Organic Food Iberia, which took place in Madrid last week (8-9 September), delivered a total attendance of 4,978 organic industry professions. That’s just 5% down on the figures for the inaugural 2019 event, which the joint organisers – Diversified Communications UK and IFEMA Madrid – have heralded “an exceptional achievement”, given the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Buyers and other professionals at the show (co-located with Eco Living Iberia), representing specialist organic retail, supermarkets, distributors and wholesalers, declared themselves “very happy” with the two-day event, which hosted 300 organic food and sustainable companies.
The highly anticipated event closed with a total of 4978 attendees. Susana Andrés Omella, project director, indicated that the fair’s figures for the first day were around 3000 visitors – “much more than expected for the first day.”
International buyers from 35 countries
Despite continuing challenges around international travel, the show attracted buyers from 35 countries, including Germany, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Peru, Venezuela, Austria, United States of America, Chile, and many more.
Carsten Holm, managing director of Diversified Communications UK, was pleased with the way the show went: ”the feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike has been incredible, commenting on the high quality of the products, the buyers and the professionalism. It has exceeded everyone’s expectations and has highlighted the importance of face-to-face contact.”
Internationalisation is an important appeal of the fair, which included representatives from Portugal, which is growing in terms of consumption and exports. Portugal Foods indicated that, “we wanted to be here, in our territory there is a lot of diversity and quality and we had to present these products as a union with the Iberian Peninsula.”
“The feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike has been incredible, commenting on the high quality of the products …(the show) has exceeded everyone’s expectations and has highlighted the importance of face-to-face contact”Carsten Holm
Other key European countries – such as Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, and Belgium and Italy – were also present to show their latest products to buyers from Spain’s flourishing organic retail market.
On a national level, there was a big presence from autonomous communities such as Andalucía, Madrid, Navarra, Valencia, Castilla La Mancha, La Rioja, Murcia and Extremadura, which are consolidating the organic offer from their regions. In addition, the Association of Ecological Value (ECOVALIA) were the main sponsor of the event and celebrated 30 years of promoting and growing the sector nationally and internationally.
“People have been very receptive, we have met a lot of people and we have been able to create a good database of new contacts,” explained Natruly. From the Eco Living section, WeBotanix, winners of two of the prizes for the Best Natural Beauty and Eco/Natural Living Product with CBD cosmetics, says that for their first time they have had a great reception, “we are young entrepreneurs. but it has been very interesting because we have made some great contacts here,” they said.
A wide range of activities
The event had two specialized spaces for conferences and seminars, the Organic Theatre and the Eco Living Theatre. This included a wide range of content in Spanish, English and Portuguese about organic products in the supermarket channel, the organic wine boom and the organic market worldwide. I
Another area that attracted the attention of visitors was Organic Wine Iberia, dedicated to organic wines, beers, cavas, liqueurs and other spirits, where many companies were able to highlight the best of their land of origin. From Murcia, the Jumilla D.O. said: “We had concerns as we are in the middle of the grape harvest, but we are very happy, we have found a business opportunity for our wineries and we couldn’t miss out on such a proposal.”
Exhibitors were able to highlight their most notable products over the last year in the two areas of Innovation at the show. This gave them the opportunity to win an award (in twelve categories) at the second edition of the Eco & Organic Awards Iberia (with ECOVALIA as the Premier Sponsor). Around 150 companies participated in the Awards, which were presented at a ceremony on Wednesday 8th September. The winner of the Judges’ Choice Award was Natucomex (from Valencia), with their exclusive Jackfruit Bolognese with seaweed, which was chosen for its ‘innovative character’ and ‘high quality’ as a vegan food product.