MAC FRUIT ATTRACTION MENA is a new global brand for the fresh produce industry, developed to create and maintain a strong and efficient network between traders and vendors in Europe, MENA, and Africa. Held concurrently with Food Africa for its second consecutive year, MAC FRUIT is a unique platform providing international fruit and vegetable firms direct access to new strategic markets.
IFEMA of Spain and CESENA FIERA of Italy, representing the main fruit & vegetables producer and exporter countries in Europe have come to a collaboration agreement to create a new global brand for the fruit and vegetable sector, MAC FRUIT ATTRACTION, with the aim of developing professional industry events in strategic markets.
The first edition of MAC FRUIT ATTRACTION was held in Cairo in May 2016 as part of FoodAfrica following an agreement reached with IFP Group for holding the event concurrently with FoodAfrica. The event received a good turnout, with operators coming mainly from Egypt but also from across the MENA region, which is becoming increasingly crucial for European businesses in the industry.
The second edition of MAC FRUIT ATTRACTION will be held 22 – 24 April 2017 at Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Center (CICC).
On this occasion, ifpinfo had the following interview with Mr. Raúl Calleja, Director of the Fruit Attraction fair.
Q. How does IFEMA help in promoting Spanish companies in general?
A. IFEMA is Spain’s leading fair organizer and one of the main operators in Europe. It organizes more than 50 fairs per year on its own behalf, through which it gives firm, committed support to each of the sectors represented with these events.
In the specific case of Fruit Attraction, as well as working in collaboration with the main sector association – Fepex – to organize the exhibition, we have an Organizers’ Committee made up of industry professionals who pass on the needs of companies so we can adapt to them and offer them the best platform for achieving their business objectives. On these lines, our in-depth understanding of this sector inspired us to work with Cesena Fiera to create MAC FRUIT ATTRACTION, which would be a launch pad for businesses wanting to trade in strategic markets.
Q. What are the advantages of participating in exhibitions under your umbrella?
A. Mac Fruit Attraction is organized by IFEMA and CESENA FIERA, two leading trade fair operators from the fruit and vegetable sector’s two most successful exporting countries, Spain and Italy. What’s more, we are responsible for the most important industry events, FRUIT ATTRACTION, the International Trade Show for the Fruit and Vegetable Industry in Spain and MACFRUIT, Fruit & Veg Professional Show, in Italy. We are in an excellent position for exporting our know-how in the fruit and vegetable industry to the sector. Of course, alliances with local operators, in this case IFP, are also a guarantee of success.
Q. How many Spanish companies are participating in the upcoming Food Africa show?
A. This year, there will be 88 exhibitors at Mac Fruit Attraction Mena from Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Nigeria and Egypt. From our country, the event will feature companies Agritech Murcia; Agrofresh; Alquimia Fruits; Centrimerca; Copa Fresh; Fru&Ver; Frutas Gamero and Moyca.
Q. Have you organized a country pavilion in any of IFP Group shows in general and what was the outcome?
A. Last year, we held the first edition of Mac Fruit Attraction in the framework of FoodAfrica, which was well received by Spanish companies.
Q. What is the trade value between Spain and Egypt and between Spain and Africa in general?
A. The Egyptian market has enormous potential for the Spanish fruit and vegetable trade. Mac Fruit Attraction Mena is a superb opportunity for gaining access to this geographical area and creating new business opportunities for Spanish producers.
In 2016, Spanish fruit exports to Egypt came to a total of 2,699 tons. By products, apples did well, with a volume of 1,104 tons, for a value of €807,362. We also exported 704 tons of peaches worth €688,278 to this country. Spanish producers exported plums, apples, peaches, nectarines and pears to Egypt with an export value of €2,219,101.
In addition, many visitors from Mac Fruit Attraction Mena come from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, countries which have been buying increasingly large amounts of fruit and vegetables from Spain.
The United Arab Emirates has become the second most important non-European export destination for fresh fruits and vegetables, with €67.1 million in 2016, that is 6% more than in 2015, with an increase of 8% in volume, totalling 64,286 tons. Exports to Saudi Arabia totalled €48.3 million, up by 10%, with a volume of 45,961 tons (+13%). Exports to Jordan came to a total of 10,355 tons, that is 66% more than in 2015, for a value of €7.6 million, with no change from the previous year.
Q. How do you asses both the African and the Egyptian markets?
A. The Egyptian market has great potential and it is a gateway to the rest to the rest of Africa and the Middle East. With 90 million inhabitants, it is considered the second largest market on the continent of Africa and its third economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product. Egypt has become the gateway to markets in Africa and the Middle East thanks to different free trade agreements it has with Turkey, through the signature of the AGADIR Agreement (Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan), with the African countries that make up the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and with GAFTA member states (the Greater Arab Free Trade Area), as well as an agreement between the European Union and Egypt, which came into force in 2004. Local food production does not cover the population’s needs and 60% of all food consumed is imported.
Q. How do you evaluate your country’s participation in this year’s edition of Food Africa next month?
A. Good. I think that it is a unique opportunity for Spanish producers and I am sure that they will take full advantage of this business platform.