. Hence the need to find innovative solutions that meet the needs of modern agriculture and protect the environment and human beings.”. Moreover, to highlight its solutions, the company organized in the “Tech Stage” space of the fair a conference titled “Invasive insects, climate change and new phytopathological threats: advanced agrotextiles for safe food and climate control”.
Another player in this field that was present at the show is Restrain, whose Director, Dirk Garos, told PotatoBusiness that participation at Fruit Logistica, as well as at more potato-focused trade shows is of great importance to the company. “This is my 14th time at Fruit Logistica and this year we are presenting a sprout inhibitor, which is a direct replacement for any other chemicals used on the market. The product is organically approved, leaves no residue and it is becoming more sought-after, especially since the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) will need to decide on the pesticides issue and CIPC,”.
As a reminder on this topic, based on the EFSA conclusion, the European Commission notified the World Trade Organization on March 29, 2018, of the intention of chlorpropham non-renewal. This procedural step has been taken before the substance was discussed in detail at the EU-level, but is required before a vote on non-renewal is possible.
During the last day of the event, the organizers introduced a concept targeting new businesses and innovative ideas. Titled Start-Up Day, the event played host to companies with intrepid solutions, such as insect killing drones, in order to ensure plant protection and cultivation, or increasing farm productivity via integrated management tools for digital farming. We spoke to two such companies and we will share their views online and in print soon. Overall 20 start-ups made it to the Start-up Area of Fruit Logistica. Four of them come from the Netherlands, making it the most represented country. Germany and Israel also have a presence, with three start-ups each. All have something in common: they are presenting new products, projects and ideas for the sector. Fruit Logositca organized the first Start-up Day under the motto “Disrupt Agriculture”.
The “Oriental Red® – red kiwi fruit” from Jingold in Italy won Gold at the Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards. Originally from China, the red Dong-Hong kiwi not only has unique organoleptic properties, but also boasts an excellent shelf life. “We are very happy to win this important award. It’s been a year of hard work for our team. We invested a lot of energy to develop and improve our product and are glad that people like it so much”, said Federico Milanese, international development manager.
Silver was awarded to the “Softripe® Ripening Technology” from German firm Frigotec. Thanks to Softripe® Ripening Technology, fruit reaches consumers at optimum ripeness, while the Bronze was won by the “Top-sealable compostable, recyclable strawberry punnet” from CKF in Canada. With their sealable, compostable and recyclable wood pulp punnets for 350 to 400 grams of strawberries, the Canadians are setting an example of environmental protection in terms of sustainability.
This year, Fruit Logistica continued to focus on the end-consumer. The organizers of the trade show presented a new trend report that scrutinizes the role of fresh produce in the grocery retail business. Created by global management consultancy Oliver Wyman and first published at Fruitnet World of Fresh Ideas, “Surprises in Store” offers new insights into how a number of factors are influencing consumer demand. PotatoBusiness Digital and Potato Processing International will showcase the highlights soon in both print and online.
The latest edition of Fruit Logistica, organized in Berlin 5-8 February, welcomed over 3,200 exhibitors from more than 90 countries, who showcased their products, services and technical solutions. The event was attended by approximately 78,000 trade visitors from more than 130 countries and the next edition takes place. “With our growing number of exhibitors, we have again succeeded in increasing the show’s status as the worldwide hotspot in the fresh fruit market. Here, buyers and trade visitors gain the most comprehensive overview of the market so as to make the best possible use of the entire range that the global fruit trade has to offer. Besides ideal business opportunities, the event offers them a venue where they can find information and inspiration,” said Madlen Miserius, senior product manager of Fruit Logistica.
PotatoBusiness managed to speak to a great number of participants during the event and will be showcasing all their views on this year’s Fruit Logistica online and in our upcoming print issue.