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The Covid pandemic continues to shake up the international event calendar in the global beverage technology sector in 2022. After intensive consultation with the companies and associations represented on the BrauBeviale exhibition advisory committee, the event organiser, NürnbergMesse, has decided to suspend BrauBeviale 2022, from 8 – 10 November 2022. “By taking this step, we are reacting early to the concerns of the market, and ensuring planning reliability for the industry” says Andrea Kalrait, Executive Director of BrauBeviale and Beviale Family. The next BrauBeviale, therefore, will be held from 14 to 16 November 2023 in Nuremberg.

About the BrauBeviale:
The BrauBeviale is one of the leading international capital goods specialist exhibitions for the beverage industry in Nuremberg, with around 1,100 domestic and international exhibitors, and around 40,000 professional attendees from Germany and abroad. Alongside the Beviale Moscow, the Beviale Mexico, the Craft Beer China and the Craft Beer Italy, the BrauBeviale is part of the Beviale Family.

By Pablo Gómez, International Quality Assurance Manager for table grapes at IFG

Global fruit production has not only persevered in the face of a worldwide health crisis, but it has also continued to adapt in response to the evolving landscape. A fast-paced industry already familiar with navigating unpredictable conditions and forecasting market demand, the agricultural sector never slowed down, even in the worst times of the pandemic.

However, that’s not to say the journey was without any roadblocks: COVID-19 brought a wave of challenges with everything from labour to logistics. Yet, as consumer interest in fresh produce increased by more than 10 percent in 2020, fruit suppliers, scientists, horticulturists, and growers are overcoming these setbacks to usher in a new period of efficiency and innovation.

Weathering the storm of staffing and safety

Like countless other business sectors, fruit-focused agriculture struggled with staffing at the outset of the pandemic. But while many companies turned to remote work options, the nature of agricultural operations needs employees to remain primarily in the fields.

The produce industry requires a significant amount of hand labour, particularly for table grapes and cherries. Managing thousands of employees who work simultaneous in-person shifts became an immediate area of focus. The main issue was the prevention of outbreaks in both the packhouse facilities and in the fields. Growers had to react quickly, forming small and segregated groups of workers adhering to organized schedules. In addition, the implementation of regular PCR tests enhanced other standard safety protocols that helped protect workers. While the actions were a costly investment, growers kept operations safe and healthy while maintaining productivity.

Nearly two years into the pandemic, though, staffing challenges persist. Due to new procedures and safety limitations, a scarcity of workers and higher costs still impact day-to-day operations worldwide. But while the problems are exacerbated given current conditions, this is nothing new for produce growers, especially in the United States where employment of agricultural workers is essentially at a standstill — it’s expected to increase only 2 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.

Navigating logistical burdens

The economic downturn has increased costs across the entire fruit supply chain, from growing and harvesting to delivering the product to market. As the pandemic continued into and throughout 2021, it became apparent that one of its most pronounced effects on the global fruit industry was on logistical operations.

The early days of lockdown restrictions and a slowdown in the production of goods created a ripple effect, sending refrigerated containers into a backlog of storage at cargo ports and inland depots. By mid-2021, wait times to procure a container stretched anywhere from weeks to months depending on departure port and arrival destination.

The supply chain has faced a global shortage of containers projected to last into 2022, resulting in severe inflation in materials and transport costs. McKinsey & Company reported it now costs up to six times more to ship a container from China to Europe than it did at the start of 2019.

A fresh take on the future of fruit production

Despite these challenges, the pandemic has shown how well prepared the agriculture industry is to adapt its systems in response to both adversity and increased demand.

The trend of healthy living and a desire for nutritious food that emerged over the last two years is a worldwide movement with evident staying power. The United Nations even designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Manifested through behaviors such as at-home cooking and greater consciousness about food brought into the homes, the health and wellness trends have directly impacted the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Fruit scientists, horticulturalists, and growers alike are looking to long-term solutions for meeting this need. For worldwide fruit-breeding company IFG, the answer could lie in a recent focus on breeding as much year-round fruit as possible as part of an overall quality and support strategy. IFG is known for inventing flavour-forward table grapes, including the Cotton Candy™ variety, which hold numerous health benefits in line with current consumer interests. By creating a 52-week table grape supply in partnership with growers worldwide, IFG aims to transform the fruit industry and contribute to a more sustainable production of premium table grapes and cherries.

In a sector where food and safety standards are already incredibly high, another key area that can influence growth and opportunity is leveraging technology to increase the simplicity and efficiency of production. The agritech tools that a reported 56 percent of U.S. farms have now adopted can help strengthen global fruit production with automation that eases the burden of labour shortages, conserves resources and mitigates crop losses.

As technology and scientific strategy rapidly advance, the industry is poised to thrive in a post-pandemic world. These professional improvements will affect every part of the supply chain, from the fields where the fruit is grown and harvested to the carts where consumers add their nature’s bounty. Looking into 2022 and beyond, industry leaders will keep one eye on innovation while maintaining a stable production to ensure the world remains healthy and fed.

About the Author
Pablo Gómez joined IFG in 2018 and currently serves as the company’s International Quality Assurance Manager for Table Grapes. In this role, he works to develop IFG’s international table grape and cherry quality assurance program. Prior to working at IFG, Pablo served as a grape source technologist at Munoz Group, where he became experienced in the particularities of the table grape industry across different countries while also focusing on quality assurance for the U.K. market. Pablo started his career as an agricultural engineer intern at Investigación y Tecnología de Uva de Mesa (ITUM) while finishing his degree in agricultural engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena.

Mintel has today announced three trends set to impact global consumer markets in 2022. From technology that predicts the success of potential romances to brands tackling COVID-19 ‘survivor’s guilt’ and eco-anxiety, this year’s trends include:

  • In Control: In times of uncertainty, consumers crave a sense of control over their lives. Brands can deliver the information and options that consumers need to feel like they’re in the driver’s seat.
  • Enjoyment Everywhere: Having endured lockdown, consumers are eager to break out of their confines and explore, play and embrace novel experiences, both virtually and in the ‘real’, physical world.
  • Ethics Check: While many brands have made their voices heard on controversial topics, consumers want to see measurable progress against their goals.

Dana Macke, Director of Mintel Trends, Americas, comments on how the trends were developed, as well as how they will impact markets, brands, and consumers in 2022 and beyond:

“As experts in what consumers want and why, we’re best suited to accurately predict the future of consumer behavior and what that means for brands. In 2019, we took a bold, new approach to predict the future of global consumer markets and expanded our outlook to 10 years. Mintel’s 2030 Global Consumer Trends – known as the seven Mintel Trend Drivers – were developed as a living, growing prediction model that will adapt to the unforeseen. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, impacting nearly every industry worldwide, our consumer expertise and prediction model meant we were well placed to analyze how it would impact markets. Not only did our 2030 predictions hold true, but the pandemic accelerated many of the shifts we foresaw.

“Looking ahead to 2022, our trend analysis and prediction research are grounded by observations of the seven Trend Drivers over the last 18 months and backed by Mintel’s robust consumer and market data, predictive analytics, action-oriented insights and expert recommendations. We put everything into context to better understand what it means for—and how it could inspire—our clients’ business decisions across industries, categories and demographics, and amid global themes and times of uncertainty.”

In Control

“Feelings of precariousness and financial insecurity both created, and exaggerated, by the pandemic mean that consumers are looking for a sense of control over every aspect of their lives. But misinformation is making it harder to carry out the necessary research to make informed decisions. Consumers need clarity, transparency, flexibility and options to make decisions that suit their individual changing needs and circumstances.

“Brands will need to work harder to deliver reliable information and balance censorship and authenticity. The race for the fastest delivery will evolve to focus on being more flexible, giving consumers more control over when products arrive to fit around their schedules or to match their other specific needs. Consumers’ desire to know potential outcomes will manifest in the development of predictive technologies that can anticipate adverse events. From diseases to likely death dates to relationship outcomes using compatibility profiles, technology will evolve to grant consumers the power to plan with peace of mind.”

Enjoyment Everywhere

“Consumers are seeking sources of joy as the continuing pandemic and other local and global crises have caused them anxiety and stress. Many may be feeling a kind of ‘survivor’s guilt’ and, as a result, brands are recognizing the importance of uplifting people by giving them permission to feel happiness once again.

“While the stress caused by the pandemic may no longer be central to consumer needs for fun and escapism, they will continue to seek enjoyment and playfulness. As brand interactions through campaigns, apps and transactions take on more and more gamified elements in response to consumer interest, expect to also see pushback against it and the instant gratification it offers. This tendency will rise from consumers taking a more mindful approach to pleasure and enjoyment.”

Ethics Check

“Consumer demand for, and expectations of, brands’ ethical commitments are evolving. They have moved beyond simply wanting brands to ‘be ethical’ and are demanding to see measurable, transparent and consistent actions from those they choose to support. Consumers will look beyond a brand’s achievements and strengths; businesses will need to be transparent about their weaknesses, too, where and why they fail and how they plan to address these issues in future.

“All the transparency in the world doesn’t necessarily help consumers to understand the impact of a brand, which is why it’s key to use metrics that accurately reflect the problems brands are trying to solve. If a company isn’t properly measuring what they aim to fix or change, it’s difficult to determine whether progress is being made, let alone communicate that progress in a way that consumers will understand,” concluded Macke.

The global pandemic has affected the packaging solution industry by leading to a significant price increase and shortage of raw materials and components used in packaging equipment. To compensate for the rising costs and continue to provide the highest quality solutions, Sidel is implementing a commodity-induced price adjustment on its equipment by an average of 5 % effective September 6, 2021. Deficiency of raw materials and components may impact equipment delivery time as well.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Sidel has been striving to keep the same price level for its equipment despite the fact that the price of raw materials has increased significantly since 2020. Moreover, this increase is not expected to recover in the foreseeable future.

Additionally, the pandemic, combined with other external factors, has resulted in a significant shortage of microchips globally. This shortage is an outcome of supply-related disruptions, including forced closure of factories, together with an unanticipated increase in demand for personal electronics such as cell phones and laptops as people were required to work or study remotely. Both supply shortage of microchips and increase in consumption of personal electronics lead to supplier delays which might impact the overall Sidel delivery channels for the near future.

The pandemic has shifted consumer views towards their health across the globe. New research results show that this pursuit for health will have an influence on the energy product market, as consumers demand healthier alternatives to boost their struggling energy levels. The survey was conducted on behalf of BENEO with 5,000 consumers across Spain, France, Germany, Poland and the UK.

Improving mental wellbeing, overall mood and physical energy levels were some of the most important health aspects that gained momentum as a result of the pandemic. According to BENEO’s research, almost 1 in 3 consumers in Europe have been juggling with feeling tired and a lack of energy during the pandemic. In order to improve energy levels, half of those surveyed said that they have been looking to food and drink products to help them make it through the day. This figure rises even more amongst younger adults (18 – 34-year-olds), with 8 out of 10 young European consumers seeking out energy-boosting products (increasing to 85 % in the UK). The demands of parenting during a pandemic have also left their mark, with 7 out of 10 European consumers with children saying they have turned to food and drink to boost their energy levels (growing to 82 % in the UK).

As well as fatigue being an increasing issue, the pandemic has also made people more aware of the fragility of health and the need to look after themselves. More than ever before, consumers are making the link between their diet and their health, with 63 % making an increased effort to eat and drink healthier in the future because of the pandemic. Also, staying fit and active and having a balanced diet have been major concerns during the pandemic and 2 in 3 consumers now see a healthy diet as key to controlling their future health.

A common way of boosting energy is via energy drinks, which have a wide appeal – being consumed by parents, young adults and gamers to name but a few. However, in light of the current trends, many consumers are looking for products in these categories with healthier attributes, more natural ingredients or benefits of sustained energy. At the same time, awareness is growing amongst consumers that some types of sugar are healthier than others. Today, 1 in 2 consumers see sugars or carbohydrates that have a lower impact on blood sugar levels as enticing. Additionally, 2 in 3 consumers find BENEO’s Palatinose balanced sugar appealing because it supports a healthier lifestyle and provides sustained energy. This makes a compelling argument for the continued development of healthy alternative energy boosting products.

Myriam Snaet, Head of Market Intelligence and Consumer Insights at BENEO commented: “This survey quantifies the trend we have been seeing played out throughout the pandemic. The safeguarding of mental health and physical energy has now become key to European consumers. This higher interest in health and nutrition also links itself to an increased focus on preventative health, where blood sugar management can play a role. What is particularly interesting about this study is the significant size and diversity of the target group that is more interested in claims relating to balanced blood sugar levels. With such a broad appeal for healthy lifestyles, manufacturers who incorporate the balanced sugar, Palatinose, into their products will be well set to make the most of this trend both today and in a post-pandemic world.”

Palatinose, BENEO’s alternative sugar, is fully yet slowly digested and provides full carbohydrate energy but in a balanced and sustained manner, keeping blood glucose response under control. It occurs naturally in honey and is derived from sugar that is naturally extracted from sugar beets. Being low glycaemic, Palatinose enables manufacturers to create products that deliver energy in a more balanced way, while improving blood sugar management.

More than four in ten consumers have increased their purchases of functional foods, beverages and supplements since the start of the pandemic, a major global survey has found.

Kerry, the makers of clinically proven immune health ingredient Wellmune®, surveyed 13,000 people across 16 countries to provide manufacturers with insights into the impact of COVID-19 on purchasing behaviours.

Forty-four per cent of respondents globally said they had bought more dietary supplements since the outbreak of the pandemic, while 42 % had increased their purchases of functional or fortified foods and beverages.

Respondents were presented with a list of health areas and asked which were reasons for buying healthy lifestyle products. Globally nearly six in ten (58 %) chose immune system support, significantly more than the numbers who picked healthy bones and joints (46 %), digestive health (43 %), heart health (40 %) and improved energy (39 %). Immune health was the top health benefit sought by consumers in each of the 16 countries surveyed.

As many as 39 % of consumers had used an immune health product over the past six months and a further 30 % would consider doing so in future, suggesting a total potential immune health market of 69 %.

John Quilter, Kerry VP of Global Portfolio – ProActive Health, said: “Interest in health and wellness has never been higher and we wanted to give the industry new insights into changing purchasing habits. One of our key findings was the scale of the impact of the pandemic on demand – not just for immune health products, but for functional foods, beverages, and supplements overall. Consumers were adopting increasingly proactive, holistic attitudes to health, wellness and nutrition long before 2020 but the pandemic has massively accelerated this trend.”

The survey also reveals the food and beverage categories where immune health is a particularly powerful purchase driver. One in three (33 %) consumers said they would be interested in purchasing fruit and vegetable juices if they contained ingredients that promoted immune support. Many other categories were also seen as a good fit for immune health benefits, including spoonable yogurt (31 %), dairy-based drinks (28 %) and hot beverages (24 %).

‘No added sugar’ claims are growing in Europe, with the UK leading the charge as it has the highest proportion (15 %) of European food and drink launches carrying this claim in the past five years, followed by Germany (13 %) and France (10 %). In Poland, ‘no added sugar’ claims have doubled since 2016, reaching 9 % of food and drink launches in 2021.

According to Mintel’s latest consumer research, almost three out of five (59 %) French and German consumers are trying to limit their sugar intake, rising to 65 % of respondents in Poland and 67 % in Spain. However, over half of German (54 %) and (53 %) French* consumers simply prefer eating less indulgent products instead of consuming more ‘light/diet’ alternatives. This is especially true for carbonated soft drinks, with Polish (38 %)** and German (37 %)** consumers being the most likely to agree that ‘better-for-you’ carbonated soft drinks do not feel like a treat.

Neha Srivastava, Food and Drink Patent Analyst at Mintel, said:

“The pandemic has amplified the need for indulgence, influencing consumers’ choice of food and drink. At the same time, the pandemic has seen people place a higher priority on their health by, for example, reducing their sugar intake – but they don’t want to compromise on taste.

“Food and drink companies are starting to pay more attention to cutting sugar from their products. Based on the percentage of granted patents currently active in Europe, France and Germany are among the top five leading countries with the majority of patent grants related to sugar reduction, each accounting for 5 % of all global patent grants. Recent patent activity related to sugar reduction varies from improving the taste of sweeteners to innovating new techniques to reduce the production cost of rare sugars.”

Functional fibre and next-gen stevia could appeal as natural alternatives

Functional fibres in low/reduced sugar food and drink launches are on the rise, increasing globally from 11 % in 2015 to 19 % in 2020. Inulin is the most common functional fibre in low/reduced sugar products, with product launches containing inulin having tripled in the past five years, rising to 9 % in 2020 from 3 % in 2015.

With 63 %*** of Germans concerned about how sugar reduction in food and drink is achieved, combining fibres with sugar to reduce overall sugar content could be an option worth exploring as an alternative. This could also appeal to the 29 %**** of Brits that are interested in more fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies with high fibre content.

Alternatively, stevia as a plant-based sweetener has the potential to appeal to European consumers as a sugar substitute. In fact, 63 %*** of Germans have no concerns about the amount of plant-based sweeteners (such as stevia) used in food and drink.

Neha Srivastava, Food and Drink Patent Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Consumers are aware of the importance of fibres in maintaining gut health. Brands can leverage this awareness by repositioning them as a multifunctional health ingredient that helps reduce sugar content in food and drink whilst improving gut health.

“Stevia continues to gain traction in food and drink launches because of its naturalness and zero calorific value, but its bitter and lingering aftertaste remains a significant barrier. Recent patent innovations to improve taste issues and physicochemical properties, like purity and solubility, to produce next-generation stevia may help overcome the challenge.

“Innovators are looking for alternative approaches, such as the use of sweet flavouring agents and aromas as a promising option to reduce sugar content in new food and drink products – especially in dairy desserts. This can be a promising option to reduce sugar content by providing sweet perception in brain cells.”

*987 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, France; 1,955 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, Germany; 997 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, Spain; 988 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, Poland; March 2021
**1,000 internet users aged 16+ in Poland and 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in Germany, December 2020
***2,000 internet users aged 16+, Germany, June 2020
****2,000 internet users aged 16+, UK, October 2020
*****1,000 internet users aged 16+, Italy and Spain, September 2020

Eckes-Granini Group GmbH can look back on a challenging business year in 2020, which was strongly influenced by the global COVID-19 pandemic. With an EBIT of 71 million EUR and an EBIT margin of 8.7 %, business results fell short of expectations in the past year, but the international corporate group for non-alcoholic fruit beverages nevertheless draws a satisfactory conclusion. Compared to the previous year, the company managed to almost maintain its EBIT margin, which was 8.9 % in 2019. Total turnover fell from EUR 921 million in the 2019 financial year to 873 million EUR in 2020 (-5.2 %), while sales volumes also declined in 2020, falling by 10 million litres to 843 million litres.

Eckes-Granini sets the course for future growth and generates solid results in the 2020 business year
Tim Berger (Photo: Eckes-Granini Group)

“The past business year was without a question a challenge for all of us. However, together we have managed to respond to this extraordinary situation with great flexibility and willingness to perform. We have maintained our supply chain and production throughout the year and expanded our market leadership in Europe. The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect us in 2021. This year, we will set the strategic internal course for sustainable growth “after Corona”,” says Tim Berger, CEO of the Eckes-Granini Group.

After an initially promising start to the first quarter of 2020, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a massive setback in the out-of-home business from March onwards. In almost all European countries, restaurants and hotels were completely closed for months due to the Corona restrictions. Accordingly, Eckes-Granini suffered losses of up to 50 % in the out-of-home business in some markets.

Strong food retail partially offsets losses in the out-of-home business

The demand for fruit juices and fruit beverages developed positively in 2020. In contrast to previous years, which saw a declining trend, the FJND (Fruit Juice Nectar Drinks) market developed positively in 2020, both in terms of value (+2.2 %) and volume (+1.5 %). In particular the chilled-juice and ambient-juice segments were able to grow. With a growth of 3.9 %, Eckes-Granini grew almost twice as fast as the market in terms of value and was thus the growth driver in the FJND category again last year. In the food retail segment, the Eckes-Granini Group increased sales by 3 %, driven in particular by higher demand as a result of the ongoing Corona pandemic. Overall, the good results in food retail helped to compensate, at least in part, for the drastic decline in the out-of-home business.

Ongoing health awareness among consumers offers growth potential

The rising demand for fruit juices is also attributable to the continuing strong health trend among consumers. This is reflected in the positive development of the
Eckes-Granini Benefit Ranges, which have won over consumers with their additional health benefits. In Germany, Hungary, Austria and Lithuania, for example, the hohes C PLUS range grew by a total of 10 %, thus outpacing the overall growth of Eckes-Granini brands (+5.9 %) in these markets. The juices in the God Morgon Benefit range also benefited from this trend, with growth of 5 %, as did the shots of the Eckes-Granini brands Rynkeby, Brämhults and Marli.

In solidarity through the pandemic

The difficult situation in the out-of-home market was not the only challenge Eckes- Granini was facing in the pandemic year 2020. Ensuring smooth processes along the supply chain, in production and in operations also demanded a great deal from employees in terms of flexibility and commitment. Nevertheless, in the midst of the global crisis, it was important for the Group not to lose sight of its long-standing business partners and the situation in the communities in which Eckes-Granini operates. In an effort to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, Eckes-Granini supported restaurant owners Germany, Austria and France, among other countries, with donations. Under the umbrella of the Group-wide “Corona Relief Fund”, all eleven national subsidiaries of the Eckes-Granini Group also donated some 500,000 litres of fruit juice to people in systemically important professions and to charitable institutions from April to September 2020. And in the pandemic year, the international charity cycling initiative Team Rynkeby also collected 8.7 million EUR for seriously ill children despite many restrictions with regional country tours. Eckes-Granini has been a main sponsor and partner of the charity cycling race since 2016.

Sustainable management was also a priority in 2020

In the past business year, Eckes-Granini achieved a number of strategic milestones on its way to becoming one of the world’s most sustainable fruit juice producers by establishing an in-house sustainability team. The orange juices of Brazil, granini and God Morgon have carried the Group’s own “Sustainably Grown” label since last year and are produced from 100 % sustainably grown oranges. Through its cooperation with ClimatePartner, Eckes-Granini has also come closer to its goal of successively reducing all greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by its own business activities and offsetting them through a compensation project in Portel, Brazil.

Setting the course for future growth

“We have set ourselves a lot of goals for 2025. At the top are innovations strictly oriented to the wishes, expectations and needs of consumers. The current beverage market offers Eckes-Granini numerous growth opportunities, which we will explore. Our goal is to significantly increase our sales revenues and market share in Europe and beyond by 2025″, says Tim Berger, CEO of the Eckes-Granini Group. To this end, the Eckes-Granini Group will continue to develop and expand its strategic brands and existing channels in a targeted manner over the next five years and invest substantially in dynamic growth categories. There will be a clear focus on channels that promise profitable growth, especially e-commerce.”

You can find further information and download the business report at: https://bit.ly/3xK2s2G

About the Eckes-Granini Group:
Eckes-Granini is the leading supplier of fruit juices and fruit beverages in Europe. For the independent family-owned company headquartered in Nieder-Olm, Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate), the focus is on committed and competent employees, strong brands in the areas of juices, fruit beverages and smoothies, and a long-term strategic orientation with sustainable value creation. Today, Eckes-Granini operates mainly in Europe with its own national companies and strategic partners and generates annual sales of 873 million euros with a total of 1708 employees. The company’s foundation is formed by the internationally renowned premium brands granini and Pago together with strong national and regional brands for juices and fruit beverages. Consumers in 80 countries worldwide and especially in Europe know and appreciate our fruit juices and the variety of fruit beverages.

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.”

SHAFFE – The Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters will launch its very first Annual Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade congress at the 25th of March 2021. With the defining theme “Keeping the world supplied”, this first edition will be dedicated to give exclusive insights and market intelligence on the current production & trading situation for key temperate fruit crop under pandemic conditions with contributions from all eight Southern Hemisphere suppliers: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay and South Africa. Southern Hemisphere exporters contribute with 11 million T of exported temperate fruit with a market value of $ 14 billion USD to nearly ¼ of global fruit supply and play a significant role to the availability of healthy food choices.

The 1st virtual Southern Hemisphere Fresh Fruit Trade congress will be taking place at the 25th of March 2021, providing for the first time in the associations history exclusive market insights from all eight big Southern Hemisphere exporting nations with regard to crop trends, production and trade outlook for the year ahead. “We want to contribute towards more predictability and market know-how during these difficult times – and allow our trading partners in the Northern Hemisphere countries better planning for the year ahead”, says passing SHAFFE president Anton Kruger, Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF), South Africa. He adds “We receive many requests to share our market intelligence with a broader public – something we normally had done individually during one of the many annual trade shows throughout the year. This year we are teaming up, to show our common value and how we ensure supply security in our countries!”

“In order, to allow as many of our trading partners in the Northern Hemisphere to participate to the congress, we have decided to run two passages in one day, one at 11.00 am, to target our Asian trading partners and one run-up at 5.00 pm, to allow Northern American and European partners to join. With its globalized trading network, SHAFFE operates in an incredibly unique and international environment – a challenge we are happy to take for the congress!”, says SHAFFE Secretary General Nelli Hajdu. The program will encompass outlook reflections from all SHAFFE member associations (Fedecitrus, Argentinan Blueberry Committee, CAFI, Citrus Australia, Abrafrutas, Chilean Fruit Exporter Association (ASOEX), New Zealand Apple and Pears, ProCitrus, Upefruy, Fruit SA), detailed analysis of global temperate fruit trade developments and insights on changing consumer patterns for fruit consumption and purchase in key markets such as the U.S., China, Germany, U.K. and Russia. The secretariat is working with high speed towards the launch of the program. The registration-link is already open and participation will be free.

For more information please visit: https://shaffe.net/shaffe-congress-2021/

Over the past months Freshfel Europe has been advocating in cooperation with its members for more flexibility from the UK when it comes to the obligation for EU fresh produce exports to the UK to carry phytosanitary certificates from 1 April. In an announcement (March 11th) by the UK government about the adjustment of the timelines in the introduction of controls for EU imports, made in a written statement by RT Hon Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, is therefore warmly welcomed by Freshfel Europe and the fruit and vegetables sector as a crucial relief to enable the sector to smoothly adapt to Brexit in the ever-challenging context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the announcement, the UK agrees to postpone the introduction of phytosanitary certification obligations for most fresh produce, considered low risk plant products, until January 2022, when documentary checks will start to apply. Physical checks at Border Control Posts on fresh produce will only be applied from March 2022. Freshfel Europe General Delegate Philippe Binard emphasized that, “Freshfel Europe has been voicing strong concerns over the last months and we consider that this postponement is essential to ensure the supply of the UK market and the continuation of trade flows through the Channel, across which the EU27 exports over 3 million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables a year”. Currently EU supply represents 40 % of the UK’s internal demand for fresh produce.

Following this welcome news, the sector further calls EU and UK authorities to make the most of this extended 9- month transition to speed-up preparations to ensure the smooth running of operations in 2022. The challenge remains enormous – over 750,000 phytosanitary certificates will be required on an annual basis to sustain EU-UK trade in fresh produce, a substantial economic and administrative burden, and a threat to the capacity of the industry to continue ‘just in time’ operations if administrative procedures are not sped-up. Freshfel Europe Director for Trade and Market Access Natalia Santos-Garcia Bernabe, highlighted that, “In Freshfel Europe and FPC’s letter to the RT Hon Michael Gove, the sector reiterated the need for electronic certification transmission between the EU and the UK to be up and running before the end of the year through the e-Phyto hub”. The postponement will give more time on both side of the Channel to work on digitalization and the successful introduction of electronic certification in 2022.

Process engineering group GEA and Israeli foodtech start-up Better Juice have joined forces to help beverage manufacturers produce healthier, lower-sugar fruit juice.

Better Juice has developed a groundbreaking solution that naturally reduces the amount of sugar in fresh juice by up to 80 percent, without affecting its nutritional value or taste. GEA is now engineering the process technology the start-up needs, setting this innovative solution on course for industrial production.

Demand for healthier juice

GEA frequently works with innovations partners such as start-ups in order to react more quickly to market trends and explore alternative solutions. Reducing the amount of sugar in our diets is one of the dominant themes in the food industry today, since people who consume excess sugar are more likely to be overweight, obese, or suffer from conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for orange juice as a vitamin-rich, immune-boosting drink*

Please read the full article in the February issue of FRUIT PROCESSING digital.

*Source: The Wall Street Journal (2020): “Grocery-Store Rush Spurs Big Gains in Sleepy Orange-Juice Futures”

The pandemic and associated travel and event restrictions have also had an impact on Anuga FoodTec, which was originally scheduled for March 2021. After extensive discussions with industry participants and the German Agricultural Society (DLG), the professional and conceptual sponsor of the trade fair, Koelnmesse sees no alternative but to postpone Anuga FoodTec. The next Anuga FoodTec will take place from 26 to 29 April 2022.

“We sincerely regret that we have to postpone Anuga FoodTec until 2022 despite good preparation and encouragement from the industry. In the past few weeks, however, it has become apparent that there is growing skepticism and concern among all involved. As a result, many companies have pulled out in view of the infection situation and current uncertainty. However, Anuga FoodTec cannot take place without the important key factors of internationality and cross-industry participation. With this in mind, we have responded to the industry’s wish to postpone the trade fair with the new date,” says Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse. “The new event date is the best possible solution, taking into consideration the international trade fair calendar, and the available time and space capacities. This allows us to provide the industry with a vision and planning security”.

In 2022, the trade fair will take place as a hybrid event, combining both an inperson and digital platform. The addition of a digital platform to the physical component creates the foundation for as many people as possible from Germany and abroad to have access to the latest technologies and processes in the food and beverage industry and for promoting sustainable networking within the industry.

“Like the companies, we will use the time to fully prepare ourselves for the upcoming trade fair and boost the industry’s restart further with digital tools and additional reach. Koelnmesse will of course continue to count on the presence of international exhibitors and visitors in April 2022,” continued Frese. “Trade fairs offer the opportunity for products and the people behind them to be experienced through personal interaction and exchange. This is the ideal basis for successful business.”

“As the professional and conceptual sponsor of Anuga FoodTec, we very much regret that the leading international supplier fair for the food and beverage industry will not be able to take place in March 2021 as planned. As a platform for professionalexchange across industry boundaries, Anuga FoodTec is a central partner for the entire food sector, focusing on current topics and providing important impetus with the presentation of forward-looking technologies and innovations. We are therefore even more pleased that in spring 2022 Anuga FoodTec will once again be the meeting place for the international food technology and supplier industry under the guiding theme ‘Smart Solutions – Higher Flexibility'”, says Simone Schiller, Managing Director of the DLG Food Technology Center.

Koelnmesse is the organiser of Anuga FoodTec. DLG is the professional and conceptual sponsor of Anuga FoodTec.