Lessons from the first trade fairs in 2023

In February 2023, COLEAD successfully participated in Fruit Logistica and BIOFACH in Germany, under the FFM+, FFM SPS and NExT Kenya programmes. Through a series of meetings, conferences and networking events, we established and nurtured relationships with almost 400 contacts from 57 countries. Despite ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, both fairs made strides towards post-pandemic recovery. However, the number of visitors remained lower compared to the pre-pandemic period.

We observed that the demand in the sector remains dynamic despite the industry facing various challenges, such as inflation and the energy crisis. Moreover, we anticipate that the transition from air freight to other logistics options by certain retailers (e.g. Albert Heijn in the Netherlands) may present obstacles for some EU market suppliers.

The newly implemented EU organic regulations regarding group certification are of significant concern to producers/exporters working with small farmers. Nonetheless, the organic sector remains attractive, and consumers in Europe are still willing to purchase organic products. Counter-season and tropical fruit and vegetables are also expected to suffer less from the increased competition from local organic production in the EU. For the US market, new and stricter organic regulations are expected to bring changes to the sector.

Additionally, COLEAD observed a growing market for organic vegetarian and vegan products, along with an emerging trend of producing/exporting companies stepping into processing to add value to their produce locally. MSMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa have also shown a strong interest in local processing options, such as dried, individual quick frozen, oils and frozen purees.

In the coming months, COLEAD will attend the following international trade fairs :

  • Macfrut, 3–5 May in Italy
  • SARA (Salon International de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales d’Abidjan) 29 September – 8 October in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Fruit Attraction, 3–5 October in Spain.

These activities are supported by the Fit For Market SPS, Fit For Market+ and the NExT Kenya (New Export Trade) programmes.
The Fit For Market SPS and Fit For Market+ programmes are
implemented by COLEAD within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union.
The New Export Trade Kenya (NExT Kenya) programme is implemented by COLEAD, funded by the EU and established in collaboration with the EU Delegation in Nairobi and Kenyan stakeholders (NExT Kenya).

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