The IPA and Emballage exhibitions have returned to Paris this week, with the organisers expecting over 1,100 exhibitors, 50 per cent of whom will be from 35 countries outside of France. Combined, the two shows are expected to pull in around 60,000 professionals, with 35 per cent of visitors expected to come from abroad.
Combing the aisles yesterday, the event seemed to get off to a slow start in the morning, particularly on the IPA side, but by the afternoon, things had busied up considerably with many exhibitors reporting that they had been pleased with the outcome of the first day.
"So far the feedback has been very good," said one exhibitor from Stork Systems, the dairy systems provider. "We have had a considerable number of enquiries about our latest technologies and we are hoping that a proportion of these will turn into significant leads. To me the show appears to be pretty busy this year, particularly on the packaging side."
This year's event focuses strongly on technological innovation within the sector. The programme put forward by both IPA and Emballage will reflect major trends, both present and future, within the food industry. The event is particularly focused on offering a complete response to the ever changing issues concerning buyers.
IPA 2002 features the Theme Zone, a forum for information and discussion of current topics, focusing this year on 'Traceability and e-manufacturing'. It provides an opportunity to improve understanding of the current issues facing the food sector, meet the requirements of the market and take stock of these strategic issues.
The Research and Innovation Forum, a showcase for the latest technological innovations selected from national research laboratories and technical centres, has, for the first time, taken an international outlook this year and invited a world-renowned foreign laboratory to take part in the event.
The Innovation Challenge Competition/SIEL Trophy is also changing. A high point of the exhibition, this rewards the most significant innovations in the sector from the 'Prototype' and 'Processes and Equipment' categories and includes the award of the SIEL Trophy. To encourage and promote the launch of technological innovations by exhibitors, nominations from the 'Processes and Equipment' category were decided in May 2002, while shortlisted contenders for the 'Prototype' category were disclosed in October 2002.
The Emballage event will also be covering a number of pertinent topics for the industry. This year a series of presentations and conferences will cover those areas garnering increasing importance in recent months, from Innovation in packaging: lasting trends or passing fashion, to presentations on the challenges faced by manufacturers of packaging used for frozen food stuffs.
Naturally, both IPA and Emballage will serve as platforms for the launch of new products as well as highlighting innovations that are driving the industry into the future. The FoodProductionDaily.com team will be on hand to bring you a selection of the most interesting offerings during the course of the next few days.