Innovative, Inspiring, International

The programme for the MP participants from Eastern Europe who completed their training in Kiel in March 2016 included not one but two international fair highlights.

INTERNORGA, one of the largest trade fairs in Europe, is firmly established in the north of Germany. In 2016, the fair once again welcomed about 1,300 exhibitors from 25 countries and roughly 95,000 visitors from Germany and the rest of the world, among them 24 MP participants from Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Gastronomic trends and new products were central themes at the trade fair for food and beverages, technology and equipment. The Eastern European executives set their particular focus on the booths of the food and beverage exhibitors. Cooling and drying systems for fruit and convenience products were of particular interest to the Moldovan managers whereas the Ukrainian participants were mainly interested in selling their own products such as dried fruit, berries, soya, hops or organic grain for the production of cereals. For them it was important to gain new wholesalers. Companies like Agrarfrost, Foster Kühlsysteme, Schwartauer Konfituren or Darbo AG – just to mention a few – were therefore strongly wooed by the participants as dialogue partners.

During the tour around the fair, the participants noticed clearly that innovations relating to future viability and sustainability are very much at the centre of public attention. For the economy, companies and customers, these innovations are always important yardsticks of sustainable success. Strong entrepreneurial initiatives that break new ground and set new standards are needed for a strong society and a liveable future. Innovative products, production lines, applications and forward-looking corporate strategies redefine the market and competition and shape a sustainable future.

The trade fair was accompanied by a full programme of technical and supporting events, e.g. a start-up competition for innovative gastronomic ideas. The emphasis was on digitalisation in the catering industry and the trend towards individual products beyond the mainstream. The guests from Eastern Europe followed the awarding of the INTERNORGA FUTURE AWARD to two Hamburg founders for a beverage innovation with great interest. The probably most burning question put to the two winners by Andry Kordynian from Ukraine was: How does one manage to position a new product so successfully on the market? The prompt answer by the two founders: It was not a matter of creating a product that the market had not expected – the challenge was rather to sense the expectations of the market and to create a corresponding product.

With 72 exhibitors and 8,120 visitors, the premiere of Veggie World trade fair in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg was a great success. The trend towards vegan products is not yet quite so strong in Eastern Europe, but demand is growing. Particularly Dr Valentina Knyzhenko from Ukraine was pleased about the good contacts and the opportunity to offer her certified honey products onto the German market.

By Marlies Riemer-Lange
Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel