Over 62,000 trade visitors from 141 countries descended on Berlin in February for the annual Fruit Logistica exhibition. The event which seeks to bring together the “whose who” of the global fresh produce sector, provides an outstanding platform for international trade and serves as a highly effective marketing tool. PPECB made sure to capitalise on this remarkable opportunity by meeting with as many industry players as possible to promote the PPECB name.

In addition to the thousands of trade visitors, over 2,600 exhibitors from 84 countries filled the exhibition halls. Armed with their entire range of products and services as well as a number of exciting innovations for the sector, exhibitors once again did not disappoint.

Cyril Julius (General Manager: Coastal) remarked that after attending the event one can now appreciate the sheer size of the fruit and vegetable industry worldwide.” Likewise, Lucien Jansen (General Manager: Corporate Affairs) said that prior to attending it was “difficult to comprehend the magnitude without experiencing it firsthand”. As a result of the sheer enormity of the event the opportunities for interactions were endless. “During the two days of attendance I met with a total of 29 stakeholders – South Africans and internationals. Seeing these people individually would normally take me 3 months back at home, including a lot of flights and many days away from the office,” said Lucien.

Throughout these interactions PPECB received many compliments from growers and exporters many of whom acknowledged an improvement in the communication, knowledge and professionalism of inspectors who now appear to be more comfortable in their roles. It was also noted that PPECB appears to be more willing to listen and has become a true partner in the industry.

The wealth of information which was gleamed from the interactions cannot be overemphasised. The interesting views of Mr Chris Ferrandi of Sansitech who predicts that by 2025 Nigeria would replace South Africa as the new economic giant of Africa, the insights of Stefan Droogendijk from fellow inspection company DQFS Survey and the meeting to establish an international inspection agency forum; are but a few of the irreplaceable interactions.

Overall, our attendance at Fruit Logistica highlighted both what we are doing well and what we need to work on – neither of which should ever be overlooked. Author Toba Beth once remarked that “We begin to learn wisely when we’re willing to see world from other people’s perspective.” Attending Fruit Logistica provided PPECB with exactly this opportunity.