LZ Interview with Gerald Böse Global access

Montag, 30. September 2019
Gerald Böse is Chairman of the Management Board of Koelnmesse GmbH.
Gerald Böse is Chairman of the Management Board of Koelnmesse GmbH.
Anuga celebrates its 100th anniversary and has nevertheless remained young.  Koelnmesse's CEO, Gerald Böse, explains how the world's largest trade fair and the most important meeting place for the food industry has accomplished this.

Mr. Böse, will it be another Anuga of the records?
Anuga is clearly and undisputedly the largest and most important trade fair for food and beverages in the world. This is also confirmed by this year's event, which sets a new record with around 7500 exhibitors from more than 100 countries. Nowhere else do the top decision-makers from trade, industry and the out-of-home market meet in their entirety and on a personal level in a comparable way than here in Cologne at Anuga.

Why can't anyone get past Anuga in 2019?
Nowhere else can a trade visitor access the world market with such concentration. This is also reflected in the unique variety of international products. The consistent expansion into a trade fair, the qualitative selection and the ever more refined bundling of product groups as well as the clear focus on food and beverages have made it over time into what it is today: an event unrivalled worldwide in terms of breadth and depth of offerings, inspiration, know-how and exchange.

The Anuga brand is now 100 years old - an occasion to celebrate. Will the public notice that they are attending an anniversary fair?
At our anniversary edition, visitors can expect an exciting mix of Anuga history, new products, trends and top-class congresses on current and future-oriented topics. One highlight is the new "Boulevard of Inspiration". It offers trade visitors concentrated innovation power locally and thematically bundled in three interesting special shows - the Anuga Trend Zone, the Anuga taste Innovation Show and the new event area Anuga Horizon 2050. The Boulevard of Inspiration is thus the first point of contact for visitors interested in exhibitors' innovative new products, the latest market and consumer trends for the coming year and future development scenarios and future topics for the food and beverage industry.

Have you prepared anything about the Anuga story?
A special show on Boulevard North will also provide an insight into the milestones in Anuga's history, and the Anuga Executive Summit, as an exclusive prelude to the official opening on the eve of the event, will also be devoted to the theme "Yesterday. Today. Today. Morning. Morning. Innovations in the food industry - 100 years of Anuga".

Sustainability is the buzzword of our time. What is Koelnmesse itself doing as an organiser with regard to sustainability and climate protection?
When it comes to sustainability, we focus very specifically on our trade fair business, because this is where we achieve the greatest possible impact. Koelnmesse, for example, anticipated the 2022 EU regulation and abolished straws and the like. Even disposable tableware is hardly used during the trade fairs, and if it is, it is only made from biodegradable raw materials. We also act sustainably when it comes to stand construction. The stands used during the fair are mainly made of system material, which is reused many times over. Well over 90 percent of the waste generated in a year is sent for recycling. Something has also changed in the area of ticketing. For example, codes for admission ticket vouchers have been sent electronically since 2019. This eliminates the need to send out printed admission tickets by post.

And across trade fairs?
There are many sensible measures here - especially within the framework of Koelnmesse 3.0, our investment programme. By 2030, this includes more than 700 million euros for new buildings, but also, for example, for the modernisation of air conditioning technology in the halls and the installation of our combined heat and power plant. This enables us to save up to 50 percent of energy consumption. With our digital traffic management system, for which we have just received millions of euros in funding from the German government, we are ensuring that our customers - in cars and trucks alike - find us in the future with as few unnecessary emissions as possible.

And how does Anuga demonstrate its trend competence to the trade public, especially with regard to sustainability?
This topic is very much discussed in our event and congress programme. Whether in our new special show Anuga Horizon 2050, at the iFood Conference or on the central lecture stage "Anuga Trend Zone", the subject of sustainability occupies experts from the food and beverage industry in many respects. It deals with issues such as sustainable nutrition concepts, climate-efficient processes in production or logistics and developments towards plant-based nutrition, all of which contribute to a sustainable balance between vegetables and meat.

Does the top trend towards sustainability also make itself felt on the part of exhibitors?
Sustainable products are at the top of the list. For example, the trend themes at Anuga show that more than 3000 companies offer organic and non-genetically modified products in their product ranges. Products with protected origin are also shown by more than 1000 suppliers. All three categories show increases compared to 2017. This shows that manufacturers are also increasingly focusing on sustainability and healthy products.

The Anuga is certainly first and foremost business platform. But it is also the global meeting place for networking and knowledge transfer. What can trade fair visitors expect?
In addition to the new Boulevard of Inspiration already mentioned, our congress programme, consisting of the E-Grocery Congress@Anuga, the iFood Conference and the NewtritionX innovation summit, offers a varied programme to promote knowledge transfer and networking at Anuga.

Please name a few details ...
The NewtritionX innovation summit on 6 October 2019 in Cologne will address future-oriented topics. Renowned experts from science and industry will provide a comprehensive insight into the topic of personalized nutrition. Challenges of global value chains, sustainability, digitisation and trends are the focus of the 5th Innovation Food Conference - iFood 2019, which is organised by the German Institute of Food Technology (DIL). It will take place on 7 October at the Congress Center Nord at Koelnmesse. At the second E-Grocery Congress on 8 October, also at the Congress-Centrum Nord, the participants will discuss opportunities and new solutions for global online trading and food delivery. In detail, the focus will be on shop concepts of the future, new distribution channels and innovative logistics solutions.

As Anuga's partner country, Paraguay is a particular focus this year. What makes this country special?
Paraguay has about 7 million inhabitants and is located in the heart of South America. The capital Asunción is one of the oldest cities in South America. Besides soya, corn, wheat, manioc, sugar cane and rice, Paraguay's export goods also include meat. In the beef, maize and soybean sectors, the country ranks among the top 10 producers in the world and places particular emphasis on high quality. These are all factors that made Paraguay very interesting from an economic point of view ...

A hidden champion, so to speak?
That's it. In addition, South America is also a central market for our international business. We currently organise eight of our own trade fairs in Brazil and Colombia, five of them in the field of nutrition and nutrition technology. The choice of Paraguay as Anuga's partner country is an excellent fit.

Anuga stands for internationality - for exhibitors and visitors alike. Do you feel any influence of the great world politics on this year's trade fair behaviour?
We still do not feel any major influence of world politics on exhibitor participation. The Anuga is at its usual high international level. 90 percent of the exhibitors come from abroad. This year there will again be strong exhibitor participation from Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Greece, China, Thailand, the USA and Brazil.

Are there any newcomers among the countries?
New exhibitors come from Afghanistan, Armenia, Bolivia, Qatar, Kenya, Nigeria and Tajikistan.

And what about Great Britain?
Here we are recording a decline in exhibitor participation, for which the uncertainty of companies with regard to Brexit can certainly be a cause. But that will certainly change, and British companies in particular will need an international platform like Anuga more than ever in the future.

Who from politics will open the anniversary fair with you?
A delegation from Paraguay will come to Cologne for the opening of Anuga. We are delighted that the President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Luis Alberto Castiglioni, the Minister for Economic Affairs, Liz Cramer, and the National Director, Mario Romero, have joined us. There will also be opening speeches by Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, and Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia.

After the Anuga is before the Anuga. Is there another appointment yet?
Anuga 2021 will take place as usual in October.

The LZ interview was conducted by Christina Kersch.

This text was originally published in German and machine-translated into English.

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