Cibus Forum, 2-3 September, Fiere di Parma

The Food & Beverage sector after Covid-19. The first Phygital networking event to relaunch consumption and exports

(Parma, 25 June 2020) – From transition to transformation, how to react to the new scenarios opened by the Covid-19 emergency.  This is the topic to be discussed by the community of Cibus Forum that will take place on 2 and 3 September 2020 at the Parma exhibition centre. The Cibus platform has always represented a moment of exchange and sharing for the agri-food community all-year round, and not only during the exhibition period. The severity of the current downturn calls for a deeper analysis, therefore Fiere di Parma, in collaboration with Federalimentare, has organised “Cibus Forum – Food&Beverage and Covid: from transition to transformation”.  Cibus Forum is going to welcome exhibitors and participants via an access management system aimed at ensuring the health and safety of visitors according to the highest safety & security standards. Cibus Forum is going to be a physical event available also as live streaming in order to enable foreign buyers and retailers to join the activities.

Together with the debate sessions, the event is going to feature a comprehensive offer where food and food technology companies will present their latest industry innovations. Last but not least, a lounge area and an innovation space.

The goal of the Forum is giving a contribution to a global strategy that can boost both at-home food consumption and exports.  There are many challenges to meet: what type of production innovation, how to finance investments, understanding new habits and the actual spending capacity of consumers, spotting the demand for sustainable products, identifying the trends of sales channels (horeca, e-commerce, large and small retail) and much more (https://cibusforum.cibus.it/en/).

“The idea is a discussion aimed to boost the normalization of the processes of production – distribution – administration, to make it an introduction to a relaunch of internal consumption and exports – stated Antonio Cellie, CEO of Fiere di Parma – The shock we have been through has enhanced the generous talent of all the players of Italian agrifood sector, awakening us from an inertial growth led by a 20 years log demand from abroad. Now we must exploit the outcomes of this stress test to plan the next development cycle with a dynamic and communicative participation of all the industry. Qualitative co-growth between suppliers and processing companies, simplification and optimization of on line and on site negotiation and distribution, transition from green-washing to green-saving, evaluation and management of the health risk. These and many others are the topics of Cibus Forum that, as preview of Cibus 2021, could never be an only digital event and it could not have a rich and interesting exhibiting space with the best practice of food and foodtech industry Made in Italy”.

On the relevance of the event for the entire industry Ivano Vacondio, President of Federalimentare, underlined “It will be the occasion to have a discussion a few months after the restart and hence a strategic moment for all the agrifood industry. We will take the stock of the Horeca situation, from which our internal consumption must start again. We must think about the Horeca industry, we cannot afford its deadlock anymore”.

The four sessions of Cibus Forum are organised with speeches held by research institutes, presentations of case histories, round tables with the main players of the agrifood chain. The programme is being defined right now with the participation of authoritative names from the industry and institutions.

On the first day, Cristina Alfieri of the Food Group will open the Forum moderating a session dedicated to the change in consumption patterns following Covid -19, with the participation of Federalimentare, Federdistribuzione, Food & Drink Europe and the Italian Trade Commission ICE, titled “Consumptions and new values: The impact of Covid-19 on consumers’ habits. Prospects and opportunities.” In the afternoon, Debora Rosciani, Radio 24, will coordinate the session “Health and safety: rearrangement of work and consumption places”.

Paolo Di Castro, MEP, will moderate the opening session of 3 September “Changes in the supply chain relationships: strategic value and future perspectives for the agrifood sector”, dedicated to the impact of the infection on the agri-food supply chain to identify success strategies and measures strengthening the production chain.  The morning meeting will be completed by a discussion panel on the interpretation of the European project “Farm to Fork” for a realistic update of the supply chain to the green revolution with representatives of the industry and institutions.  In the afternoon, to end the two work days,  Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, MP, will be the moderator of the session “A good restart: sustainability and innovation as reaction to the emergency” dedicated to the environment and to the potential of sustainability as a driver for the industry recovery.

A topic covered by all 4 sessions will be Italian food&beverage exports, an important unknown factor as pointed out by Anna Flavia Pascarelli, Manager of the Food&Beverage Division of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA):

“The timing of the recovery of exports will depend on the pandemic evolution, which is now putting our exports to different markets significantly under pressure.  Based on our experience, we expect the demand for Italian products to grow as soon as the economy of a trading country restarts. Today the target market is Europe, but we are carefully observing also Asian and North American markets.

Another recurrent topic for the two Cibus Forum days will be case histories and proposals from the most innovative companies, like Costa Group, the Italian company specialised in the design and furniture of Food Entertainment facilities in Italy and the rest of the world.  “At Cibus Forum we will present the solutions designed in collaboration with Francesco Panella, well-known restaurateur and ambassador of Italian culinary tradition in the States, to support the restaurant business – said Franco Costa, Chairman of Costa Group -. We carried out a research about prospects involving players of different businesses to find solutions together. We challenged them to find proposals and ideas for the post Covid time and the result was a valuable and detailed work, solutions that will help hospitality to move towards the future”.

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