CIBUS: THE PERMANENT PLATFORM OF THE ITALIAN AGRI-FOOD SECTOR
3,000 exhibitors, thousands of new products, 60,000 professional operators of whom 3,000 top buyers, confirm the need for an annual event dedicated to the Made in Italy agri-food sector – Despite the inflationary storm, there is optimism about a return to relative normality in the course of the year
(Parma, 6 May 2022) – The 2022 edition of Cibus, organized by Fiere di Parma and Federalimentare, exceeded expectations by returning to pre-pandemic numbers despite the dragging Covid endemic and the conflict in Ukraine. The 21st edition of the fair was a collective, but not unexpected, representation of the vitality of the Made in Italy agri-food sector and of the trade fair that has been representing it for over forty years.
Foreign operators, brought by the great work done by the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), and Italian ones had the opportunity to add to their ranges by discovering thousands of new products, often with strong ties to the tradition of local areas.
The real news of Cibus 2022 is that the crisis showed the solidity of our country’s familyrun businesses, as they continued to work and make plans without losing heart even during the pandemic emergency and the Ukraine crisis – in fact, they increased their efforts to achieve the excellence and sustainability of their products.
All operators confirmed that the Made in Italy agri-food sector is the ideal recipe not only for the food service segment, as its popularity around the world has been showing us for decades, but also for retail, where our products are no longer just an import niche but are turning into a mainstream choice for consumers. In the many conferences dedicated to the issues of the Out of Home sector, Large Distribution, Private Labels, Agriculture, Industry and Scientific Research, participants stressed the qualitative migration of consumption towards healthier and more sustainable products, an area where Made in Italy food is a clear leader thanks to its roots and its traditions.
This demand by importers and distributors, which has been growing in double figures for over 10 years now, is behind the organizers’ decision to schedule Cibus in 2023 as well (from 29 to 30 March) – just as the other great Made in Italy exhibition, Vinitaly, is doing – in a lighter format, so that international operators can spend more time in the area and have the opportunity to visit and get to know the companies that have made the Italian agri-food sector famous.
On the fourth and last day, Cibus 2022 highlighted the role of the Italian food and service sector in the world as ambassador of Italian cuisine and of Italy’s varied food production. During the conference “The future of the out of home sector: the food service sector at the service of Made in Italy production”, the cultural association “I Love Italian Food” reported that it has created a network of about 20,000 restaurateurs, in all continents, for which it organizes B2B events, food festivals and professional training.
New eco-innovative, industrial food products were presented at the 12th edition of the “Ecotrophelia Italia” competition for university and technical institute students, organized by Federalimentare.
The Cibus Food Saving initiative took place again this year, organized by Banco Alimentare to collect food surplus from the exhibitors at the end of the trade fair. The food donated by exhibiting companies, still in perfect condition, goes to 742 affiliated charitable organizations.
Finally, a project by Fondazione Fiera Milano, Fiere di Parma and Federalimentare for setting up two canteens in Ukraine for the refugees gathering on the country’s borders was presented at Cibus.
CIBUS 2022: The AGRIFOOD INDUSTRY DEALS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY
Overseas buyers are back – Three thousand exhibiting companies – Today’s Press conference briefings by Manlio Di Stefano, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Carlo Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Commission (ICE); Ivano Vacondio, President of Federalimentare; Antonio Cellie, CEO of Fiere di Parma – A message from Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
(Parma, 9 March 2022) – Cibus is the first important agrifood international exhibition welcoming back foreign buyers. The 21st edition, organised by Fiere di Parma and Federalimentare, will be held from 03 to 06 May 2022. The letting up of the pandemic emergency and new regulations easing participation to trade shows by parties outside the EU make it possible for buyers and commercial operators from every continent to attend. Nearly 60 thousand professional visitors and about 3 thousand exhibiting companies are expected at the event. The war in Ukraine and the sensitive geopolitical international situation is affecting the food sector too: rally in prices of gas and raw materials and logistics problems are straining the Italian food and beverage industry. This special condition assigns a delicate role to trade shows like Cibus: on the one hand creating a synthetic projection between supply and demand, and, on the other hand, planning procurement and assortment by overcoming the predicaments in the supply chain.
After all, demand for Italian agrifood has continued to be strong around the world. A look at the food industry export statistics tells us that: USA +14.3%, China +32.7%, South Korea +30.7%, Chile +50.5%, South Africa +21.2%, Poland +21.4%, Spain +19.6%, Germany + 6.7%, France +7.1%, (by Federalimentare processed based on Istat issued data, January/November 2021).
Cibus 2022 will put food back at the centre of the social and economic debate, presenting various scenarios and its essential place within our society. The trade show highlights the role of food as archetype of social relationships, framing how this sentiment can actually put us back in harmony with a development model consistent with the consumer’s requests, those of the communities, the environment and the agrifood businesses, increasingly more drawn towards virtuous behavioural choices. Cibus 2022 will focus of sustainability in all its multiple facets: environmental, economic and social. GI products, both Italian and international, are also leading at Cibus for their roles in promoting and enhancing the areas of origin, the set of information needed to create value on the shelves and there is an area dedicated to start ups with Italian and foreign businesses as incubators of innovative proposals. It will also feature the enhancement of the good practices of the agrifood industry intended to trigger a positive chain reaction along the entire supply chain.
In his welcoming address, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio said: “Unfortunately, the dramatic international situation prevents me from being at the trade show in person. Cibus is an example of resilience and ability to restart, as it was one of the first exhibitions last year to have in person attendance, after the peak phase of the global health emergency. We know very well that the weeks ahead are going to be difficult to manage. I would like to reassure you regarding the continuous engagement, unwavering commitment and increased determination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which have allowed us to support and promote the Made in Italy sector in the last couple of years. In the past few days, we have started a discussion with the Ministry of Finance and that of Economic Development with the aim to boost our support to the supply chains most exposed to tension with Russia. I would like to repeat once more that you can always count on the ongoing commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in promoting exports and the internationalization of Italian businesses”.
Then Manlio Di Stefano, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation added: “In consideration of the general perspective, beyond the current crisis, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is engaged in supporting Italian exports, thanks to the “Pact for Export”. Let us remember that Italy boasts a world record on organic productions, the record for agrifood productions with designation of origin, and a unique diversity of productions. Regarding the Russia/Ukraine crisis, we are implementing round of talks to support exporters, and to possibly redirect towards other markets the losses from Russian and Ukrainian markets, as well as exploring offsetting moves”.
The implications of international tensions on the agrifood sector were also at the centre of the speech by Ivano Vacondio, President of Federalimentare: “The war in Ukraine is causing a tremendous increase in the prices of gas and essential raw materials, such as wheat, corn and sunflower, and logistics does not improve the state of affairs. With the Black Sea blocked, the only possible transport is by land or by rail. And just recently, Hungary has been making transporting grains very difficult if not impossible, prompting a real risk of supply procurement for our country. Cibus provides an opportunity to reiterate the centrality of our food companies that, although under unfavourable conditions, continue to produce, to look for new solutions, aware of the fact that stopping is just not possible. Cibus is a reminder for us of the value of food&beverage in ordinary conditions and, even more so in extra-ordinary conditions”.
Support to business and Cibus is also being extended by the Italian Trade Agency ICE, as its President Carlo Ferro said: “Our country exports have restarted in 2021 and so has the Italian agrifood, which has recorded a +14.7% growth versus 2019. However, to the new challenges of the post-Covid global markets, an international scenario has been added, one dominated by unexpected and tragic geopolitical complexity. Within this framework, systematising becomes even more important. ICE Agency supports the 21st edition of Cibus, an iconic event of the Italian agrifood world, by allocating the largest number of resources of the last six years. For this edition, our offices expect the participation in Parma of 380 specialized buyers and 10 journalists from 42 countries and we will facilitate the dissemination of the My Business Cibus platform. By mitigating the current impact for the exporters, these actions will contribute to the success of Fiere di Parma and that of the exhibitors. With my sincere hope that the world can find peace well before the exhibition’s opening date”.
Cibus 2022 will be an opportunity to define the role of resilience of the agrifood industry, as Antonio Cellie, CEO of Fiere di Parma said: “During Covid, the Made in Italy sector as shown all its flexible resilience, therefore also in this delicate phase, it seeks to provide global distribution in a “creative” manner. Thousands of buyers will come to Cibus with this mind set: working with their key suppliers to figure out how to manage the emergency and, hopefully, how to get out of it. We must remember that food is an essential good and I personally hope that the community debate in the face of the humanitarian tragedy in Ukraine quickly turns from economic matters to social ones. In fact, we open Cibus 2022 on this: how the Agrifood sector can contribute to the stability of countries and the inclusion of people”.
Gino Ganfolfi, President of Fiere di Parma, said on the topic of Cibus capital of the Food Valley: “Rooted in the local area and in close collaboration with local Institutions, Cibus is the ideal entry for buyers coming from all over the world to discover the Food Valley and its products. The pandemic has offered to us the opportunity to rethink some processes and to optimize our resources. Thanks to the Government’s relief measures, to the large photovoltaic system and to the decisions taken, we can now present a trade show that creates value and with an important economic and social impact on the local Community and our entire country”.
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