Alimentaria (Barcelona)

Barcelona has always had a trade fair vocation. Perhaps due to its port location or its history as a trading centre with a vast diversity of products from the agricultural and industrial sectors. The 1888 Universal Exhibition and the 1929 International Exhibition certified its importance as a trade centre worldwide.

Alimentaria was held for the first time in 1976, although it was previously covered by the Packing and Packaging Show. Since then, its growth has been spectacular in terms of visitors and exhibitors. Two reasons: its development has been parallel to that of production and the Spanish food industry and today, it is on a par with the other two most important trade fairs held in Europe: Sial in Paris and Anuga in Frankfurt, making up the trio of Trade Fairs considered to be of international scope. It is held biannually in even years as Tecnoalimentaria, devoted to machinery, commercial equipment, logistics, the environment and waste treatment is held in odd years.

The figures provide some idea of its dimension: there were 14 shows at Alimentaria 2014 and, like in previous editions, innovation, trends and internationalization stood out. There were 3,800 exhibitors of which around 1,000 were foreign from 50 different countries, many of which were European, but also from the United States, Latin America and Asia. Around 2,500 Spanish exhibitors attended, which means that a large part of our food sector was present.

Although the number of visitors is very high, approximately 150,000, their professionalism is even more so, whereby practically all of the visitors are specialists. Among them, up to 40,000 foreign buyers were registered. Needless to say, this is a vital piece of information for Spanish exporters.

Within the framework of Alimentaria, food conference cycles are also held. Those dedicated to the Mediterranean Diet, food habits, consumer trends, scientific and technological advances or food safety and innovation in different sectors are worth highlighting. Therefore, more than 50 speakers and round tables gave extensive coverage to today’s topics and problems. The Alimentaria Experience, an innovative and interactive gastronomy show featuring over 50 chefs who have been awarded 50 Michelin stars between them was also held in parallel.

To give us an idea of the magnitude of this trade fair which was born in Barcelona, its success has led to Alimentaria Mexico, Alimentaria Brazil and Alimentaria Lisbon.

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