INTERNACIONALIZATION, COMPETITIVENESS AND BOLSTERING THE INDUSTRY’S REPUTATION
“For some time now we have been placing a special emphasis on the internationalization of the exhibitors. We are cognizant of the fact that the sector’s future hinges on reaching out to exterior markets…”
> Josep Lluís Bonet
Presidente Comité Organizador Alimentaria. President of the Alimentaria Organizing Committee
The International Food and Beverage Exhibition will return to Barcelona from 26-29 March, with a spotlight focused on competitiveness, internationalization, and bolstering the food industry’s reputation.
The event is expected to attract some 4,000 companies (1,300 from abroad) and 140,000 buyers (35,000 from abroad).
Mr. Josep Lluís Bonet (President of the Alimentaria Organizing Committee) explained to us: “When I was named President of Barcelona’s Fira (convention center) in 2004 there were six offices in the world. It was the start of an internationalization effort which Jaume Tomás and his team had ably undertaken, and now we have 38.
The concept of internationalization is evident. Perhaps big companies, or those we consider big, such as Freixenet, have done what they needed to do, but there is a whole network of SMEs in the sector that have been slow to embrace internationalization. They need help, and that´s what trade fairs are for. This is why Alimentaria is vital, to meet this objective.”
THE ALIMENTARIA HUB: the forum for innovation, knowledge and new trends
In addition to a global marketplace, Alimentaria, the International Food and Drink Exhibition serves as a meeting point for dialogue, exchanges, information and knowledge with regards to trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector. In 2012 it will roll out The Alimentaria Hub, the exhibition’s new think tank, which will encompass those fair activities aimed at promoting the sector’s innovative and multidimensional character and identifying business opportunities.
The Alimentaria Hub will be the strategic initiative of Alimentaria 2012, set to return to Barcelona from 26 to 29 March. In total there will be 4,000 square meters housing a massive exhibition of new products, two auditoriums with a joint capacity for more than 300 people, and a lounge area dedicated to networking, featuring guest buyers from around the world.
With a spectacular, flexible and dynamic audio-visual set-up, The Alimentaria Hub will feature a multi-format presentation, with exhibitions, business meetings, talks and seminars successively taking place.
A wide range of activities and content in a program structured around six themes: innovation and R&D; nutrition, health and well-being; internationalization and globalization; distribution and retail; marketing and communication; and corporate social responsibility.
Attendees will hear from recognized international gurus; major companies like Nestle, Google and LinkedIn; and leading institutions and associations such as Dieta Mediterránea, the FIAB, the Triptolemos Foundation, and AZTI-Tecnalia, which will be collaborating on the organization and design of each of the scheduled sessions.
An exclusive area for bloggers from around the world has also been designed, specialized in different sectors and explaining everything going on at Alimentaria 2012.
Innoval will be the gateway to The Alimentaria Hub. This major exhibition of products, including over 140 innovations, will once again serve as a showcase of the efforts made by manufacturers on the design, development and market launch of the most innovative products from the last Alimentaria event.
In 2012 the Media Set stage will be introduced where exhibitors will be able to present their latest developments and the 8th Innoval Awards ceremony will be held. These honors are to expand with the addition of new categories.
In 2012, in addition to the nine awards by product category, the jury will recognize the best in international innovation, new sales channel developments, and trends impacting today’s consumers: pleasure associated with the best values, exoticism, varieties of flavors and sensations, products’ fun factors, and their practicality in terms of ease of use, preparation and consumption. Finally, the growing health and well-being trend in the food industry will be reflected.
Along with Innoval, The Alimentaria Hub will encompass a diverse set of activities featuring knowledge and innovation as the common thread tying them together.
The International Conference on the Mediterranean Diet will be held, with lectures and panel discussions featuring leading academics presenting the latest advances and discoveries regarding the benefits of this cultural pattern, recently declared an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) by UNESCO.
For two days leading figures will be speaking, such as Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO); Eduard Escrich, Director of the Department of Physiology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona Medical School and of the Multidisciplinary Group for the Study of Breast Cancer; Ramon Estruch, Professor at the University of Barcelona Medical School and Coordinator of the Study on Prevention through the Mediterranean Diet (PREDIMED); and Magnus Scheving, producer of the children’s series Lazy Town, broadcast in 128 countries.
The transfer of innovation and technology to the food industry will be one of the key issues to be addressed at The Alimentaria Hub through the AZTI-Tecnalia center, which will present a successful case study involving collaboration between the business world and this technology center.
The Best Pack Awards, organized by Alimentaria Exhibitions, Publications and Studies will continue to recognize the most innovative creations, those standing out for their groundbreaking status in the food and beverage industry.
The Alimentaria Hub will also serve as a forum for meetings and discussions featuring technology experts and authorities in science and technology from Latin America, Spain and the European Union as part of the business meetings sponsored by the FIAB, ICEX and ACC1Ó, among other well-established activities. Finally, The Alimentaria Hub will look at recent advances in food research by considering studies by the Triptolemos Foundation.