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Alimentaria kicks off its most innovative show

Alimentaria kicks off its most innovative show

03/28/2014 - Alimentaria, Spain's leading agri-food industry trade fair and one of the biggest in the world, will attract buyers from the five continents to give the 3,800 participating companies more business and export opportunities. It will showcase the sector's latest trends and will reinforce the connection between industry and gastronomy with the chefs in "The Alimentaria Experience" who hold 50 Michelin stars between them.

Alimentaria 2014, being held from March 31st to April 3rd, will fill practically Fira de Barcelona’s entire Gran Via Exhibition Centre. This year’s show has been promoted around the world to identify and attract mainly buyers from emerging markets and European countries. It is expected that a large number of international visitors from over 140 countries will come and that more than 600 key importers and distributors in Latin American, North American and Asian markets will attend to participate in over 8,000 business meetings.

This focus on internationalisation falls in line with the objectives of the Spanish food and beverage industry, which aims to boost exports and go from 22,600 million Euros in 2013 to 46,000 million Euros in 2020.

 

Industry and gastronomy in 14 shows

The President of Alimentaria and of Fira de Barcelona, Josep Lluís Bonet, has reaffirmed the show’s commitment to contributing to the internationalisation of the sector, 96% of which is made up of SMESs:  “Adapting to globalisation is, today, an unavoidable challenge. Alimentaria is a good way to access new markets and an opportunity to establish contacts with international agents”, he says.

Meat products, wine and olive oil are leading Spanish exports and this importance is also reflected in the range of exhibits at the event. For the CEO of Alimentaria Exhibitions and of the show, J. Antonio Valls, “the Mediterranean diet, the international recognition of our cuisine and the innovative nature of the agri-food industry are trump cards for increasing exports”.

The emblematic Barcelona fair is split into 14 monographic shows: Intervin (Wine and Spirits), Intercarn (Meat and Meat Products), Olivaria, (Olive Oil and Vegetable Oils), Interlact (Milk and Dairy Products), Multiproducto (General Food products), Mundidulce (Sweets, Biscuits and Confectionary), Expobebidas (Water, Soft Drinks and Beers), Expoconser (Preserves and Semi-Preserved Products), Interpesca (Seafood, Aquaculture and Farmed Fish Products), Congelexpo (Frozen Foods), Alimentación Ecológica (Organic Food), Restaurama (Eating Out), Pabellón de las Autonomías, with the participation of the different Autonomous Communities and provinces and the International Pavilion with companies and institutions from 50 countries.

Alimentaria has also increased the number of specific proposals, such as the Premium area, for haute cuisine and delicatessen firms; the “Gluten-Free +” space with products appropriate for coeliacs and solutions for other food intolerances; “Cocktail & Spirits”, in which spirits will be promoted brands and cocktail-making demonstrations will be featured; and “Pizza&Pasta Project” dedicated to these Italian specialities.

 

Major culinary experiences

The big new initiative at this edition will be “The Alimentaria Experience”, an activities space that will feature around 50 chefs that hold over 50 Michelin stars between them. Joan Roca, Juan Mari Arzak, Quique Dacosta, Pedro Subijana, Carme Ruscalleda and Paco Pérez are some of the chefs who will be carrying out live culinary demonstrations and will teach master classes. This space will also host the Chef of the Year Competition.  

The event will also include a wine tasting space, “Vinorum”, which will be presenting 50 of the today’s most groundbreaking wines; the Gourmet Olive Oil Tasting Bar, where visitors will be able to sample over a hundred top of the range oils; and “Spain, land of 100 cheeses”, a tasting and exhibition space covering the evolution of Spanish cheese making of the last 20 years. 

On the other hand, olive oil will be one of the star products of Alimentaria and this will be evident at the traditional Olive Oil Bar, “where professional visitors will enjoy tastings of more than a hundred references from all over Spain and will have the opportunity to compare their different aromas and flavors”, as reported the director of Alimentaria, José Antonio Valls, in an interview published in the latest issue of Mercacei Magazine

Valls explained that Olivaria will be closely connected to “The Alimentaria Experience”, the largest dining space of the event, located in Hall 6, where cooking workshops, demonstrations and lectures will take place amongst the best Spanish chefs of the moment, whose creations will not miss the best EVOOs. 

Among other activities, Alimentaria will also organize the Olive Oil Business Meetings, so that Olivaria exhibitors can meet oil buyers from a dozen countries, including China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico or Russia. 

Another of the fair’s important spaces is “The Alimentaria Hub”, which will host the International Congress on the Mediterranean Diet, focused on the prevention of chronic illnesses by following a healthy diet; Innoval, an exhibition of over 300 innovative launches; the Nestlé Forum “Creation of Shared Value” which will analyse the food sector in the face of nutritional challenges of the 21st century; the FIAB innovation meetings on the development of food products for the elderly; and the new initiative The Food Factory, which will put start-ups in touch with Business Angels willing to invest in them. 

 

Mercacei, stays loyal to it’s date

If Mercacei was in 2002 responsible for coordinating Interoliva, the first area of the exhibition dedicated to the promotion of Spanish olive oils in Alimentaria, which changed its name in 2004 to Olivaria, the close relationship between this Fair and Mercacei has evolved every year into a very active presence. 

Therefore, Mercacei will have its own booth at Olivaria (C 11), which together with the Olive Oil Bar, will become the center for the promotion of the best Spanish EVOOs. 

By customised tastings, conducted by the team Mercacei, importers and buyers, as well as professional chefs and other visitors, will have the opportunity to discover the flavors of the most special extra virgin olive oils exposed.  

 

Responsible Alimentaria

The food and beverages exhibited in Alimentaria will not go to waste. Once the show has closed, they will be given to the Fundació Banc dels Aliments (Food Bank Foundation). Moreover, any leftover food cooked in the exhibition centre’s bars and restaurants will be distributed to social kitchens through the NGO Nutrition Without Borders.

Alimentaria is a leading international trade show organised by Alimentaria Exhibitions, a Fira de Barcelona company specialising in events for the food and beverage industry. Its portfolio of shows includes Bta. -Barcelona Food Technologies-, Alimentaria & Horexpo Lisbon, Alimentaria Mexico, Alimentaria Brazil and Seafood Expo Southern Europe.

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