Fruchtwelt Bodensee Provides Forum for Hot Topics in Fruit Growing and Agriculture
International Trade Fair for Commercial Fruit Growing, Distillation and Agricultural Technology from January 13 to 15, 2023, with around 280 exhibitors – 41st Bodensee-Obstbautage with lectures and panel discussions on current issues
Friedrichshafen/Germany – The rapidly rising costs and shifting product flows in Europe’s fruit markets are leading to huge impacts and intense discussion across the fruit-growing and agricultural sector. “There’s an urgent need for all the stakeholders to get together and talk about the current situation. Since the pandemic meant that the February 2022 trade fair could only happen online, we’ve decided with our partners that the next Fruchtwelt Bodensee will be moved forward, taking place January 13 to 15, 2023,” according to Messe Friedrichshafen Managing Director Klaus Wellmann and Show Director Petra Rathgeber. Some 280 exhibitors are offering a wide range of products. The Bodensee-Obstbautage lecture program will focus on the pome fruit market, digitalization and sustainability. The Sunday will feature a lecture series looking at agrivoltaics, as well as a Distillers’ Day.
“The energy crisis is now the overriding concern for the entire populace. Fruit producers and agricultural enterprises are likewise faced with huge challenges and are urgently searching for potential answers to today’s existential threats. Fruchtwelt Bodensee offers a great opportunity for trading ideas and gathering information about the latest trends, products and services, along with findings from applied research, at just the right time,” says Petra Rathgeber with conviction. On January 13, 2023, the Friday opening event will jump right in by highlighting what has now become the most important issue: fruit growers are faced with rapidly rising costs due to multiple factors, which are combining with the current market situation to create enormous challenges. The talk will illuminate the topic from different angles while identifying potential solutions, featuring representatives from working operations, industry associations, politics and marketing, along with State Secretary Sabine Kurtz (Ministry of Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection).
Along the same line is a Saturday lecture by Helwig Schwartau of the Agricultural Market Information Company (AMI), analyzing the apple market’s prospects in the ongoing 2023 marketing season. His presentation “Higher Costs, Reduced Spending and Altered Product Flows: A Turning Point in Europe’s Pome Sector?” looks in detail at the current situation, shaped by exploding energy costs, minimum wage developments and Russia’s ongoing embargo. “For apples and pears, the cost of production, packing and transport have increased by up to 20 percent, just as tighter household budgets are constraining purchases. An abundant supply combined with weaker consumption are pushing prices below cost, thereby endangering the very existence of many farming operations,” says the renowned fruit-marketing expert about the current situation.
Knowledgeable and Up-to-Date: The 41st Bodensee-Obstbautage
The technical side of Fruchtwelt Bodensee is highlighted by the 41st Bodensee-Obstbautage, with deep technical expertise offered in lectures and discussions featuring speakers from working operations and scientific research. “The Bodensee-Obstbautage reflects the issues that are the most current and urgent. In addition to the present situation in the fruit-growing sector, the focus is on agrivoltaics (which combines agriculture with energy production), crop protection, digitalization and sustainability,” according to Dr. Manfred Büchele (Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee, or KOB), Dr. Egon Treyer (Marktgemeinschaft Bodenseeobst) and Dr. Hermann Gabele (Landwirtschaftsamt Bodenseekreis), who together selected and organized this year’s program.
Hopes Electrified by Agrivoltaics
A great source of hope in the sector that’s got everyone talking is the concept of agrivoltaics. Here, agricultural plots are simultaneously devoted to both food production and solar power generation, offering a great opportunity for additional income through more efficient land use while also contributing more broadly to energy security and climate protection. A whole series of lectures on this topic will take place on Sunday. Preliminary results from the KOB test installations, as well as the Bernhard fruit farm in Kressbronn, will provide important information. Other lectures will cover topics like legal requirements and pitfalls, different operator models and financing options.
Sustainability and Digitalization
The lectures and discussions on Friday afternoon are all about sustainability in fruit growing. The intense attention given to the topics of biodiversity and sustainability over recent years has led to major advances, including in the fruit-growing sector of the local Lake Constance region. One example is a sustainability plan drawn up by the Obstregion Bodensee association. “At the trade fair, we want to highlight the sustainability of fruit growing in the Lake Constance region by pointing out significant benefits in this regard: For instance, how much CO2 is sequestered by fruit cultivation, how hail-protection nets are being recycled and what other advantages the sector brings to society,” says Andreas Ganal, Managing Director of Obstregion Bodensee e.V. The “Echt Bodenseeapfel” sustainability project will also be introduced, along with other sustainability-related initiatives happening in the region.
A combining of digitalization with sustainability is demonstrated with the “Apfel4.Null” project, which aims to improve the sustainability of apple production through digital technologies and automation. Details on the project will be featured on the Saturday, when guests can attend various lectures on digitalization in fruit growing along with sustainability issues. In addition to a report from the KOB research project, there will also be a look at plant protection in the face of new invasive pests.
Startups Blaze a Trail
Innovative products and services from companies active on the market for five years or less will be presented in the West Foyer. “We’re thrilled that even more companies are taking the opportunity to present themselves here. There have been many interesting developments—especially in the areas of digitalization and robotics—ranging from software to autonomous transport robots to large-scale monitoring of agricultural plots,” says Petra Rathgeber.
High Spirits: Gathering of Small and Fruit Distillers
Another important focus of the trade fair is distillery technology and supplies. The exhibitors in Hall B2 are highlighting products from the distillery sector. At the stand of the Verband der Klein- und Obstbrenner Südwürttemberg-Hohenzollern (a southern German distillers’ association), visitors can sample products awarded with gold and silver medals. On the Saturday, Phillip Schwarz will give a seminar on whisky production, after which three different whisky styles will be available for tasting. The whole small-scale distillery scene will come together on Sunday when state association representatives will meet to discuss the political situation with Gerald Erdrich and Alois Gerig from Germany’s Federal Association of Small and Fruit Distillers.
Admission Price and Opening Hours
Fruchtwelt Bodensee is open from January 13 to 15, 2023: on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A day pass costs 19 euros on site, 15 euros online. A listing of the lecture program will be published online in mid-November. Further information can be found at: www.fruchtwelt-bodensee.de.