Europe’s main fish and seafood trade fair hopes for “a very long future in Barcelona”
The most important Fish and Seafood Fair in Europe and Maghreb is taking place in Barcelona for the second time, although Brussels continues to be the fair’s main base. This year’s edition will be attended by 146 companies with the exhibition space increasing by 24%. The Director of the company organising the event, Diversity Business, stated she was “very proud of their commitment to Barcelona and was hoping they would share a very long future together”. By choosing Barcelona, a hub on the Mediterranean, the organisers are confident they can find new business opportunities, especially with the emerging countries. Even though seafood consumption has decreased in Spain, the country remains a leader in the European and world market.
Barcelona (ACN).- Seafood Barcelona, the most important fish and seafood fair in Europe and the North of Africa, launched on Tuesday its second edition in the Catalan capital. Barcelona is the fair’s secondary base for the Mediterranean and southern Europe areas, while Brussels continues to be the fair’s main base. Mary Larking, Director of the North American company Diversity Business, which co-organises the event alongside Alimentaria, stated that she was “very proud of their commitment to Barcelona and was hoping they would share a very long future together”. With the exhibition space larger by 24%, this year’s edition will be attended by more companies than the previous one. It is taking place in Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via venue, in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, until Thursday.
The doors of the fair opened on Tuesday at ten in the morning while the official opening occurred later in the afternoon. The Catalan Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Environment, Josep Maria Pelegrí, emphasised that one of the Catalan Government’s main objectives was to “consolidate Barcelona’s dominant position in the Agro Alimentary sector”, along with Seafood’s commitment to Barcelona.
Seafood’s “announcement gives us the confidence” to continue working in this direction, he said in a statement to the press. He added that holding Seafood in Barcelona is not only important for business opportunities involving the Catalan branch of the sector itself, but will also help assert Barcelona’s central position in the entire food industry. An opinion corroborated by one of the organisers, Mar Santarufina, who explained that Barcelona had been chosen “because it was an international city and a hub of the Mediterranean.”
“It is a city that already has a significant market in the production and consumption of fish, and also a business city, which is open to foreign markets,” Santarufina added. She then underlined the proximity of the airport and the fair hotel facilities and services available in Barcelona.
Even though the fair is still quite small in its current edition, the organisers expect a significant and steady growth in the years to come. In this year’s edition, 146 international companies, 40% of which come from 27 different countries, will attend the event. The organizers did not wish to indicate how much money the fair would trade in the next three days. However they have said that it would amount to billions.
Indeed, one of Seafood’s main objectives is to generate contacts and contracts between the main operators of the sector, while ensuring the good quality of the products for sale, explained Santarufina. ALDI, Carrefour, Consum, Caprabo, El Corte Inglés, Eroski Group or La Sirena are among the companies that have already confirmed their presence.
Consequently, the fair features the whole range of fish and seafood products, fresh or frozen, but also the latest equipment, containers, packaging, transportation means or new trends in consumer products. And the fair has also scheduled several activities such as master classes, culinary exhibitions, panel discussions, product presentations or awards.
Spain has traditionally been a leader in the fish and seafood market and, with 667 companies, and earnings of €4 billion a year. In addition, it is still the largest producer in the sector alongside Denmark. Despite the fall in consumption of seafood in Spain, mostly due to the economic crisis, the consumption of these products in other markets is growing, especially in emerging countries where the middle class has begun to incorporate fish into their usual diet, said the Director of Seafood. By hosting the event in Barcelona, a hub on the Mediterranean close to the North African markets, the organisers are confident they can encourage new business opportunities.