This year, like every year, Saint-Charles Export were present at Fruit Logistica Berlin with a delegation equivalent to that of 2019.  With a 144m² booth in Berlin’s Hall France, they joined a total of 16 companies exhibiting all kinds of products and services. Fruits and vegetables, of Spanish, Moroccan and French origin, conventional and organic, made up the greater part of the products presented on the booth.

This array was complemented by the presence of a varietal research expert, a sorting and packaging equipment specialist, an IT consultant and some hauliers and logistics companies. Once again, the trade port of Port-Vendres was represented by its managing entity, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Perpignan.

Despite a conspicuous drop in the number of visitors, essentially due to fears about the Coronavirus (according to the organisers, almost 50% of Chinese companies cancelled their visit), everyone agreed the exhibition retained its high level of quality in terms of exchanges and meetings.

Although this drop did affect the atmosphere in the halls that are usually full of energy (Latin American countries), this was compensated by a great variety of entertainment on some of the booths that tend to be more discreet (Turkey, Maghreb countries, Eastern Europe). As for Hall France, many exhibitors also noted a drop in visitor numbers (-30%). On the upside, however, this meant it was possible to obtain more targeted and more qualitative contacts.

If you had to choose just one word to sum up this year’s edition, that word would be “packaging”. Indeed, in line with the realities of our times, sustainable packaging was very present in the discussions, as well as on the booths and in the conference topics.

Another aspect highly appreciated by both exhibitors and visitors was the quality and number of exhibitors of materials and equipment for stands: these took up 7 large pavilions in the showroom basement.

On the entertainment front, like every year, there was plenty of action provided by the teams of the AD’OCC Regional Economic Development Agency, in partnership with Saint-Charles Export, including a cocktail reception on the 2nd day.

This edition was therefore very lively, in spite of the drop in attendance, and it reasserted the importance of FRUIT LOGISTICA Berlin to the “Fruits and Vegetables” sector. For the Saint-Charles Export companies, that’s a given: which is why, year after year, they attend this internationally-minded trade fair bringing companies together from all over the world to establish contacts over the course of three days.

In terms of customers, as the fair is held in Berlin, the bulk of attendees come from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Czech Republic. Indeed, Germany is the platform’s greatest customer country outside of France. This trade fair therefore provides the perfect opportunity to make new contacts or reconnect. As a reminder, the annual volume of sales outside the French national territory by Saint-Charles companies amounts to over than 700,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables.

It is also important to mention that Saint-Charles Export’s participation in this 2020 edition of FRUIT LOGISTICA was once again supported by the Occitanie Pyrénées-Méditerranée region.

Here are a few testimonials from our exhibitors :

Berlin remains THE unmissable event for companies interested in all origins of fruit and vegetables. This fair is an opportunity to meet both suppliers and customers, as the German market still holds vast potential for our business“.

“Given the specific nature of our business, Berlin is an important trade fair. It gives us a chance to meet up with our international partners, from all continents, in a very short time and without any downtime. Plus, this fair gives you an accurate overview of the fruit and vegetable sector, an industry that’s moving at full power and constantly changing”.

“Even though for us, this fair’s mostly about maintaining contacts, our presence is essential because our customers and suppliers expect to see us there”.

In conclusion, despite the less crowded aisles, the exhibitors were fairly satisfied. On the whole, this edition was therefore a success. It allowed for more qualitative, targeted and in-depth exchanges than are generally the norm.

Although it was far from full and may well have disappointed some, this edition will in any case be remembered as more “intimate“. It certainly won’t make history in terms of attendance, but never mind: the vast majority of exhibitors were more than satisfied !