■ Summary of edition 2018

3 intensive days of meetings of the food industry, for the first time held in spring, are behind us. It was an event with interviews in the foreground against the background of food − high quality, innovative, developed based on consumer expectations.

This year's Polagra Food exhibition covered 3 halls full of novelties and innovations. The exhibition was created by almost 170 exhibitors from 16 countries, e.g. Belgium, Bulgaria, China, France, Spain, South Korea, Lithuania, Macedonia, Germany, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine and Hungary. Our aspirations are bigger. I am convinced that the first edition of Polagra Food on a new spring date showed that our priority is to organize a strictly business event visited by food distributors from Poland and abroad. I hope that with this more companies will join the group of exhibitors next year. − informs Edyta Bonin-Kanikowska, Project Director.

This year's Polagra Food featured, among others, the offer of the dairy industry with a number of novelties taking into account the habits and expectations of consumers. The event was also an opportunity to promote Polish meat. With the producers of this sector you could talk at the stand of the Association of Polish Meat co-created by 21 companies. The latest trends and developments occurring in the industry were discussed during the Butchery – Cured Meat Processing – Cookery Forum. The meeting was complemented by culinary demonstrations with pork as the guiding theme.

Many people visited the stand of China Alcoholic Association, which was prepared with great imagination, where manufacturers of Baijiu, a strong alcoholic beverage produced in China, presented their offer as well as Jorge Group − the distributor of Spanish long ripening hams. At the exhibition there were also manufacturers of sweets, honey, fruit and vegetables, and distributors of fish and seafood.

The fair was attended by 3221 representatives of the food industry. They included representatives of: Jeronimo Martins Polska S.A., Eurocash SA, SELGROS Sp. z o.o., Intermarche, Lactima, Auchan, Unilever Poland Services Sp z o.o., Piotr i Paweł, Społem, Terravita spółka z o.o., Transgourmet Polska, Wawel S.A., Primavika Sp. z o.o.,  IGLOTEX CUW Sp. z o.o., TESCO, Dr. Oetker Polska Sp. z o.o., Żabka SA, Carrefour and Społem. We are very pleased with the presence of representatives of modern formats such as supermarkets and hypermarkets, and convenience, which account for 80% of sales of food products in Poland. This confirms that they work on an attractive offer for us, the consumers, and are looking for high quality products, which certainly could be found on the stands of exhibitors of Polagra Food. − says Edyta Bonin-Kanikowska.

The fair was also attended by many foreign food distributors invited under the Hosted Buyers Programme. The exhibition was visited among others by representatives
of the food industry from Tajikistan, Great Britain, Georgia, Kaliningrad, Greece, Romania, Azerbaijan, and the merchants of Bidfood − the largest food wholesalers operating in the retail and HoReCa markets in the Czech Republic, as well as representatives Evrotek − a group bringing together 4 retail chains operating in Ukraine.

Polagra Food was accompanied by a lot of training sessions and lectures addressed to both food manufacturers and its distributors. The meeting on food labeling rules was very popular. A large group of listeners gathered in front of the stage confirms that the topic is important for the industry. Certainly we will provide our guests with an opportunity to gain knowledge on the subject during the next edition of the fair. − informs Edyta Bonin-Kanikowska. The experts who appeared on stage also addressed the issues related to the behavior of modern consumers, the optimization of production and sales, and consumer expectations in terms of the standards of service. A more solid dose of knowledge could also be drawn in the Inspiration Zone of the National Center for Promotion of Agriculture, where invited guests shared their insights on how small and medium-sized businesses can build brand recognition, product positioning and take advantage of new distribution channels, and why they should have quality certificates.

During this year's Polagra Food, as in previous years, the Know Good Food awards gala was also held, which was the culmination of the first trade fair day. The ceremony was attended, among others, by Mr. Jacek Bogucki, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, who in an interview for MTP pointed out that Polish food represents very high quality standards, but attracting new customers from abroad and consolidation of position on world markets continue to be the challenges for domestic manufacturers, while the priority is to develop the brand of Polish food.

Polagra Food 2018 again became a place of dialogue between the producers and distributors of food. Undoubtedly, a huge advantage of the event was the presence of foreign merchants. As the organizers emphasize, this aspect will be developed, because the Polish food producers are very interested in new markets, which will allow the use of production potential, which they have. The next edition is planned for 30th September - 3rd October, 2019.

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