CIBUS 2022: THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS FOR FOOD COMMERCE03/06/2022
The 21st edition of Cibus, the most important international fair dedicated to the Italian agri-food sector in Italy, was held in Parma (Italy) earlier this month. It was the first, proper post-pandemic edition and despite the uncertainties linked to the Ukraine crisis and the unstoppable rise of energy and commodity prices, the atmosphere was rather positive across the various pavilions.
Thanks to the great job done by its organizers – who managed to keep the attention alive by creating also online events on the website of Cibus – 3.000 exhibitors, thousands of new products, 60.000 professional operators (of whom 3.000 top buyers coming from Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East) are the figures of this year’s event. The presence of Asian buyers, instead, was rather scarce.
It was a great success that went well beyond the expectations of all those exhibitors who doubt the value of agri-food fairs, especially after the unsuccessful outcome of other similar events previously held in different European countries, that left them with a significant level of skepticism and fear.
Although during the pandemic we all got used to live and work in a “virtual” online world, attending an agri-food exhibition in presence is still very important for the international trade as no computer will ever be able to transmit the passion of the producers when presenting their products to the buyers. At the same time, this type of events is important for buyers as well – especially for the ones coming from abroad – as, in a few days, they get to experience all the best agri-food excellences and to interact with their producers without having to worry about distance and time difference. Last but not least, agri-food exhibitions also provide the opportunity to identify the latest trends and understand the needs of buyers and sellers alike.
Attending this year’s edition of Cibus made us realize that buyers have changed and so has the market. The food service and hospitality industries are still facing a partial crisis whereas retail is significantly growing. Now buyers – even if they prefer semifinished products in order to optimize the production time – give importance to traceability and sustainability. Protecting the planet and safeguarding our health are the two principles that are now guiding the market and plant-based and functional foods are rapidly taking it over.
After two years of restrictions and uncertainties caused by the pandemic, people need and want to meet in person again. We believe that agri-food exhibitions will soon acquire again the importance they deserve.