Experts from applied research, producers, sellers, and other stakeholders from the apple ecosystem attending the 12th edition of the international apple trade show Interpoma identified an increasing labor shortage as well as climate change as the key challenges for the global apple industry. Interpoma 2022 saw more international visitors than ever before, and the exhibitors expressed their exceptionally high satisfaction with this year’s show.
The event’s success exceeded all expectations: After four long years, the Fiera Bolzano exhibition center hosted a total of 490 exhibitors, 70 % of which from Italy and 30 % from abroad, and more than 16,000 visitors from over 70 countries, i. e. from all major apple-growing countries in the world including France, Japan, New Zealand, Poland and the United States.
With a total number of 800 attendees, the international Interpoma Congress was sold out completely. While Day 1 offered an insider perspective into the developments in the US apple sector, Day 2 focused on presentations by the world’s leading manufacturers of apple harvesting robots. The guided Interpoma Tours were also fully booked and provided 500 international visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the modern fruit-selling and fruit-producing companies of South Tyrol. All trade show and congress attendees received a free copy of the 2nd edition of the official Interpoma Magazine, which, just like the previous edition, was again printed on 100 % apple paper and offered interesting insights into the world of apple growing.
“If you were worried that the fact that there was no Interpoma for a full four years might have negatively affected the trade show’s appeal, you can rest assured. Actually, it’s quite the contrary: We have seen more international visitors than ever before, even though visitors from Asia could not attend this year due to pandemic-related restrictions,” says Thomas Mur, Fiera Bolzano’s director. “The powerful and unparalleled network of the South Tyrolean apple industry spanning sectors such as research, consulting, and marketing continues to be the key factor for success of this trade show and represents a global showcase for sustainable growth and a passion for continually improving the fruit-growing business.”
Exclusive high-tech solutions designed to combat labor shortages including robots for automated harvesting were presented at the show and will undergo further development during the next couple of years before they are ready to be launched into the market. A multitude of innovations in automation and mechanization will help make up for the lack of skilled labor. Another key area covered during Interpoma 2022 was climate change. The Interpoma Award was presented for the most innovative technologies in the field of water management in apple orchards dedicated to reducing the amount of water required to yield the same amount of crops.
A new addition to this year’s show was the Interpoma Variety Garden held at the FieraMesse H1 Eventspace, which invited visitors to embark on a colorful journey through the history of variety management and explore the world’s first exhibition of 60 branded apple varieties.
Sebastian Stocker from the manufacturer of agricultural machines of the same name based in South Tyrol, was more than happy: “Interpoma was a huge success for us! At this year’s show, we presented our company in a completely new way. We have grown quite a bit compared to the 2018 edition, and our expectations for the show were exceeded by 300 %. Many visitors found their way to our booth on all three show days.”
Gabriele Gessi from Palbox, a large-sized container manufacturer from Italy, states: “Interpoma is a very important trade show for us, because apples are our key business. We’ve expanded and redesigned our booth to show how much our company has grown and evolved during the last couple of years featuring many new and innovative products. We are more than happy with how this show turned out for us, seeing as it gave us the chance to meet so many people whom it was really hard to reach out to during the last four years.”
The next edition of the trade show dedicated to the production, storage, and marketing of apples will again be held in Bolzano in November 2024. Recordings of both days of the Interpoma Congress will be made available on the trade show’s website for anyone to enjoy in the meantime.