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IFFA Director: "The prospects for the food tech industry, especially for suppliers to the meat industry are good!"

Equipment

Recurrent topics such as digitalisation and optimised production will be on the agenda at the largest trade fair for the food tech industry but special attention will be given to food safety issue.

Posted on May 04 ,03:21

IFFA Director: "The prospects for the food tech industry, especially for suppliers to the meat industry are good!"

At IFFA, leading companies will be presenting their latest solutions designed to ensure greater food safety, as this topic is in everyone's attention. The prospects for the food industry are good, especially for meat suppliers, and rising consumption will entail investments in the establishment and expansion of production capacities, said Johannes Schmid-Wiedersheim, Director IFFA, in an interview for EuroMeatNews.

 

  1. This IFFA edition is opening new exhibition spaces for visitors and exhibitors.  Is this a sign of expansion for the food tech industry?

    The prospects for the food tech industry, especially for suppliers to the meat industry are good: The world population is growing, spending on food is rising and there is a backlog in consumption, especially in the emerging economies. This assumption is confirmed by data from the British market research institute Euromonitor International, which expects for the product category Fresh Meat a growth in worldwide trade volume of 10 percent by 2022. Rising consumption will entail investments in the establishment and expansion of production capacities. In most countries, the technical requirements cannot be covered by the local supply and the machines and plants have to be procured on the international market. This is where IFFA comes in. We are looking forward to welcoming 1,039 exhibitors from 49 countries this year. On around 120,000 square metres of exhibition space – nine percent more than at the last IFFA – manufacturers will present innovative technologies, trends and future-oriented solutions for all stages of the meat-processing chain, from slaughtering and dismembering, via processing and refining, to packaging and sales. The IFFA 2019 will not only be larger and more modern but will also feature a new setting. For the first time, the fair will occupy the whole western section of our Frankfurt Fair & Exhibition Centre. The incorporation of the new Exhibition Hall 12 is enabling the IFFA to grow and thereby network visitors and exhibitors even better.

 

  1. How many exhibitors are going to be at IFFA 2019 and who are the newcomers? In terms of visitors, what are your expectation for this edition?

    We will welcome 1.039 exhibitors from 49 countries. The strongest contingents come from Germany (393 companies), Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, China, Poland, the US and Belgium. This year many exhibitors have used our new halls allocation to enlarge their stand areas. The German exhibitors – who form the biggest exhibitor group overall – are enlarging their stand areas by about 5 percent. Among the biggest exhibitor nations, we are also glad to see double-digit growth in stand areas. We have newcomers from Chile, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.
    It is impossible to make an exact forecast. The last IFFA attracted over 62,000 trade visitors from 142 countries and we anticipate a similar number this time. However, this number could increase given the buoyant economic situation of the meat industry in many places. Moreover, the number of visitors has increased steadily over the last three events, i.e., the trend is continuously upwards. And this is coupled with a high level of internationality: 67 percent of our visitors come from outside Germany, the majority of them from Europe followed by America and Asia, each with 15 percent.

 

  1. So far, every IFFA edition has underlined different trends for the food industry. What are the main topics this year? Are these topics more challenging than others before?

    Yes, IFFA is the venue for showing and discussing everything that drives the sector at present and the subjects that point the way to the future. In 2019, the focus of the programme and the exchange of expert opinion in the industry will be on the top themes of ‘optimised production’, ‘resource efficiency’, ‘digital solutions’ and ‘food safety’. Optimised production is a constantly recurring topic. Companies of the meat and food industry can save time and costs through perfectly coordinated production processes. When it comes to new purchases, the focus is increasingly on overall plant effectiveness. However, existing systems often have hidden potential that needs to be exploited. The discussion about resource efficiency offers a variety of ways to cut costs. There are already many technical solutions aimed at making the most efficient use of energy, water and raw materials. In the case of packaging, the spotlight is on saving materials. Digital solutions are already a reality on the production side. Machines are fitted with sensors, radio modules and measuring devices, and the resulting data used to monitor production and to improve processing. The aim of the ‘smart factory’ is to master complex processes perfectly, to be resistant to stoppages and to be able to react immediately to changes in the production process.

 

  1. There are challenging times for the F&B industry due to increased pressure from the "conscious consumer" but there are immediate answers for these issues (food safety, food waste, environment, animal welfare)? What can be seen at IFFA 2019 as novelties in this area?

    Food safety has the highest priority in the meat industry. The protection of the consumer and his justified expectations of quality and shelf life through optimum product protection must be assured. The meat-processing industry is still very largely a manual industry. The human being continues to be the biggest hygiene risk when it comes to germ transmission within the overall value-added chain. Particularly in areas involving direct contact between worker and product. A major step towards food safety will, therefore, be the widest possible replacement of manual work by automated processes. When it is a question of hygiene a consistent hygienic design of equipment, apparatus, plant and machinery is crucial. At IFFA, leading companies will be presenting their latest solutions designed to ensure greater food safety.

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