Barcelona, world capital of good food

The Spanish industry of food and beverages looking for imaginative solutions in order to cope with the consequences of the turbulent geopolitical situation of t

Barcelona, world capital of good food

The Spanish industry of food and beverages looking for imaginative solutions in order to cope with the consequences of the turbulent geopolitical situation of the world. After ten magnificent years for the export of their products, the current figures have continued to grow. The tariff policy of the united States (its main market, with exports reaching € 2,000 million), the Brexit and the weakness of domestic demand in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Belgium explain the situation.

“Since 2008, we have had a streak exporting tremendously positive, and this year we have had difficulties in China and also in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, where they have gotten to lower exports,” explains Mauricio García de Quevedo, director-general of the Spanish Federation of Food and Drink Industries (FIAB). “In France and the united States exports are flat,” he adds, “but internationalisation remains a strategic factor for the industry, which has opted, among other things, by a strategy of diversification of markets.”

According to data from FIAB, in 2018, the sector's exports returned to be placed in the 30,000 million euros, a figure that nearly doubles to 16,000 million recorded in 2009, but that confirms the slowdown (in 2017 already stood at 30.650 million euros). “There are reasons to be cautious,” says Garcia de Quevedo.

Help to internationalize the company of Spanish agri-food and open opportunities on the outside remains the top priority for Food, the main fair of the sector in Spain, which will be held from the 20th to the 23rd of April of the next year in the Gran Vía of Fira de Barcelona. For this reason, the living room has already begun to promote its new edition all over the world in order to identify and attract buyers from key markets.

“We have already confirmed the presence of 652 international buyers from 76 countries of origin. Food collects the innovative character beyond the product; it shows the gastronomy as a lever, international”, says J. Antonio Valls, director of the living room.

Food 2020 seeks to re-validate the dimensions of internationalization achieved during its last edition, which attracted almost 4,500 exhibiting companies, 1,000 of them from 70 countries, and about 150,000 visitors, 30% international, from 156 countries.

“The fair has for years positioned as a global benchmark. In this sense, we have called professionals and companies from five continents who have booked already over 60% of the space available, indicator of the great interest that wakes up the event in all the world”, insists Valls. The figure is double the figure for the same time period of the past editions. In addition, Greece, Canada and Japan make their debut as exhibitors at the International exhibition of Food, Beverages and Food Service.

Since the organization of the event was also considered a great asset to 12,500 business meetings that took place between 1,400 buyers, key importers and distributors in Europe, Asia, Latin america and USA, along with other visitors with decision-making power to purchase, came to the celebration of Food and Hostelco 2018.

“Food is the perfect showcase of the supply of Spanish agri-food to the rest of the countries. Here brings together companies from all sectors that will be visited by professionals from all over the world. The presence in this contest can become a lever that will boost the company's presence in markets where it already works and open up new opportunities and channels of distribution in other countries,” stresses Maria Naranjo, director of Food, Wine and Gastronomy of ICEX Spain Export and Investments.

The room directed their steps to maximise its business and to project the gastronomy as a differential value under the sign of the innovation. The great novelty for 2020 will be the inclusion of Food Trends, where they will show the latest trends of production and consumption, such as food and delicatessen (Fine Foods), organic production (Organic Foods), of allergen free (Free From), processing Halal (Halal Foods) and functional (Functional Foods).

“It's about responding to the challenges of a consumer changing”, it is the show's director that, in terms of trends in the sector, it also emphasises the transformation of supermarkets with the inclusion of restore points and food style “Whole Foods”, the american chain owned now by Amazon, and the emergence of new operators such as the companies of delivery (delivery), which “is expected to reach a turnover of 1,500 million euros in 2022, with a cumulative growth of 400%”.

And that is, at the internal level, the food and beverage industry stands out as the first industrial sector of the country. According to data of FIAB, in 2018 managed to keep the trend of growth in areas such as employment or the creation of companies and, at the same time, to consolidate its weight in the domestic market.

Specifically, this industry has accumulated five consecutive years of improvements in job creation, with a remarkable rise of female employment, which, according to data from FIAB, gain visibility, especially in the area of innovation, where 46% of the jobs generated in R+D are occupied by women.

In terms of production, the sector continues to offer a dynamic behaviour, reaching a record of 116.890 million euros. And, despite the doubts that are derived from the macroeconomic context, both national and international, the sector's production is already close to the barrier of 120,000 million euros. Their contribution to the national economy represents 3% of GDP and 16% of total Spanish industrial sector.

“But if anything has advanced with a firm step the industry is in the process of promotion, with a business fabric more robust,” concludes Mauricio García de Quevedo, director-general of the Spanish Federation of Food and Drink Industries (FIAB). With a growth both in the number of operators, as in the size of the companies, 2018 showed an increase in the number of enterprises of 8%, reaching a total of 31.342 companies, the best record obtained in the last ten years.

Updated Date: 25 December 2019, 21:01

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