International Fruit Summit at Lake Constance strengthens industry solidarity

Fruchtwelt Bodensee scores with a broad selection of products for fruit growers, farmers and distillers

The Fruchtwelt Bodensee delivered an abundance of impulses on the latest hot topics, again underscoring its position as the most important industry trade show for fruit growers, farmers and distillers. Matching its all-time record of 381 exhibitors from 13 countries, the eighth edition of the international trade show drew 15,900 visitors (2016: 16,900) to the fairgrounds in Friedrichshafen. With agriculture minister Peter Hauk in attendance, the 38th Lake Constance Fruit Cultivation Days offered lectures and discussions that helped strengthen solidarity in the fruit growing industry in these economically turbulent times. The Fruchtwelt Bodensee has also proved to be an important meeting place for distillers in the German-speaking world, and the well rounded lecture program and International Distillers Day on the Sunday of the show were well very well received.

Klaus Wellmann, CEO of Messe Friedrichshafen, took stock of the positive results after three days of the show: “The strength of the Fruchtwelt Bodensee lies in the mixture of high technical competence offered during the supporting program combined with a high level, specialized product range offered by the exhibitors. Despite a difficult economic situation, many fruit growers have come here to exchange views with their colleagues, to find solutions for themselves and to take a positive look towards the future.” Project leader Petra Rathgeber explains that “in addition to the search for solutions to weather-related factors, the establishment of a secondary line of business is also becoming increasingly important. That is why this year we have put a focus on the ‘vacation at a farm’ line of business, as well as devoted increased attention to direct marketing with the Mein Hofladen (‘My farm shop’) special area. Both topics were well received and we want to continue to expand them in the future.

Eugen Setz, director of the fruit marketing cooperative Obst vom Bodensee Marketinggesellschaft, was also pleased: “The Fruchtwelt Bodensee has truly caught on in Europe. Our communications stand was visited by large number of visitors from other parts of Europe, including South Tyrol, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The discussions have shown that the quality of the exhibitors in the services and technology area is regarded as very high and that the show as a whole is considered to be outstanding. We have been successful in making everyone aware of the advantages of the cooperative marketing philosophy:  Cooperatives are the better way to advance economic development in the field of fruit growing.”

Dr. Manfred Büchele, Managing Director of the competence center Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau-Bodensee, emphasized that “the Fruchtwelt Bodensee is a very fine, interesting show, here you really get resources to help you increase production in a concentrated form. It was very gratifying to hear that the state is giving the growers some assistance, something that certainly contributed to the positive course of the show. We had a good number of visitors at our stand and the mood was cautiously optimistic. From a scientific perspective, there is growing awareness of the fact that everyone around Lake Constance faces the same challenges and that we have to approach practical projects in a mutual, cross-border way.”

Additional comments by exhibitors

Bert Voskuilen, a sales consultant at the Netherlands’ Hillebrand B.V. tree nursery said: “Our expectations have all been confirmed. We have been able to make good contacts and have had inquiries for this season and next season as well. The show was entirely positive for us. For us, the Fruchtwelt Bodensee offers an opportunity to do some direct advertising. You know the people, you can have an exchange of views, and everything is very friendly.” Emil Walser, customer consultant at Switzerland’s Waldis Swiss, met many of his countrymen at the show and declared: “The Fruchtwelt Bodensee is important for us and we are very satisfied with how the show went. For us, it is the perfect platform, because it appeals to exactly the clientele that buys our irrigation and cultivation systems. Customers came here in bunches and there were good discussions.” In the Mein Hofladen (“‘My Farm Shop”) area, Ester Payer, head of sales at vending machine supplier Stüwer Automaten, was enthusiastic. “We are all extremely happy and overwhelmed by the interest shown by our customers and visitors. This year is our first time at the Fruchtwelt Bodensee, we are very satisfied and will certainly come back.”

Claudia Metzler, Chairwoman of the Verband der Klein- und Obstbrenner Südwürttemberg/Hohenzollern (South Württemberg and Hohenzollern association of micro-distilleries and fruit distillers), was also positive. “The Fruchtwelt Bodensee has become a true meeting place for distillers in the German-speaking world. Dealers and manufacturers of all of the leading brands in the distilling industry are represented here, which also attracts visitors from far and wide. Our stand had a lot of visitors and we were able to make a lot of new contacts. The strong attendance at our seminars and lectures was also a pleasant surprise.”

The next meeting for fruit growers, farmers and distillers at Lake Constance will take place from February 14 to 16, 2020 in Friedrichshafen.