Bta. concludes an edition characterised by optimism and plans for the future
This edition of the Bta. show at Fira de Barcelona confirmed that the machinery and technology for the food manufacturing industry sector has been successful in dealing with the economic crisis by adapting to the circumstances, promoting R&D&I and finding new ways to reduce costs without affecting product quality.
Together with Hispack, Bta. welcomed more than 40,000 professional visitors – 8% of them from abroad – making it the most important event in Southern Europe devoted to machinery and technology for the food manufacturing industry and packaging. Representatives of 93 countries, including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina – as well as European Union countries such as Portugal, Germany, Italy and France – visited Barcelona Food Technology.
In addition to internationalisation, innovation was the hallmark of the latest edition of Bta. The active involvement of technology centres in both shows made it possible to bring research and the business world even closer together.
One out of every four of the 1,400 exhibitors at Bta. and Hispack came from abroad, achieving one of the goals of this year's edition of the trade show: greater internationalisation.
More than 2,000 professionals attended the conferences and talks, which highlighted the latest trends in food technology and packaging. In addition, the significant purchasing power and professionalism of the visitors represented one of the show's strong points, something exhibitors acknowledged.
The event featured four days of intense activity during which international contacts were expanded and business deals were finalised with both Spanish and international companies.
Joining forces for internationalisation
The organisers of Bta., together with AMEC (Spanish acronym for the Multi-sector Business Association) and ICEX (Spanish acronym for the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade), selected a number of countries for reverse trade missions at the trade show venue's International Business Center (IBC). Angola, India, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, China, Iran and Uruguay were the countries of origin for the buyers who attended Bta. as part of this scheme.
In addition, an extensive Hosted Buyers Programme attracted buyers from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Morocco, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United States and Venezuela, confirming the increased interest in internationalisation and strengthening the event’s international project.
This commitment to internationalisation was apparent in the exhibitors – 25% were from abroad – as well as the professionals who visited the show, of which 8%, more than 3,700 people, came from other countries. ‘We come to Bta. to find the most modern meat-cutting machinery that offers good performance. Here we found innovative, high-quality suppliers who can ship the equipment to Mexico,’ indicated Eliécer Hurtado, managing director of Carne Suprema Lidia.
Sergio Cabredo, director of the company Cabinplant, commented on the management profile and international selection of visitors, pointing out that they made contacts with Argentinian, Peruvian and Cuban buyers, as well as having the opportunity to take part in meetings with Hosted Buyers.
Internationalisation was advantageous not only for well-established companies in the sector, but also for lesser-known firms such as Vivocord or Sanygran, which took advantage of Bta's international focus to move into the international market.
Louis Brand, of Manchia Irlanda, explained that his visit to Bta. enabled him to select innovative machinery for distribution in his country and new products for the food manufacturing industry.
Tania Garcia-Warner, regional export manager for Vikan (Denmark), indicated that this was the first time the company had attended the show and that they came with the intention of meeting new customers and presenting their range of cleaning products.
This strategic focus was apparent in the representative nature of the products on display, the origin of the professional visitors and the many activities scheduled. These included activities at the International Business Center, an area for generating business which included conferences, forums and professional meetings organised by AMEC (Spanish acronym for the Multi-sector Business Association), FIAB (Spanish acronym for the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation) and ACC1Ó (Government of Catalonia agency for the promotion of Catalan companies abroad).
In addition, in collaboration with the Danish trade office in Barcelona, a space was set up within the Tecnoalimentaria show to present a group of companies under the umbrella of the country of Denmark. The office's technical attaché, Mónica Prat, stressed the satisfaction with which these companies viewed their attendance at Bta. and explained that many visits concluded with ‘serious agreements’.
Bta. becomes an international hub for business, education and innovation and reinforces its role as an international forum for making contact, exploring industry trends and listening to suggestions from professionals. This was the case for Giussepe Batalla, marketing manager at Officine di Cartigliano, who indicated that their patent for removing mites from cured hams came out of a problem which a visitor to Bta. explained to him in 2009. After that, they began to research and develop the product.
In the desire to make the trade show more relevant to companies, after the previous edition of Bta. in 2009, the organisers set to work on encouraging technology research centres to attend the show and present their work in the area of innovation for the food industry. The role of IRTA (Catalan acronym for the Agri-Food Research and Technology Institute) as technology partner was crucial to these efforts.
Innovation was the focal point of most of the associated activities organised as part of Bta 2012. This edition marked the debut of the Innovation Meeting Point, a dynamic area where technology and research centres and companies introduced all their efforts in the area of innovation. ACC1Ó (Government of Catalonia agency for the promotion of Catalan companies abroad), AZTI, AMEC (Spanish acronym for the Multi-sector Business Association), FIAB (Spanish acronym for the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation), Triptolemos Foundation, HighTech Europe, IRTA (Catalan acronym for the Agri-Food Research and Technology Institute), Metalquimia and Theia could be found in this area, presenting their success cases.
Miquel Dorca, area manager for Metalquimia, spoke very positively of his company's participation as sponsor of Bta. The company was also an exhibitor, presenting the QDS project together with IRTA (Catalan acronym for the Agri-Food Research and Technology Institute).
The most innovative technology in the areas of preservation, production process automation, food preservation, packaging solutions, ingredients and additives, and hygiene and food safety equipment was presented at Bta. 2012.
‘It has been demonstrated that innovation is key to enabling companies to maintain their competitiveness in increasingly complex markets which demand state-of-the-art technology,’ explained Víctor Pascual, who pointed to the growing collaboration between companies and technology centres, as well as potential partnerships at the associated activities, seminars and workshops.
International visitors came to Bta. in search of new technologies and innovative solutions for their companies. This is the case of Jorge Mario Arias, production manager for Frescaleche S.A., from Colombia, who indicated that ‘coming to Bta. means acquiring state-of-the-art technology and improving processes by updating the entire production range.’
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