Straight from Spain

This Spring manufacturers and retailers from around the world will be flocking to Barcelona, Spain, for the Alimentaria 2012 trade fair. With an estimated one-third of the show’s expected 4,000 exhibitors coming from abroad, Alimentaria officials are saying this show will have a stronger international presence than ever before—and they will have more to offer international attendees.

cheese from SpainHeld at the Gran Vía exhibition site from March 26–29, 2012, Alimentaria is adding a number of new elements in 2012 to help facilitate international business and commerce. Among these include The Alimentaria Hub, an exhibition hall dedicated to promoting new business opportunities. The hub will host twelve sector-specific shows including three targeted towards international delegations, autonomous communities and organic food products.

Other events to take place in this area include the International Conference on the Mediterranean Diet, the Innoval awards (15 awards recognizing the most innovative products in the sector since last year’s show), the Best Pack awards (awards that recognize the industry’s most innovative and noteworthy creations), the Research and Technology Transfer Conference and Spanish Food and Drink Industry business conferences, along with other activities such as establishing new forms of communication using social networks. This area of the show will group these initiatives under a single umbrella, augmenting their synergies and common elements, say officials at Alimentaria.

“The food and drinks industry is the most important for the Catalan economy and it is the sector which has best withstood the [economic] crisis,” said Josep Maria Pelegrí, secretary of the Government of Catalonia’s Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing, Food and Environment, at the organization’s September press conference.

Isabel Bombal, director of food manufacturing and markets for the Ministry of Natural, Rural and Marine Environment, agreed. “It is important to lend strength and visibility to the food industry because of how much capacity is has for job creation,” she said.

The International Pavilion will return, welcoming back delegates from numerous countries around the world with a strong focus on the Asian market, as well as new stands from Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Dubai and Sweden. New to the International Pavillion in 2012, Alimentaria will feature a guest country, Mexico, which will play a prominent role throughout the show and  be featured in events and through its products.

“We want Alimentaria to continue to grow because it is an excellent business forum for our industries and a showcase for the strength of Spanish industry,” said Bombal.

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