Tom Karst
Tom Karst

The press relations folks at Fruit Logistica do a good job of posting updates from the Berlin trade show, and this morning my inbox received a hefty update at 5:28 a.m. CST. Here are some highlights of the day:

One the size of the show: 

FRUIT LOGISTICA celebrates its twentieth anniversary with two impressive statistics. What began in 1993 with an area of 4,000m2, about the size of a village football pitch, has now grown to an impressive 112,000m2. Twenty years ago, only 100 exhibitors presented their products in the Berlin exhibition halls. Today more than 2,500 exhibitors from 84 different countries are showcasing their products and services at the world's leading fresh produce trade fair.

On a new European promotion campaign:

EUR 1.5 million will be invested by 2014 in a three-year, nationwide poster campaign funded by the EU, the German Association of Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BVEO), German Fruit Trade Association (DFHV), Fruit & Vegetable Council of Holland and the Flanders' Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM). The aim is to restore consumer confidence following the E.coli scare. According to Chairman of the Trade Fair Advisory Board, Günter Schweinsberg from Fruchthandel Magazine, the '5 A Day' campaign will run in 900 cities. In addition, a training programme for fruit and vegetable retail specialists has been developed in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The aim is to improve consumer relations, reported DFHV President Dieter Krauß at the opening of FRUIT LOGISTICA. The first six-month pilot course is scheduled to begin soon.

On consumer research

In order to learn more about consumer preferences, Cobana Fruchtring conducted 490 interviews together with POS promotions at various locations over the past few months. The survey results are being presented at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2012. Marketing Director Stephan Schlick explains: "What was remarkable was that less than 9% of those surveyed had the impression that they consume less fruit and vegetables now than in the past. As many as 46% are convinced that they actually consume more". Another question focused on reasons that might prevent consumers from purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables. Nearly 48% of those interviewed were not satisfied with freshness, 18% with the ripeness of fruit, and 9% with the taste. (Hall 6.2, Stand A-03. Contact: Stephan Schlick, tel.: +49(0)40/30305270, e-mail:

On wooden crates and CO2

GROW, a trade association for manufacturers of wooden crates and baskets, is promoting at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2012 for wood as an ideal CO2 storage with large mitigation potential when it is consistently used in building construction, interior design, pallets and fresh produce packaging. Germany reduced CO2 emissions by 105 million tonnes in 2011 by using wood as a building material instead of other materials with a carbon footprint. This amount is equivalent to about 13% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. Neighbouring country Switzerland will soon be setting up a CO2 bank. Similar to CO2 emissions trading, the organization will make it possible to trade the CO2 in wood products. (Hall 20, Stand C-16. Contact: Uwe Groll, tel. +49 (0) 6237/929593)

TK: More headlines to note this morning. A notice of funds availability was published in the Federal Register regarding the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Supervalu's reduction in staff was noted on their company's web site.  Wal Mart explains its "Great for You" food labeling effort. The USDA ERS publishes a study of the federal crop insurance program. Chinese plant health authorities make a comment about the USDA proposal for the importation of sand pears from China.

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