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Fish in focus - Germany's fish fair

25 to 27 February 2018 in Bremen Germany

Hans Peter Schneider

Hans Peter Schneider Managing Director MESSE BREMEN & ÖVB-Arena Sabine Wedell Project Manager fish international 2

„TODAY, AS IT ALWAYS HAS, THE FAIR BOOSTS CONFIDENCE IN THE INDUSTRY“ 30 YEARS OF FISH INTERNATIONAL – THE INTERNATIONAL FLAGSHIP EVENT OF MESSE BREMEN IS CELEBRATING A LANDMARK ANNIVERSARY. PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. AN INTERVIEW WITH HANS PETER SCHNEIDER, THE MANAGING DIRECTOR. fish international has been going since 1988. How did it start? The fish fair was triggered by the most serious crisis of recent times in the German fish industry. In 1987, a TV report about nematode worms in fresh fish unsettled consumers so much that some producers and retailers faced financial ruin. To help the industry get back on its feet and to give it ammunition for discussions with critics, Peter Koch-Bodes, a fish trader in Bremen, founded the fish fair. What has remained since the beginning, what has changed? Today, as it always has, the fair boosts confidence in the industry: We are Germany‘s premier fish industry meeting place. This is where the trade public exchanges ideas and learns about what‘s new. And as always, it‘s about presenting innovative products and new services as well as negotiating concrete order contracts. We try to actively think ahead and also take a broader perspective. That means we tackle topics and talk about problems that need solutions going beyond our own industry. For example, we regularly present current developments in traceability and deal with aspects of marketing and technical solutions in aquaculture. In its anniversary year, will the trade fair once again take new directions? Yes – by shining a spotlight on a subject that isn‘t new, but steadily becoming more important. Today‘s lifestyle is different to what it was 30 years ago. Take the world of work. Many people‘s jobs demand mobility. Going home for a mid-day meal is rare these days. That has pushed the snack and convenience food culture. Lots of fishmongers are keen to expand their business with catering. And especially the „to go“ sector is developing far beyond just sushi. We want to bring that into our exhibition halls. What role does the trade fair play in the industry? We enjoy a clearly defined, established place on the international scene. Anybody who wants to make contact and do business with the German fish industry with minimum hassle comes here. And it‘s only here that exhibitors – from all over the world – find such a large number of top decision makers in Germany‘s retail trade, fish production and processing technology. That is a major attraction: in 2016 we counted 273 exhibitors from 21 countries and 11,732 visitors from 51 countries. There are other, more social, factors that make the fair a must: As I‘ve already mentioned, both visitors and exhibitors value the fact that they have plenty of time and space for talks and networking here. This is the third time the GASTRO IVENT is taking place in parallel. Does that mean the combination is a success? Yes, the two fairs complement each other perfectly. GASTRO IVENT is already well established in the north-west of Germany, and it‘s an ideal extra attraction for the fish fair participants. Like I said before, fish retailers are keen to expand their catering activities, and they find exciting ideas at the restaurant and catering fair. Of course, compared to fish international, GASTRO IVENT is still a tender green shoot, but it‘s already achieved an impressive spurt of growth. That‘s due to the combination with the in-house fair of Fleischer-Einkauf AG. See you in Bremen! Hans Peter Schneider 3