Interpoma 2018 – innovation takes center stage
Feverish preparations are under way for the 11th Interpoma, a specialist event which is the only international trade fair dedicated to apples, the product par excellence of South Tyrol.
From November 15 to 17, Bolzano will once again become the apple capital of the world, as more than 20,000 professionals from all over the world descend on the city to find out the latest news from the sector. In the last few years, Interpoma, the international trade show on apple production, storage and marketing, has pursued innovation as its main theme, becoming the key event for finding out about the development of new ideas in the apple production sector. 2018 will be no different: numerous initiatives have already been planned and are in the pipeline for the 11th Interpoma, in addition to those already scheduled for the three-day event in November.
Interpoma Innovation Camp, a space for innovative ideas
The Interpoma Innovation Camp launched at Interpoma 2016; its second act was staged last November at the Agrialp event, also held at Fiera Bolzano. An entire day dedicated to the presentation of innovations in the apple production sector by startups from Italy and elsewhere, and an international panel of judges consisting of journalists and sector experts were the ingredients of Interpoma Innovation Camp 2017, which saw the Italian startup Perfrutto Horticultural Knowledge crowned the winner. Perfrutto is the most advanced forecasting system for harvest optimization, which can supply forecasting data to help growers optimize irrigation, pruning and pollination. It processes data collected in the field, especially the size of fruit, using Calibit, a digital caliper equipped with a datalogger, a high-tech service used in apple, pear and kiwi orchards. It was born from a forecasting algorithm designed and developed during 30 years of academic research.
China: what opportunities? Second Interpoma China to be held in June
Producing 43.8 million tonnes of apples in the 2016/2017 season from 2.32 million hectares of cultivated land, China is the world's largest apple producer. The Shandong Peninsula is the main production area but, despite this fact, more than 90% of apple orchards on the peninsula have no protection system against birds, frost or hail, fewer than 20% have fertilization systems and mechanization levels are below 30%. The Asian giant thus represents a huge opportunity for the European apple production sector, and this is why Fiera Bolzano put on the first Interpoma China Congress & Exhibition at the Weihai International Exhibition & Conference Center in Shandong in 2017. It attracted 2,000 visitors and 70 exhibitors from China, Belgium, Chile, Korea and the Netherlands who wanted to take part in the event and congress. On the basis of this success, the event will be back for its second year from June 27 to 29 2018, at the same location.
Interpoma Technology Award 2018 and BZ loves apples
Interpoma has invested heavily in the duo of innovation and technology in the last few years to make space for young people and new ideas to emerge and make their contribution to the development of the apple production sector. The Interpoma Technology Award, one of the major new features of the 2018 event, is part of this drive. Organized by Fiera Bolzano in collaboration with the Free University of Bolzano's Science and Technology Faculty and the Italian Society for Horticultural Science (Società Ortoflorofrutticoltura Italiana, SOI), the Award aims to promote the most innovative technology and equipment - on show at the event - with the biggest impact on production techniques, the protection of apple crops and the post-harvest processing of apples.
The link with the city of Bolzano will be renewed at Interpoma 2018 by a fringe event on apples. “BZ loves apples” is an initiative launched during the previous Interpoma, and this year it will provide a series of activities organized outside the trade fair to involve tourists and local residents in apple-themed event days, with tastings, show cooking, excursions into the countryside around Bolzano to find out where South Tyrolean apples come from and are grown, and much more.
Key figures for Interpoma 2016
At Interpoma 2016, 460 companies from 24 countries (America, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, England, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, Ireland, Korea, Slovenia, Portugal and Serbia) exhibited in a show area of 25,000 m². The event welcomed 20,000 visitors from 70 different countries, including international buyers and 150 journalists from all over the world.