Fruit Attraction 2019, which was the 11th edition of the fair, came to an end after the participation of 89,390 professionals from 127 countries. This represented a growth of 12% over the previous year, making it the most global edition so far. A total of 1,770 companies from 58 countries participated, which is an increase of 9% compared to 2018. There were also 55,938 net square meters of exhibition space; 10% more than in the previous edition. These figures have made Madrid the fruit and vegetable world capital for three days.
The fair has consolidated as a fundamental event for global fruit and vegetable marketers, allowing them to promote global exports. It has become a meeting place for all the professionals that make up the entire value chain.
One of the most noteworthy statistics has been the remarkable 23% increase in the number of international participants. European ones were, once again, the most numerous, accounting for 65% of the attendees, with a growth of 16% over the previous year. The greatest increase has been achieved by Latin America and the Caribbean, with 47% more visitors, followed by North America, with a 31% rise, the Middle East, with a 21% growth, and non-EU European countries, with a 20% increase.
Likewise, the visitors of the Guest Import Market program, co-organized with the ICEX, which on this occasion came from India, Singapore and China, also reached significant increases. In the case of India, 259 visitors were registered, with a growth of 121%; a total of 36 attendees came from Singapore, which entailed an increase of 140%, and China, with 167 participants, recorded a 70% growth.
Fruit Attraction has given its participants a platform to allow them to grow and expand internationally with the International Guests Program, which attracted 1,015 large buyers, retail purchasing managers, importers and guest wholesalers from 86 countries. In the domestic sphere, Fruit Attraction 2019 has attracted companies from all Spanish production areas.
Once again, the exhibition area for producers, Fresh Produce, was the segment with the highest share of participants: 71.5%. The auxiliary industry, which accounted for 25.5%, also had a notable weight, showing the strength of the fruit and vegetable sector. To these, we must add Flower & Garden Attraction, with 2%, and the Nuts Hub, with 1%, which shows the specialization of the fair and its verticality.
On this occasion, the Fair has given a boost to areas such as Ecorganic Market, a specialized area for the marketing and export of organic products, as well as Smart Agro, focused on the application of new technologies. Also, The Innovation Hub and the Innova Forum were the areas devoted to innovation and business developments in the sector.
A comprehensive program of conferences turned Fruit Attraction into a knowledge hub for the sector, with sessions characterized by a great diversity of content, as well as the high level of its participants and speakers. Some of them worth highlighting are the World Fresh Forum, the Biofruit Congress, the AWM (Agriwater Management) day, Technology Attraction, or the session on the impact of Brexit in the fruit and vegetable sector focused on the relationship between Spain and the United Kingdom.
The fair again facilitated the collection of fruits and vegetables from the exhibitors for the Food Bank of Madrid, which received 40,000 kilos of fruit and vegetable products.
Fruit Attraction 2020 will be held from October 20 to 22 at IFEMA.