IFFA – The No. 1 for the meat industry held in Frankfurt am Main from 7 to 12 May concluded with success.
Over 63,000 trade visitors from 143 countries attended the world’s leading trade fair for the sector, an increase of around five percent over the previous event in 2013 (60,509 visitors from 144 countries) whereby special mention must be made of the increased degree of internationality, which rose to a new record level of around 66 percent. Particularly well represented on the visitor side were the Russian Federation, Spain, Poland and Italy. IFFA 2016 also set a new record on the exhibitor side with a total of 1,027 companies taking part (2013: 966). The exhibitors, who came from 51 different countries, presented innovations for the entire meat-processing chain. On 110,000 square meters of exhibition space (gross), as in 2013, they presented new products and technologies for slaughtering, dismembering, processing, packaging and sales.
“Under the motto ‘Meet the Best!’, the entire sector came together here in Frankfurt to discover the latest innovations and tomorrow’s trends. IFFA is and will remain the world’s leading trade fair for the meat industry. 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”, said Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Messe Frankfurt.
The focus of IFFA is on innovative and creative solutions for the safe, efficient and economic production of meat and meat products. For manufacturers of machinery and plant, IFFA is the leading international trade fair and offers the biggest expert network – a special incentive for companies to make their innovations ready for launching on the occasion of the fair. Klaus Schröter, Chairman of the Meat Processing Machines Group of the Federation of German Machine and Plant Manufacturers (Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbau – VDMA), summarised the situation for his membership saying, “The German Machine Manufacturing Industry is very pleased with the results of this year’s IFFA. Numerous new contacts were made and many contracts concluded, several of them for large-scale projects. Increasing meat consumption worldwide is the driving force behind this. And this was also reflected by the high standard of visitors, most of them top international decision makers. Our foreign customers are enthusiastic about the new technologies and the broad product portfolio, which is more diverse than at any other event in the world and makes IFFA unparalleled.”
IFFA is also a must for the butchers’ trade, one of the biggest groups of visitors. Heinz-Werner Suess, President of the German Butchers’ Association (Deutscher Fleischer-Verband – DFV) was delighted with the results of the fair: “Overall, IFFA was an excellent opportunity for us and our partners to show our strengths. After the six-day fair, our opinion remains unchanged: it was an extremely potent presentation for both visitors and representatives of the German butchers’ trade at this, the world’s leading trade fair for the meat-processing business.”
Great internationality: visitors from 143 countries at IFFA 2016
With around 66 percent, IFFA set a new visitor record. The top ten foreign visitor nations were the Russian Federation, Spain, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, China, the USA, Austria, Australia and the Ukraine. High rates of growth within Europe were noted from Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania and Greece. From outside Europe, there were significantly more visitors from the Ukraine, China, the USA, Japan and South Africa.
“This year, IFFA once again gave impressive confirmation of its position as the world’s leading trade fair for the sector. At our exhibition stand, we were able to welcome visitors from all over the world and discuss subjects of topical importance, such as automation, food safety and Industry 4.0. The feedback from our guests to our presentation was outstanding and I was particularly pleased that we were able to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of our company at IFFA with so many international customers, partners and members of staff,” confirms Andreas Kraut, Managing Partner and CEO, Bizerba GmbH & Co. KG.
“For Handtmann, IFFA 2016 was simply overwhelming! Compared to 2013, we had a double-digit increase in the number of visitors. And our new products, especially the new VF 800 vacuum-filling series, met with enormous interest on the part of both regular and new customers. Once again, it was evident that innovative technology can speed-up pending investments. In addition to the productivity of our machines, key subjects from the customers’ perspective continue to be application flexibility, as well as hygiene and the associated food safety,” adds Karl Keller, CEO of Albert Handtmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG.
Turkish companies at IFFA 2016
Also 8 Turkish companies serving from slaughtering to ingredients and from packaging to cooling segments, have become appetizers of this rich and yummy international banquet of “meat business”.
Successful première for IFFA Forum and IFFA Talk Quality competitions set new records
In addition to the product innovations being shown by the exhibitors, IFFA was characterised by a multi-faceted complementary programme of events that illuminated current developments in the sector. Highly successful was the debut of IFFA Forum, which attracted over 750 participants from 8 to 11 May whereby particular interest was shown in the subject of ‘Automation and performance optimisation’. Also well attended were the forums on the top themes of ‘Ingredients’, ‘Food safety & traceability’ and ‘Resource efficiency and sustainability’.
With a total entry of around 3,000 products, the international quality competitions of the German Butchers’ Association (DFV) broke all records at IFFA. Over 2,300 products were judged during the fair itself while over 300 products were entered for each of the two IFFA international DFV competitions in the USA and Russia. The participants of these two competitions, which were held during the run-up to IFFA, were presented with their certificates, medals and trophies at the fair.
Visitors and exhibitors highly satisfied
A Messe Frankfurt poll showed that both exhibitors and visitors gave the fair an extremely positive rating. 97 percent of visitors said they had achieved their goals for the fair. At the same time, 91 percent said the economic climate in the sector is good. The biggest groups of visitors came from the food retail trade, the meat-processing industry and the butchers’ trade. On the exhibitor side, 87 percent of companies said they had achieved their targets for the fair; 81 percent said they had reached their visitor target groups. Almost 60 percent of exhibitors were pleased with the number of German visitors. At the same time, their satisfaction with the standard of visitors rose three percentage points to 77 percent. 89 percent of exhibitors rated the current economic situation in the sector positively.
“IFFA 2016 was exactly up to my expectations. It is the leading trade fair for investment goods in the meat industry and holds a fixed place in our calendar of events. Once again, the exchange of information and the updates with visitors of importance for our business was highly successful. The short walking distances, the participation of all important partners and the good service whet the appetite for more,” says Matthias Wagner, Head of Projects / Innovations SSC IT, Bell Group, Bell Schweiz AG, Basel, Switzerland.
The top meat-industry subjects at IFFA
What makes IFFA unrivalled as the world’s leading trade fair for the sector is its clear focus: everything revolves around meat. The emphasis is on innovations and trends that cater for market demand and generate decisive impulses for shaping the future. The current trends were reflected by the extensive range of products and services offered by the exhibitors.
Important subjects in the case of machines and plant for processing and packing meat and meat products are quality and the increasing demands on product safety and traceability. Additionally, there is a clear focus on improving productivity through greater energy efficiency, higher output, simple cleaning processing, increasing automation and environmentally-friendly solutions.
In the butchers’ trade, the aim is to tap into new developments in consumer eating habits, i.e., convenience, ‘snacks to go’ and meat-substitute products. Investments in energy efficiency and the simplification of working processes are other top issues in the trade.
In the case of companies from the ingredients and additives segment, the spotlight is on food trends and the nutritional ‘zeitgeist’. ‘Clean labelling’ has been a leading trend in the meat industry for many years and reflects the demands of consumers and the trade for products with as few additives as possible. Another important subject is salt reduction with no loss of taste.
“We regard IFFA not only as an important meeting place for customers and partners but also as an impulse generator for decisive innovations. Our participation in the fair is much more than just an exhibition stand, it is an investment in the future. We presented numerous new products at the fair and the positive echo from our customers shows we are on the right track. Weber stands for quality, precision and reliability. And we demonstrated this with important new developments, e.g., in future-oriented cutting equipment, automation and quality detection. Creating value added of this kind is highly motivating. We came to the fair with high expectations in terms of the quality and quantity of the contacts, and were not disappointed. Therefore, we are already looking forward to the next IFFA in 2019,” concludes Mathias Dülfer, CEO, Weber Maschinenbau GmbH.