Product presentations, personal interaction and international keynotes. Who isn’t looking forward to once again enjoying an inspiring trade fair? From now on, you can also experience this trade fair experience from your office or home office. That’s because the Belgian fruit and vegetable sector has joined forces to launch a new export platform at the end of March: virtual.belgianfruitsandvegetables.com. The Federation of Belgian Horticultural Cooperatives (VBT), the Logistical Auction Association (LAVA) and the Flemish Centre for Agricultural and Fishery Marketing (VLAM) want to bring Belgian suppliers and foreign customers closer together.
Belgian fruit and vegetables are known and sought after worldwide for their quality. To further ensure continuity in the export trade, contacts with local buyers in the export markets are crucial. For this reason, VLAM and the VBT have always put a great deal of effort into actively attending specialised trade fairs for the trade in fresh fruit and vegetables. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, these personal contact moments have disappeared and suppliers can no longer physically show their products to their customers. The Belgian fruit and vegetable sector therefore decided to develop a joint export platform so that suppliers could continue to reach their contacts digitally. The VBT, together with VLAM and LAVA, has been working hard these past months to create a flexible and user-friendly digital export platform. This initiative is possible thanks to the funds made available by Belgian Minister of Agriculture Hilde Crevits through an incubator.
A trade fair experience at the office or at home
In the coming weeks and months, this export platform will feature interesting keynote speeches. The Belgian fruit and vegetable sector has invited a number of internationally renowned experts to look at the evolutions in the fresh produce sector from the perspective of their knowledge and experience.
The greatest asset of the new digital platform is interactivity. Along with information on Belgian fruit and vegetable growing, visitors can discover the wide range of products on the virtual stages of producer organisations and exporters. Those who are interested can immediately get in touch with the appropriate contact person. In this way, this platform conveniently brings the trade fair experience into everyone’s office or home office, even during corona times.
With this project VBT opted for a positive and collective story. This is because the coronavirus pandemic offers the opportunity to think in terms of the future and to opt decisively for a digital tool. After all, the Belgian fruit and vegetable sector is convinced that virtual events will eventually take a permanent place alongside physical trade fairs.
The launch will be kicked off in grand fashion with a series of online events starting on 20 April, supported by a digital promotional campaign. The platform can be visited starting on 29 March at: https://virtual.belgianfruitsandvegetables.com/
VLAM promotes the products of Flemish agriculture, horticulture and fisheries at home and abroad. VLAM is a non-profit organization and works on behalf of the Flemish government and the business community. VLAM’s promotional campaigns are largely set up per product or per product group; they are financed by the involved sub-sector.