On 5-7 February, nine Ukrainian berry companies – Artberry, Melcherry, BigBlue, Valley-Agro, Blue Berry, Family Garden, StarBerries, iBerry, U-Berry – participated in Fruit Logistica, one of the world's largest exhibitions for the fresh food business that brought together more than 72,000 visitors this year. The companies’ participation in this trade fair was made possible thanks to the support of the Ready to Trade project, funded by the European Union as part of the EU4Business initiative, and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
This is the second time Ukrainian producers and the Ukrainian Berries Association (UBA) successfully participated in this exhibition. This year, the exhibitors were able to attract attention of an even higher number of potential partners as well as foreign media.
“Previous experience of participating in the exhibition, as well as the knowledge and experience we have gained last year, have given us confidence. This time, we already knew what to do, how to do it, and how to properly allocate efforts,”- Artberry shared their impression about this year's event. Another exhibiting company – U-Berry – noted that this year the number of interested traders and buyers who visited the Ukrainian stand has increased.
"The attractive stand at the trade fair and the professional work of all the companies represented there will soon allow us all to establish ourselves as modern and reliable partners for the European Union (EU) countries and beyond," - Family Garden said.
Participation in the exhibition, which gathered 3,300 exhibitors this year, was a great opportunity to introduce various interested parties to the range of Ukrainian fresh berries. The Ready to Trade project not only helped Ukrainian participants prepare for the event, but also facilitated the creation of marketing and merchandising materials, and conducted for participants a training on negotiations. It also helped the companies to line-up B2B meetings with potential buyers, including buyers from the EU.
The UBA, whom the Project involved in the preparation of companies for the trade fair, noted that the Ukrainian companies are developing a good reputation. This makes negotiating with potential buyers much easier. In addition, Ukrainian producers are already able to offer products of premium quality, which allows them to negotiate higher prices.
“Potential clients accustom themselves to the fact that Ukraine is establishing itself as a player on the berry market," - IBerry representatives noted positive changes in business communication. During the fair, the company signed a contract to buy an automated "Blueberry vision" line from the European Unitec Group. This line will allow, for the first time in Ukraine, to sort berry without human intervention by such criteria as: color, size, softness of fruit, overripeness and withering, presence of substrate and external skin defects.
This year's participation in Fruit Logistica was a good opportunity for Ukrainian companies to improve and expand their business through the experience gained and contacts established during the event as well as to learn more about global food industry trends.
Ready to Trade project funded by the European Union within the EU4Business initiative works with small and medium-sized enterprises in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to help them target and access foreign markets, with a focus on the European Union market.