Interview with Renzo Piraccini, President of Macfrut
What is Macfrut’s strategy?
In order to play a growing role in the trade fair industry, which currently features many large international events that seem quite fragmented and impersonal, it is essential to specialise and stand out in comparison with other events. This is why, over the years, Macfrut has focused on becoming a trade fair for the entire fruit and vegetable sector, bringing together the pre-harvest and post-harvest sectors, the only one of its kind in the world. Macfrut provides not only exhibition space, but also a number of customised services for exhibitors (buyer programme, professional tours, etc.), which make it highly appealing to medium-sized export companies that come to us to seek new opportunities and learn more about trends in the industry. So in order to meet the needs of its target group, Macfrut’s activities revolve around three assets: business, to give companies the chance to make new business contacts; knowledge and innovation, with themed areas, dedicated conferences and in-field demonstrations; and networking, through an extensive network of contacts at the trade fair.
For some years now you have been focusing on in-depth sessions on specific topics, so what’s new in this edition?
The upcoming edition of Macfrut will include many thematic shows such as the ones dedicated to the plant nursery sector (Plant Nursery and Varietal Innovation Exhibition), water saving (Acqua Campus), spices and medicinal herbs (Spices & Herbs Global Expo) and biosolutions (Biosolutions International Event), which will be three times bigger compared to the first edition of this event, which was held four years ago. The spotlight will be on an international event focusing on blueberries (International Blueberry Days), the symbolic fruit of the 40th edition of Macfrut, co-ordinated by Professor Bruno Mezzetti, one of the world’s top experts in the field, and Thomas Drahorad of NCX Drahorad. Prominent international scholars and blueberry breeders will attend, along with key global players such as the USA and Australia. All exhibitions will be co-ordinated by a team of experts in charge of their content, not only during the trade fair, but also in the lead-up to it: in fact, our exhibitors will get the chance to participate in the webinars we hold worldwide throughout the year.
What initiatives have you implemented worldwide to attract more international participants and how has it gone so far?
This year, we have set ourselves some very ambitious goals as we intend to expand Macfrut’s international appeal, and I must say we are very pleased: up to now, 50% more foreign exhibitors than last year have confirmed their participation and will account for more than 30% of the total. We were able to achieve this by implementing an extensive global promotional campaign: in fact, we gave 20 in-person presentations in four continents. Just to give you a few examples, as for the groups of companies that will participate, in particular from Africa, Ghana will be attending with 32 companies and Egypt with 22. Latin America, instead, will be in the international spotlight this year during the Latin American Days, with several returning participants and a new entry: Mexico. A big addition will also be the return of a Chinese delegation, with 30 companies in a large dedicated area.