PARMA, Italy – The 18th Cibus international food exhibition organised by Fiere di Parma and Federalimentare wrapped up last week on a high note. Three thousand exhibitors spread over 130 thousand square metres and 72 thousand visitors, of whom 16 thousand were foreign operators and 2,200 top buyers (in 2014 there were 67 thousand visitors and 13 thousand foreign operators), attended the event.
“This is the best edition ever following up Expo2015 – said Elda Ghiretti, Cibus Brand Manager – and the Italian agri-food sector has been present with about one thousand product innovations ready to conquer foreign markets and regain positions in the domestic market.
A great many deals have already been made or are well underway, to the full satisfaction of both Italian and foreign companies and of buyers”.
The not to be missed event is “Cibus Connect” in April 2017, which includes an international forum with food and drink experts from the world over, as well as a scaled down exhibition platform to favour matching with large-scale retailing.
The last day of Cibus 2016 featured “Pianeta Nutrizione” (Nutrition Planet), with the convention “Foods: myths and controversies”, which addressed gluten sensitivity in the morning and fats in the afternoon.
The event, which saw the participation of 350 nutritionists, doctors and dieticians, was organised by Fiere di Parma, AIM Group International, the University of Parma and SINU (Italian Society for Human Nutrition), and was sponsored by SIMG (Italian Society of General Medicine).
Professor Loris Borghi, Rector of the University of Parma, introduced the event declaring that the city’s university, through scientific research, is building cooperative relationships with entrepreneurs and could become the central point of reference for the food sector.
Throughout the convention, a number of myths were debunked: following a gluten-free diet for people who are neither celiac nor gluten intolerant, is not healthier than a normal diet; likewise, polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega 3, are not beneficial if consumed in large quantities.
The convention also addressed the challenge of clarifying, even in the scientific field, the issues surrounding gluten and its various associated diseases.
According to recent studies, the elimination of certain FODMAP foods (such as certain carbohydrates, lactose, fructose, galactan etc.) could trigger intestinal inflammation. Moreover, not all fat-rich foods should be demonised, since they can have beneficial effects for diabetic patients. It was also pointed the tendency to adopt “free-from” diets as a trend rather than in response to disease.
At the GDO Week/Mark Up gathering, “Coop Italian Food s.p.a.” was unveiled. This new company, led by Domenico Brisigotti of Coop Italia, aims to become the authoritative point of contact between Italian food producers and international companies intending to market the best of Italian food.
Coop is making use of its “reputation and capacity to select companies and products – explained Domenico Brisigotti, MD of Coop Italian Food – to bring together top-quality Italian food products and provide a tailored supply service for individual international retailers”.
E.Leclerc is also putting its trust in Coop Italia’s experience to select products that are genuinely authentic. “At our points of sale – said Frédéric Gheeraert MD of Scamark E.Leclerc – we are also seeing improvements.
Typical regional produce is playing an increasingly important role. T
ake a product like mozzarella: today a growing number of French consumers know and request burrata, a product unknown in France until a few years ago.
Of course, to sell typically Italian produce, you need to explain the origin and culture of origin. Digital technology and consumer interaction can help with this.
Naturally, the alliance with Coop Italia enables us to select the best regional products”.
On Cibus’ fourth and last day, the “Identity-Food nel Risto-Retail” convention took place, organised by Kiki Lab-Ebeltoft Italy in collaboration with Gola Gola! Festival and Largo Consumo.
The convention addressed the great success abroad and in Italy of the restaurant-retail hybrid “grocerant” concept, which combines sales and consumption. Antonio Cellie, CEO of Fiere di Parma, thanked the organisers, adding: “this distillation of information shows the Cibus community (industry and retailer) new possibilities for collaboration in the cross-format “grocerant” formula, which we will develop further at CibusConnect in 2017 in order to bring this tool for promoting Made in Italy food produce to the international market”.
The third edition of “Sono come Mangio” (“I am what I eat”) also took place, promoted by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium. This food education course involved 170 primary and secondary school institutions from 9 Italian regions. The goal is to teach children how to live well, by means of educational games in the classroom and field trips to give them an experience of the entire Parmigiano Reggiano supply chain.
OI Pomodoro da Industria del Nord Italia (the inter-professional organisation of the tomato industry in Northern Italy) has launched a new project called “Scendiamo in campo per il pomodoro: campagne e fabbriche aperte” (“Let’s go down to the fields for tomatoes: open farms and factories”), to make all stages of the tomato supply chain accessible and verifiable. OI Pomodoro’s goal is to demonstrate an environmentally sustainable, transparent, and socially responsible supply chain.
Italian aquaculture provides fish products with organoleptic properties guaranteed by the strict and restrictive controls of Italian legislation, which is the most advanced in Europe related to fisheries and fish products.
At Cibus today the experts from API (Italian association of fish farmers) spoke in the SeaFood area. Specimens are raised on rigorously controlled and natural feed, free from heavy metals and, because fish enter the fisheries young, they have not had the chance to come in contact with heavy metals, thereby guaranteeing excellent product quality.