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Messe Berlin is cancelling its FRUIT LOGISTICA SPECIAL EDITION 2021 on 18-20 May 2021 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in Europe and the rest of the world.

“I’m quite sure today’s cancellation is no surprise to anyone,” says Madlen Miserius, Senior Product Manager. “The coronavirus pandemic is lasting longer than expected. We wanted to make an onsite event happen in May. But the prospects both for international business travel to Berlin and for large face-to-face gatherings are too low.  And under these circumstances it’s simply impossible for us to meet face-to-face.”

Messe Berlin had worked hard to prepare a special edition of FRUIT LOGISTICA to take place over three days in May. The FRUIT LOGISTICA SPECIAL EDITION was designed to withstand key uncertainties of the pandemic and to safeguard customers in terms of their health and of their investment in the show. And the concept resonated with business: more than 600 companies from Europe and the rest of the world had registered.

“We developed FRUIT LOGISTICA SPECIAL EDITION as we knew through discussions with the industry that the market’s desire for a physical event was very strong. That’s why we developed a concept to offer our exhibitors the greatest flexibility at the smallest possible risk,” says Madlen Miserius, Senior Product Manager.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic still has the upper hand, and this is what has lead to today’s cancellation,” says Miserius. “There is a huge global family of people in the fresh fruit and vegetable business and it comes together every year at FRUIT LOGISTICA. We are already in discussions with international market players and are hard at work to prepare ourselves for FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022. We will do everything to ensure our 30th edition is a vibrant onsite event. So make a date in your diary for FRUIT LOGISTICA in Berlin on 9-11 February 2022.”

In 2021 BIOFACH and VIVANESS will take place as a purely digital format. The World’s Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food and the International Trade Fair for Natural and Organic Personal Care will be held as a BIOFACH / VIVANESS eSpecial. In making this decision, organiser NürnbergMesse is responding to the altered circumstances of the dynamically evolving pandemic and its effects on the global organic food and natural and organic cosmetics community. At the same time, this move will allow secure planning for the entire globally connected sector. The dates for the BIOFACH / VIVANESS 2021 eSpecial are 17-19 February.

Petra Wolf, member of the NürnbergMesse management board, had this to say: “The numerous conversations and in-depth dialogue we have had in recent weeks and months have made one thing clear to us. Within the organic food and natural and organic cosmetics sector the desire for interaction, networking and knowledge transfer with experts, and to discover trends and innovations, remains huge and unabated, especially in these exceptional times. Even in this era of coronavirus, the entire sector is absolutely determined to come together to discuss the latest issues, even if only in the digital sphere. However, in the light of the pandemic and based on our ongoing dialogue with the community and a comprehensive survey of exhibitors and visitors, we trust that our decision to host a digital event will now enable all players from the sector to plan ahead in good time. I very much regret that the physical trade fair cannot take place and stress that this decision was an extremely difficult one for all of us. However, before we all meet again on site in Nuremberg in 2022, the BIOFACH / VIVANESS eSpecial will offer an ideal platform for professional dialogue in 2021.”

Exhibitor presentations – networking – congress

The BIOFACH / VIVANESS 2021 eSpecial provides a comprehensive range of innovative options such as corporate and product presentations, discussion and dialogue formats like round tables, and other formats for networking with industry experts. Sophisticated matchmaking functions that help interested parties to find the right exhibitors and vice versa are another integral part of the eSpecial format. BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2021 also offers the organic food and natural and organic cosmetics community extensive access to knowledge transfer at the BIOFACH and VIVANESS Congress, which has a global reach. The main congress theme in 2021 will be: Shaping Transformation. Stronger. Together.

Following extensive discussions and critical observation of the current situation, NürnbergMesse, in close cooperation with customers and partners, has decided not to hold the physical BrauBeviale 2020 Special Edition trade fair as planned and to move the program exclusively to the digital world. The reasons for this are the current national and global developments of the corona pandemic, the rapidly increasing number of infections, and the associated massive restrictions on business travel in companies. Exhibitors and visitors will be able to meet virtually all year round on the digital dialog platform myBeviale.com, where the extensive supporting program BrauBeviale@stage will be online from 10 – 12 November 2020. The next BrauBeviale will take place again in 2022 at Messe Nuremberg.

With BrauBeviale 2020 Special Edition, NürnbergMesse aimed to fulfil the beverage industry’s desire to finally meet and exchange ideas in person again. Numerous intensive discussions with exhibitors, partners, and visitors have led to this decision. In coordination with the responsible authorities, safety and hygiene protection concepts were developed to ensure smooth and safe participation in the trade fair for all. Right up to the end, the BrauBeviale Special Edition has received a lot of encouragement and support from the industry. “We had a lot of patience and would have maintained this patience until November – for our exhibitors, visitors, and partners. Unfortunately, the industry is now being deprived of the last opportunity for a physical meeting this year,” regrets Andrea Kalrait, Executive Director BrauBeviale at NürnbergMesse. “However, despite all our commitment, we obviously cannot close our eyes to the latest developments.
We owe this to our customers and partners. We were well prepared, but must be realistic about the current situation. In this respect, we are now continuing to work at full speed on our online offering and are delighted to unite the beverage industry virtually on our digital dialog platform myBeviale.com starting in November.”

The beverage industry meets digitally: myBeviale.com

Coming together, sharing knowledge, taking ideas with you: This is what exhibitors and visitors expect from BrauBeviale. In order to strengthen the dialog in the beverage industry, the digital dialog platform myBeviale.com will be launched in early November. A more comprehensive supporting program than ever before had already been planned for the physical event. BrauBeviale@stage, with six theme stages, will also be available online. Andrea Kalrait would like to thank all customers who have supported BrauBeviale, also as a Special Edition: “Strong partners in difficult times are irreplaceable. We are continuing to work together with equal commitment to provide the international beverage industry with a virtual and year-round platform. We look forward to seeing you again online and, at the latest, in 2022 again at Messe Nuremberg!”

Current information about BrauBeviale Special Edition at: www.braubeviale.de/en

In April, the citrus growers from São Paulo State fastened the harvesting pace of the 2020/21 orange crop. Although supply was not high, the volume harvested was enough to press down citrus quotes in the in natura market during the month. Besides, the demand for oranges decreased in April, due to the social distancing advice – because of the coronavirus pandemic –, constraining fruits sales to restaurants and other food services. Supply should continue higher than demand in May, which has been concerning citrus growers about prices.

As regards early varieties (rubi, hamlin and western, for instance), deals have been closed since March. However, only in late April these fruits were near the ideal maturation stage, when baía oranges started to be supplied. Sales and the harvesting of these varieties should step up from May, but the crop peak should occur only in June, when crushing is supposed to start. In April, the average price for hamlin oranges was 25.02 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 18.7% down compared to that from March.

For pear oranges, the gradual decrease in the demand pressed down quotes in April. Thus, the average price for this variety was 8.15% lower than that from March, closing at 32.47 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree. According to Cepea collaborators, the harvesting of the first pear oranges in the 2020/21 crop should step up from the second fortnight of May, once crops development is late and phased. However, some growers preferred to anticipate the pear orange harvesting, aiming to take advantage of the price levels – these citrus growers fear that prices may drop sharply in May, due to forecasts for higher volumes of early oranges in the market.

As regards processors, although supply is forecast to increase in May, crushing should be lower early in the month. This scenario has led the early fruits to be exclusively allocated to the in natura market. On the other hand, late oranges harvesting (valencia, natal and folha murcha) should end in the coming weeks.

The latest research from Mintel* reveals the online grocery market is forecast to grow by 33 % in 2020 to reach an estimated value of £16.8 billion, up from £12.7 billion in 2019. This phenomenal rise follows four consecutive years of slowing growth: in 2019 growth fell to a historic low of just 2.9 %. The market is set to be worth £17.9 billion by 2024, growing by 41 % over the five year period.

Online shopping behaviour as a whole

This comes as Mintel reveals a dramatic change in online shopping habits over the COVID-19 lockdown period, habits that Mintel believes could prove lasting. In the very early days of the spread of the coronavirus in the UK, before social distancing measures were announced, 7 % of Brits increased the total amount of online shopping (both food and non-food)**. In the space of fewer than two months, online shopping has seen a dramatic boost with the number of consumers who say they’ve increased their online shopping rising to 36 %***.

Meanwhile, 50 % of Brits have tried to limit the time they spend in-store, while a further 9% have used click-and-collect more ***.

Nick Carroll, Associate Director of Retail Research at Mintel, said:
“Over the course of just a few months, COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on Britain’s grocery sector. The pandemic is giving a significant short-term boost to online grocery services, as shoppers look to avoid stores and limit their contact with the outside world. However, the impact will last beyond the crisis. Shopper numbers in the online grocery market have plateaued in recent years as retailers struggled to get new customers to try these services. The outbreak is bringing a new audience to online grocery, and this should boost the market long term with strong growth forecast through to 2024. While there is currently a significant disruption to the online grocery market, with some retailers not accepting new customers, this will ease in the short-term as more capacity is brought online.”

Over 65s still face challenges shopping online

The current guidelines, which ask those aged 70 and over to remain at home, mean that older shoppers are more heavily reliant on having groceries and other goods delivered. But while some older Brits are experienced in ordering online, they are by far the minority. Less than three in 10 (28 %) UK internet users aged 65+ were online grocery shoppers prior to the COVID outbreak****. However, Mintel’s latest research shows that 37 % of over 65s have increased the amount of online shopping they’ve done since the outbreak began***.

But while some Brits are going online for their grocery requirements, many are relying on the kindness of friends and family – as a quarter (24 %) of consumers aged under 44 say they have been helping friends/family and/or neighbours with their shopping.

Nick Carroll, Associate Director of Retail Research at Mintel, said:
“Older generations that had previously shied away from online grocery have, effectively, been forced to change their habits in the face of social distancing measures. While there has been a rise in online grocery shopping among the over 65s, the reality is a significant number of consumers in the older age groups have no experience shopping online for groceries and/or are not digitally native. There is a real need to ensure access to online grocery deliveries for older consumers. We’re seeing some retailers already thinking of easier ways to order goods, including phone orders for next-day delivery.”

* Mintel’s latest estimates as of 23 April 2020; subject to change based on ongoing research and economic shifts.
** Research conducted 28 February-13 March
*** Research conducted 16-23 April
**** Research conducted in December 2019

The organisers of the Juice Summit announced the postponement of the Juice Summit 2020 organised for the 14 & 15 October 2020 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Juice Summit will come back in 2021 for a special edition. Information will be given in due time, but you can already save the date 6&7 October 2021.

Freshfel Europe is concerned over the increasing financial burden being carried by the European fresh fruit and vegetable sector as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Increasing costs associated with the implementation of necessary measures across the supply chain to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as current and future non-harvesting of products if seasonal workers are not available are set to have considerable ramifications for the long-term stability of the sector. Freshfel Europe calls for new support measures to secure the supply of fresh produce to consumers over the coming summer months and into the latter half of 2020 and beyond.

Despite providing an uninterrupted supply of fresh, safe and high quality fresh produce to consumers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so far, the European fresh fruit and vegetable sector is facing significant challenges. Although the sector is well organized and committed to its responsibility to provide fresh produce to consumers confined at home the effects of the pandemic are being felt by all actors in the supply chain. The availability of seasonal workers is still insufficient in many places. This workforce is key for planting, preparing orchards, preventing non-harvesting and picking quality products now and later in the year. Efficiency in orchards and pack houses has decreased due to social distancing rules and with the provision of safety equipment and new packing requirements other challenges are being encountered. Growers in particular are being confronted with a significant increase of new necessary costs, often by more than 10 %, which are not being entirely returned or compensated. Logistics costs in the chain have also increased by 20 – 30 % due to empty returns of trucks and longer journey times. Besides this, significant market loss is being experienced with the closure of the European food service industry and street markets, with wholesalers consequently also losing a significant amount of business. In total this market segment covers 25 % of fresh produce consumption and retail chains are not absorbing all of this volume. Retailers have also had to adapt stores with personal safety measures such as flexi-glass at cashiers and limiting shopper numbers in store. In addition, risks for products to be successfully exported globally are increasing and importers are experiencing high uncertainty in terms of delivery and time required for documentation checks. This increasing burden on the supply chain is set to have considerable ramifications for the long-term stability of the sector.

In light of mounting uncertainty about the future of the sector, Freshfel Europe calls for continued and new support measures to secure the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to consumers over the coming summer months and into the latter half of 2020. At the start of April the European Commission secured an operation framework for intra-EU trade and measures for seasonal workers, however no further support has been granted under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to producers and producer groups to reflect current increasing costs to guarantee the continued supply of fresh, safe and high quality products to consumers. More incentives through CAP instruments on top of those released by the European Commission on 6 April 2020 are needed for the sector, especially for growers, to cope with the current financial pressure. As an essential good, maintaining the long-term supply of healthy fresh fruit and vegetables to the European market is essential.

With the outbreak of Covid-19, organizations are faced with travel restrictions and quarantine challenges, required to reduce direct contact between employees and service providers. To enable immediate GEA expert assistance for customers during the corona crisis without putting people’s lives at risk, GEA now offers a special remote support solution that is easy-to-set-up.

Easy and secure real-time video communication with GEA experts

GEA Remote Support is a service that provides real-time streaming with GEA experts. From their own location in production, customers can use a commercially available mobile device to connect and communicate in real-time with a GEA expert to resolve their issue. With just two elements, a mobile device and internet access, customers can initiate a session by receiving a short email or SMS containing a secure link, followed by a video conversation, with the option to share high-resolution imagery back and forth, send descriptions and instructions via the chat function or take and share notes during the conversation. All of this is possible without the customer having to install a new application.

Extended real-time communication via GEA Remote Eye Wear

The remote support solution is based on existing GEA Remote Eye Wear technology, offering customers further possibilities for machine maintenance. The specially designed glasses, which include an integrated high-resolution camera and reliable microphone, allows for hands-free remote support, offering several bidirectional functions. By projecting images onto the GEA Remote Eye Wear screen, repairs, process optimizations or inspections can be carried out immediately. GEA Remote Eye Wear is currently available as part of the GEA Service Level Agreement (SLA), however, customers will be able to purchase a stand-alone unit as part of a premium service package in the near future.

Opposite to the expected by the agents from the Brazilian citrus sector, tahiti lime prices increased in São Paulo State in March, despite the crop peak. The boost came from higher demand, since, in the second fortnight of the month, people were trying to eat healthier, increasing the consumption of vitamin C, because of the coronavirus outbreak worldwide.

However, most of the demand was linked to the increase in the purchases from distributors, retailers and consumers for stocking. Besides, the closure of schools, street markets and grocery stores, and lower sales in restaurants may also reduce the demand for the fruit.

In March, the average price for tahiti lime was 22.2 % higher than that in February, at 12.52 BRL per 27-kilo box.

As regards exports, agents reported a decrease in the volumes shipped, since the coronavirus outbreak affected Europe more severely, so far. Besides, the lower availability of containers for exports and the cancelation of air deliveries also reduced sales to the international market. Thus, tahiti lime prices for exports were lower than quotes in the Brazilian market in March, averaging 12.29 BRL per 27-kilo box.

ORANGE – The demand for oranges was firm in March, and prices remained stable in the Brazilian market. According to growers, the quarantine decree in São Paulo State and the consequent halt in some activities reduced labor, limiting supply and logistic operations. Thus, orange availability was low and, now, many agents are waiting for some early varieties, such as westin and rubi, to ripen in order to start trading.

In March, the average price for pear oranges was 35.35 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 6.9 % up compared to that in February. The maturation stage requested by the in natura market is forecast to be reached in most groves between April and May.