In Conversation With Kai Mangelberger, Director, Fruit Logistica

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“This year we will focus on the major pillars of the program while the event is taking place: the Fresh Produce Forum, Future Lab, Logistics Hub, Tech Stage and the Start-Up Day on the third day of the fair. And, not to forget, the FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award, which will once again present the ten most exciting innovations of the past year. The World of Fresh Ideas on the day before the fair begins will not take place in 2022.”

ES. Please tell us about your journey. How did it all start? What do you think it takes to succeed in this industry?

Kai Mangelberger. I have nearly 20 years of experience in the trade fair and event industry. For the past six years I was the Deputy Director for InnoTrans, the leading international trade fair for transport technology. What it takes to be successful in this industry? Identify trends and new developments in the industry and include them in the trade show and to be able to react quickly, creatively and flexibly to new challenges whenever they occur. And that is also what I enjoy so much about my job.

ES. Many industry events have now been able to take place as physical events in many parts of the world. Why have you decided to postpone the dates for FRUIT LOGISTICA? What will be your main focus on the 2022 event?

Kai Mangelberger. The feedback from the fresh fruit industry is clear: We asked our exhibitors and trade visitors, and an overwhelming majority wants FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 to be a physical event here in Berlin. That’s why this year’s motto is “Meet onsite again“. We expect that the situation will begin to alleviate in February. The new dates make it possible to hold a FRUIT LOGISTICA that will pay off for our international guests and exhibitors. We look forward to hosting people from around the world once more under better circumstances.

ES. How FRUIT LOGISTICA covers every single sector of the fresh produce business and provides a complete picture of the latest innovations, products and services at every link in the international supply chain?

Kai Mangelberger. Based on the current registration rate, we’re expecting over 2,000 exhibitors from 80 countries. But FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 will not only be very international but will also reflect the entire value added chain for fresh produce across 25 halls, from producers to the point of sale, as well as key players in the industry.

ES. Please throw some light on Tech Stage forum.

Kai Mangelberger. Without the right technology, even the best product may end up losing half its value. That’s why on the first two days of the trade show several exhibitors will be presenting interesting technical solutions on the Tech Stage. A wide range of areas will be represented: from cultivation equipment and post-harvest technical systems, via packaging technology and processing technology to bulk containers and tracking systems. This year for the first time there will be a new format specifically for digital topics that’s called Smart Agri. In this way, FRUIT LOGISTICA aims to promote the release of innovation potential for the digital transformation of the fruit and vegetable sector.

ES. What do you think World of Fresh Ideas will offer to those people in the fresh fruit and vegetable business who would normally attend FRUIT LOGISTICA in Berlin?

Kai Mangelberger. This year we will focus on the major pillars of the program while the event is taking place: the Fresh Produce Forum, Future Lab, Logistics Hub, Tech Stage and the Start-Up Day on the third day of the fair. And, not to forget, the FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award, which will once again present the ten most exciting innovations of the past year. The World of Fresh Ideas on the day before the fair begins will not take place in 2022.

ES. People may be wondering what the future holds for Fruit Logistica itself now that the FRUIT LOGISTICA has been postponed from February to April, a point in time when the world’s leading fresh produce trade fair should be safer. What are your expectations for the next few months, and what predictions can you make about the future of the event?

Kai Mangelberger. That’s right! FRUIT LOGISTICA is the leading trade show for the global fresh produce business. And we will do everything in our power to remain true to this claim in the interests of our customers. That’s what drives us. From 5 to 7 April, you will meet the best in the global fresh produce trade. You will receive the best insights, get to know the best innovations and benefit from the best networking opportunities. Simply put, you will be able to do the best business!

ES. Could you please highlight some points of the new entry regulations of FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022? Do you think new entry regulations will negatively affect the show?

Kai Mangelberger. Due to the current regulation situation, only fully vaccinated or recovered participants will be granted access to FRUIT LOGISTICA until further notice. Even if this means that not everyone can participate, it contributes to the overall safety of the event.

ES. What key trends are emerging in the global fresh fruit industry?

Kai Mangelberger. I see three key trends: the issue of sustainability, especially with regard to cultivation, packaging and transport. Also, the impact of the climate crisis on producers and, finally, the topic of digitalization. All of these trends will be addressed in the FRUIT LOGISTICA supporting program.

ES. In my spare time I like to…?

Kai Mangelberger. I am determined after FRUIT LOGISTICA in April to make up for all the vacations that had to be cancelled and spend some quality time with my family.