Free From Functional & Health Ingredients (FFF&HI) trade fair broke records when it welcomed more than 7,800 key buyers and decision makers from the free from food, drink and sustainable packaging industries through its doors in Barcelona from 28 to 29 May 2019.
Visitors took advantage of the unique platform the show provides, informing and inspiring decision makers from the world of retail, ingredients, wholesale, distribution and foodservice with a packed schedule of conference sessions, pioneering brands and products plus multiple networking opportunities. Five core areas of the free from market – free from, vegan, natural and organic, functional and health ingredients – were represented across four conference stages with insights from key speakers.
Highlights from the packed conference schedule revealed the latest data covering key areas including the 11.5 % increase in sales of free from foods across Europe in the past year and the 133 % growth of the UK free from market since FFF&HI began in 2013. Show partners, ProVeg International hosted a dedicated vegan area and a series of seminars at the vegan conference stage. Verena Wiederkehr, International Head of Food Industry and Retail at ProVeg International revealed the most prominent trends driving the sector including sensory experiences, clean-label products and raw materials, explaining the opportunities for businesses who tap into this buoyant sector.
FFF&HI was the platform for new brands and product launches from those shaping the organic, vegan, functional foods and ingredients markets. On the first day, FFF&HI unveiled the winner of its Product of the Year Awards – a celebration of the most cutting-edge free from food and drink products launched in the past year. Manufacturers and producers put their best innovations for contention to be crowned winner and runner up across three categories, Product of the Year, Best New Brand, Free From Plastics. The lifetime achievement award was given to Molino Nicoli, European leaders in gluten free cereal-based production. I Am Bart’s launched a range of organic snack bars made with vegetables, fruit and seeds without preservatives and added sugars and won the Best New Brand award. FFF&HI will return for its eighth edition in Amsterdam from 23-24 June, 2020.
Cobao Pure is a new cocoa butter from AAK that delivers significantly improved bloom-retarding effects in all kinds of applications including milk and dark chocolate tablets, coated and filled products, and dark chocolate with nuts.
Milk fat is commonly-used as a bloom retarder but presents a number of challenges that Cobao Pure helps to solve. Unlike milk fat, for example, it will not change the sensory qualities of the end product or cause excessive softening. This means it is especially suitable for dark chocolate applications. It is also free from lactose and other allergens, providing an excellent option for the growing free-from category. Cobao Pure is a fully deodorized 100 % cocoa butter that is compatible with other cocoa butters and needs only to replace an amount of the existing cocoa butter in a recipe.
The programme will include presentations on various physical methods for the sterilization or disinfection of surfaces such as gas plasma, UV-C radiation, and electron beam technology. There will also be presentations on antimicrobial packaging systems, guidelines for the validation of industrial cleaning and sterilization processes, and process monitoring using advanced sensor technologies. The event will also be an ideal platform for discussion and debate.
“A turnover of 100 million Euros is our target for 2020,”, says Annalisa Bellante co-owner of packaging specialist Cama. “And we have already implemented an important corporate business plan to achieve this ambitious goal.”
Cama predicts an excellent end to 2019, with a turnover of nearly EUR 90 m, after a strong investment in human resources (+40 % compared to 2017/2018). This was based on a business plan that leverages a new organizational model focused on developing a “sense of ownership” for managers, coupled to an important corporate culture evolution – a transition from the concept of “employee” to that of “stakeholder”.
Furthermore, the new headquarters complex in Molteno/Italy is nearly complete. It offers 35,000 m2 of space with more than 25,000 m2 used as production area and offices.
The company has experience in designing form, fill, seal equipment for operation in high-risk environments. This project has enabled it to identify the design principles that need to be adhered to if equipment design is to support the food industry’s increasingly rigorous approach to cross-contamination avoidance.
The development of Vegatronic 6000SD was instigated by concerns over cross-contamination on production and packaging lines, following a number of incidents linked to unlabelled allergens in food products. Food and ingredient manufacturers and packers are realizing that the stakes for undeclared allergens infiltrating supply chains are too high, particularly where free-from foods are concerned.
A record 24,211 visitors attended this year’s Vitafoods Europe, an increase of 15 % from 2018, while the size of the show floor grew by 10 % to meet demand, showcasing everything from new ingredients and finished products to packaging and contract manufacturing.
The Vitafoods Education Programme also returned alongside a broad range of talks hosted across the show floor theatres. Featuring almost 90 industry and business experts, the total attendance of all theatres this year soared to 4,082.
In the lead up to this year’s event, the organizers encouraged the industry to come together to explore what was required to shape a more sustainable future through a series of networking events, roundtables and seminars. Ensuring that sustainable practices were in place throughout every aspect of the event – from planning to delivery – was also a priority, and included working with suppliers that share this commitment, powering the event with renewable energy, and introducing new stand build regulations to drive exhibitors to move away from using disposable materials.
As a result, Vitafoods Europe has become the first legacy Informa event to achieve the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certificate, a standard designed to help organizations in the events industry have confidence in the sustainability credentials of their event-related activities, products and services.
Vitafoods Europe 2019 offered nine additional events to help build communities and share values across the health and nutrition industry. As part of the Sustainability Square, a new area showcasing the latest consumer and market insights from across the industry, visitors were asked for their opinions on how best to improve the sustainability of the nutraceutical industry.
The 2020 event will take place between 12 and 14 May 2020 in Palexpo, Geneva/Switzerland.
After serving Barry Callebaut for 35 years, of which ten years as Chief Operations Officer and member of the Executive Committee, Dirk Poelman (born 1961) has decided to retire as per the end of the company’s fiscal year, August 31, 2019.
Poelman can look on an impressive career with Barry Callebaut. After completing his studies as Industrial Engineer in 1984, he began as Engineering Manager with Callebaut, which later merged with Cacao Barry. Over the course of his career, Poelman worked in various managerial positions and countries before he was appointed to the Executive Committee in 2009, responsible for the Group’s global Operations & Supply Chain Organization (OSCO).