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Visitor record for expoSE and expoDirekt

“Growth is not the most important thing for us”

Strawberry and asparagus fair expoSE and sales fair expoDirekt, both held in Karlsruhe, Germany last week, experienced a visitor and exhibitor record. Fair organiser Simon Schumacher did not expect this, yet it happened.

Both the German strawberry and the German asparagus sector have developed significantly. That is also represented by trade fair expoSE, which focuses on both sectors.The fair experienced both a visitor and an exhibitor record. It was also a surprise to fair organiser Schumacher that the number of exhibitors had grown. “Until October, we did not think that would be the case, but we still grew from 425 to 434 exhibitors. We do see that growing is not easy, but that does not matter, because growth is most definitely not one of our goals. We are a specialised fair, what we offer might be limited, but that is also our strength,” Schumacher explains. “The visitors are very focused, and that is what we anticipate. We offer a trade fair for professional visitors.” Moreover, the expoSE is combined with the expoDirekt, which focuses on directly marketing products. “In southern Germany and Switzerland, the percentage of direct marketing is very high. About 30 per cent of strawberries and 50 per cent of asparagus is marketed by the producers personally.”

Dutch asparagus and strawberry queens add grace to the fair.

Doing business in Karlsruhe.

Market developments
The growth of the market can also be explained by the developments in the soft fruit sector. “The use of soft fruit is increasing, and so is production — strawberries, blackberries, blueberries,” Schumacher continues. “We see that a lot at the fair. We officially focus on strawberries, but because many cultivators also have blueberries, we are expanding into soft fruit. And the same things are happening in that sector: various techniques are used in order to bring production forward and enhance quality. Both are important conditions to be able to ask for good prices.”

Schumacher sees the development mostly at an international level. “This year, we have 22 per cent international exhibitors. I estimate one-third of those are Dutch, for example, the plant cultivators and seed improvers. In coming years, we will reach out to French, Spanish and Italian suppliers. They also supply a good-quality product, but they do not yet supply in Germany. We see the market as a whole and think opportunities can be found here.” The same is true for the visitors: Schumacher already saw an increase of international guests, and expects this will happen more and more. “The sector is developing. But again: growth is not a goal for us. We are happy it is happening, but we are more interested in keeping quality and focus at the current level.”

Various presentations at the fair, also about the developments on the market.

Focus of the cultivators: bringing cultivation forward and improving quality.

Please click here to see more photos taken at the fair.

The next expoSE and expoDirekt are planned in the Messe Karlsruhe on 22 and 23 November 2017.

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