Policymakers seek dialogue with the fruit-growing and agricultural sectors at Fruchtwelt Bodensee
In 2024, some 350 exhibitors will share insights on commercial fruit growing, distillation, and agricultural technology – Lake Constance Fruit Growing Days to provide inspiration in the form of specialist lectures – Peter Hauk and Cem Özdemir will use the trade fair visit as an exchange.
Friedrichshafen – Representatives of the fruit-growing and agricultural sectors will be coming together to exchange ideas – not only with each other but also with the federal and state ministers of agriculture, with Fruchtwelt Bodensee providing the perfect platform from February 23 to 25, 2024. The lecture program at the Lake Constance Fruit Growing Days will also focus on discussing the current situation in regard to cultivation, storage, distribution, digital transformation, and business management aspects. Some 350 exhibitors will offer a comprehensive range of products for commercial fruit growing, distillation, and agricultural technology. A new addition to the fair is a space dedicated to research and scientific endeavors, where universities, research groups, and companies will be showcasing their current projects.
“Thanks to its comprehensive product selection and a conference program that features renowned speakers from both science and practice, Fruchtwelt Bodensee has established itself in the industry as an event with an excellent reputation. This is now also reflected in a visit by Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Agriculture, Peter Hauk, on the opening day and a visit by Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Cem Özdemir, on the Saturday of the fair,” according to Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann and Show Director Sharon Kommer. “We have observed a notable rise in the number of exhibiting companies, with approximately 350 participating in this edition, a significant increase compared to the previous fair as we return to our original two-year cycle. As always, we are depending on the extensive knowledge and skills of our industry partners to develop the specialized supporting program,” Sharon Kommer adds. One focus of the fair will be the area of research and development. Scientifically active companies and groups will be drawing attention to their ongoing projects in a designated area. In the exclusive “My Farm Store” area, exhibitors will present a diverse range of store fittings, vending machines, and products designed specifically for farm stores. In the Start-Up Area, emerging market entrants will be afforded the opportunity to show off their innovative products and services.
Policymakers turn their focus to Fruchtwelt Bodensee
On the Friday of the fair, top-notch speakers will be featured in the opening event with subsequent panel discussion. Under the title “Together for sustainable regional fruit production – Where are the levers within the fruit value chain?”, representatives from fruit growing, sales, and society will convene with Agriculture Minister Hauk to engage in a comprehensive discussion of the current situation and explore potential courses of action.
Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir will be the center of attention on the Saturday of the fair. In addition to a speech and a tour of the trade fair, there will also be a small group discussion with associations from the Lake Constance region. “The presence at the fair of Ministers Hauk and Özdemir underscores the recognition and importance of the fruit-growing and agricultural industry. We will take advantage of the opportunity for dialogue at the fair and provide the two ministers with some food for thought,” says Andreas Ganal, Managing Director of the Lake Constance Fruit Region Association.
Sustainable and solution-oriented: The 42nd Lake Constance Fruit Growing Days
The Lake Constance Fruit Growing Days program covers a broad array of aspects, including business management, sustainability, digital transformation, agrivoltaics, organic production, pear cultivation, and distillation. The program is primarily organized by Lake Constance Fruit Region, the Lake Constance Fruit Growing Competence Center, the Lake Constance District Office, the Allgäu-Oberschwaben Farmers’ Association, the Lake Constance Fruit Market Community, and the Württemberg Fruit Cooperative. Selected speakers from the realms of practice, research, and science will convene for a three-day event at the Friedrichshafen exhibition center and delve into topical issues. “In the midst of the current challenges being faced in the areas of production, policymaking, and economics, it is crucial to foster momentum as well as highlight opportunities and engage in dialogue about this potential so we can move toward the future with a sense of optimism.” This is exactly what we want to achieve with our Lake Constance Fruit Growing Days program,” says Andreas Ganal.
The subsequent presentations on Friday afternoon will center around the sustainability initiative “Fairdi – Naturally from Lake Constance”. The results to date from the two model systems for resilient varieties will be presented, and the carbon footprint of Lake Constance apples will be examined in a separate lecture. In addition, the audience will be provided with updates on the status of the initiative, its other objectives, and the future “Fairdi” brand.
The promise of solar energy: Agrivoltaics and solar farms in detail
The topic of agrivoltaics has gained significant attention over the past two years. At its photovoltaics test facility, the KOB conducted research on the key question of whether and with which apple varieties healthy growth and consistent, high-quality fruit yield are possible despite the shading caused by the modules. The presentation will provide an overview of the first harvest year, highlighting the key experiences and presenting the preliminary findings. The Allgäu-Oberschwaben Farmers’ Association will then shed light on various aspects of large-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic installations and cover topics such as the legal framework surrounding them.
Analytical and practical impulses
The lecture program for the Saturday of the fair commences with a presentation by Robert Luer of the Centre for Business Management in. He will be conducting business analyses and identifying areas where costs can be reduced and potential savings can be achieved.
A series of lectures on the market, marketing, and production of pears will follow. Renowned fruit market expert Helwig Schwartau will present a lecture entitled “Unexploited sales potential in the German pear market: Which varieties should you plant?” In this lecture, Schwartau advocates for increased pear production, which has been relatively overlooked in Germany until now. At present, German pears meet only 20 percent of domestic demand, and the food retail trade would like to see greater continuity in the supply of German pears. In the subsequent lecture by Ronald Vermeulen, a seasoned fruit-growing consultant from the Netherlands, those who recognize their own potential for pear cultivation will gain insight into how pears differ from apples and the key factors to consider when growing pears.
Finally, Janina Bembenek and Dr. Inga Mohr of Vertriebsgesellschaft Obst vom Bodensee will give insights into the background of the newly revised marketing strategy for the Xenia pear, which is grown in the Lake Constance region, in their presentation “Pear your brain: Fruit marketing rethought”.
Organic production from a European standpoint
In recent years, the market for organic apples has experienced significant fluctuations in production. Currently, there is once again growing demand for these products in Germany. In the lecture entitled “The organic market is experiencing a resurgence, from which apples are also benefiting, but what does the future hold in Europe?”, Helwig Schwartau ventures an assessment and explores the perspectives from Brussels on how to effectively manage the rapid growth of organic production. There will be two additional presentations that will delve into the producers’ perspective on organic production and the distribution of organic products in the region.
Automation and digital transformation in the cultivation of special crops
On the Sunday of the fair, the focus will be on the exciting and promising advancements in digital transformation and automation in special crop cultivation. Dr. Hermann Gabele, Head of the Lake Constance District Agricultural Office, will provide an introduction to the topic in his presentation “Sustainable specialty crop cultivation through digital transformation and automation?” Carsten Wenke, representing the Chamber of Agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia, will then share his experiences with asparagus harvesting machines in a pre-recorded digital presentation. Constance’s Organifarm will be demonstrating the process of automated strawberry harvesting in protected cultivation with its berry harvesting robot. Additionally, the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission will offer valuable insights into the automated harvesting of pome fruit in the United States in a recorded video. In a fifth short presentation, a regional representative will provide an update on the status of research and development into the digital transformation and automation of apple harvesting in the Lake Constance region
Focus on high-proof products: Distilling in Hall B2
The top issues among distillers include increasing bureaucracy, the impacts of climate change, and the price drivers of inflation and energy costs. The stand of the Association of Small Distillers and Fruit Distillers of South Württemberg/Hohenzollern will be inviting visitors to engage in discussions and to sample products that have been awarded gold and silver medals. Distillate Queen Lea Klatt will also be present at the stand. The exhibitors in Hall B2 will showcase products from the distillery sector.
Prices and opening hours
Fruchtwelt Bodensee will be open from February 23 to 25, 2024, from 9 am to 5 pm each day. Day tickets cost 22 euros but will also be available online for 18 euros. The ticket shop will go online at the beginning of December. Further information and an overview of the lecture program at: www.fruchtwelt-bodensee.de and https://www.instagram.com/fruchtwelt.bodensee/