To start with, IFFA broke its own exhibitor record, completing 1,027 exhibitor bookings weeks before the show had kicked off. Secondly, with 66% of visitors travelling from as far afield as China, Australia and South Africa, it smashed its previous visitor record thanks to the high level of international visitor footfall.
Overall, 63,000 visitors from 143 countries attended the trade show in Frankfurt from 7-12 May.
“IFFA is, and will remain, the world’s leading trade fair for the meat industry,” said Wolfgang Marzin, president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt after the event concluded.
“This year, it was distinguished by growth in all respects. An extraordinarily high level of internationality, the presence of all market leaders and highly innovative products and technologies speak for themselves.”
Surprisingly, visitors from Russia made up a noticeably large contingent at the event, despite the politically-charged situation between the EU and Russia hurting meat trade, especially pork. One explanation for the rise in Russian visitors may stem from Vladimir Putin’s ambition to make Russia entirely self-sufficient in meat production by 2020. This may have led to surge in Russian meat processors looking for the latest machinery to fulfil this desire.
Other well-represented nations at IFFA included Spain – which recently usurped Denmark as Europe’s top pork exporter – Poland and Italy. Contingents of other big meat-producing nations, like the US and China, attended in large numbers.
Visitors and exhibitors alike gave the show an indication of their approval, with 97% of attendees said to have achieved their goals for the fair. A further nine in 10 people said the economic climate in the meat processing industry was good and they were looking to make investments.
“This has been an outstanding IFFA for us,” said Tipper Tie’s marketing manager Shelly Ryder. “We have received many more leads compared to the 2013 IFFA, so our sales team is very satisfied.”
All aspects of the meat processing industry were represented at IFFA, with technology and machinery on show for slaughtering, dismembering, processing packaging and optimising sales.
Klaus Schröter, chairman of the Meat Processing Machinery Group (VDMA, in German), said the show had oiled the wheels of investment for “large-scale projects”. This, he said, has been driven by rising meat consumption – something unlikely to decline after the Food & Agriculture Organization reported meat consumption would double by 2050.
The growth in meat consumption is clearly good news for an industry which depends on consumer demand for protein. And with consumption of meat tipped to rise most in less developed parts of the eastern world, Schröter said visitors from this geographic region were “enthusiastic” about the new technologies in meat processing. He added that IFFA’s broad portfolio companies was “more diverse than at any other event in the world and makes IFFA unparalleled”.
The next IFFA will be held in Frankfurt from 4 to 9 May 2019.