For three days, September 26-28, 2022, the Poznań International Fair turned into a center for the food industry and HoReCa sector. What were visitors looking for? Above all, optimal solutions, equipment and products that allow you to develop your business, but also to survive difficult times.
A looming crisis
- The old Chinese curse is coming true for us: may you live in interesting times. While some may break down in the face of a crisis, others will see it as an opportunity. Polagra is there for entrepreneurs to let them find new solutions and come out of the crisis stronger. “Then, in a few years we will become more effective and successful," said the CEO of MTP Group, Tomasz Kobierski, at the opening of POLAGRA.
In recent months, the word "crisis" has appeared in the context of the food industry too often. As he said, this is why we meet at the fair, to get to know each other and seek solutions together, including technological ones.
Constant and reliable quality
These solutions and technological advances were offered by more than 140 exhibitors, whose booths were located in the Food, Foodtech and Horeca zones. It was there that they presented hundreds of tools, machines and technologies. It was there that they talked to their current and potential customers.
Traditionally, dozens of products were awarded the MTP Group Gold Medal. The Competition Jury decided to award 21 medals to products presented in the Food Salon and 9 in the Foodtech Salon. An additional Gold Medal of Confirmed Quality was also awarded.
Consumers also made their choice. The winners of the Consumers' Choice Gold Medal competition were revealed on the first day of POLAGRA, and representatives of the winners received statuettes and diplomas on stage.
The “Get to Know Good Food” label, awarded by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, is also a symbol of the quality of food products to help consumers make their choice. The award ceremony took place on the first day of POLAGRA.
The gala, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, was attended by representatives of the MTP Group's board of directors and the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Rafał Romanowski, as the host of the event. The deputy minister visited POLAGRA for a total of two days. Among other things, he took part in the opening ceremony, preceded by a press conference. The ceremony covered the topic of the Polish food production system, which is one of the most modern in Europe. As its participants pointed out, over the years Poland has made very good use of development opportunities, such as those arising from Poland’s membership in the European Union.
Looking for solutions
Together with representatives of the MTP Group's management board, the deputy minister also opened the Polagra Export Meeting congress, which addressed issues of exporting Polish food to foreign markets.
Along with the CEO of MTP Group, Tomasz Kobierski, and experts invited by the Polish Meat Association, he was also a guest at the "Fuel for Life" conference. The topics discussed during the conference included restrictions, barriers to livestock farming and meat exports, and solutions for difficult times.
No wonder that the conference "The Food Industry. Strategies for difficult and uncertain times" organized for the first time at POLAGRA by the editors of Trade News also attracted a large audience. Food producers and the representatives of food industry organizations and the dairy sector discussed possible scenarios for the next few months and how to handle the war, energy and raw materials crisis.
What was new was the debate and lectures on the deposit system and extended producer responsibility. This topic was also addressed during an expert legal training course covering packaging labeling issues. The event also attracted a fair amount of visitors.
Masters (not only) of cooking
After a three-year break, the finals of the Polish Culinary Cup returned to POLAGRA. Owners of restaurants, ice cream shops and pastry shops, as well as employees of the HoReCa sector, were awarded on the POLAGRA stage during the presentation of prizes in the Poland's "Masters of Taste" competition organized by Polska Press Grupa. Chefs participated in Chefs Academy workshops for three days, and anyone interested could watch a cooking show performed by Wojciech Harapkiewicz and Joanna Brodzik.
Twelve participants competed for two days in the National Master Baker Competition. Bakers were also sharing their knowledge during the Healthy Baking Forum.
Changes, changes, changes...
Work on next year's edition of POLAGRA has already begun. Changes are coming. Above all, there will be a strong shift toward natural and organic food. “We are aware of the still growing potential of this segment of the food market and we know how to take advantage of it”, says Dariusz Wawrzyniak, the director of MTP Group’s product division. “Of course, we are not forgetting about our exhibitors and visitors this year. Conversations with them during this year's POLAGRA were very informative and, above all, fruitful. We would like to invite every potential customer and all of our past guests to visit us in September 2023," he concludes.
The second change is organizational, but it will also benefit potential exhibitors. Next year's POLAGRA is scheduled for September 27-29. It will therefore be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The last day of POLAGRA will also be the first day of the Flavors of the Regions.