Organisers of German wine producers' show confident ahead of 2010 event

Germany's largest wine and fruit producer show, which claims also to be Europe's most international, will aim to hold numbers steady despite the global downturn as interest in viticulture continues to rise in the UK.

Intervitis Interfructa (IVIF) is held every three years. The most recent event took place in 2007 at Stuttgart's Killesberg site, where it featured 600 exhibitors and attracted 40,000 visitors from 75 countries. Next March the show is set to take up a new home at Messe Stuttgart. According to the venue's managing director Ulrich Kromer, next year's target is "to at least match those figures".

The 100,000sq m venue, situated five minutes' walk away from Stuttgart Airport and beside the A8 motorway, opened two years ago after many years of delay, at a cost of EUR800m (about £721m).

The show will cover cultivation, harvesting, processing, bottling and marketing. Machinery demonstrations will continue as at the Killesberg site, despite a lack of outdoor exhibition space.

A concurrent conference will feature around 100 speakers, half of them from outside Germany, discussing sustainability and quality improvement in the sector.

Dr Rudolf Nickenig, general secretary of event organiser the German Winegrowers' Association, commented: "Organic production is being hotly debated at the moment and will be an important theme of the show, as will the use of corks and other closures and also the question of whether glass the best packaging material, given its high carbon footprint."

He added that growth in the sector would come predominantly from exporting to non-wine-producing countries. The German industry produces nine million hectolitres of wine, of which 3.3 million hectolitres is exported - nearly a quarter to the UK, which remains its largest market. For many years, 85 per cent of production was made up of white wine, but now red wine constitutes 40 per cent of production.

Graf Adelmann winery owner Michael Graf Adelmann said: "For me, IVIF is an opportunity to meet colleagues and talk about what's new in machinery. You have to adapt because otherwise you get left behind by imports."

IVIF has also branched out to events in South Africa, India, Chile and Russia. For more information on the show, see tinyurl.com/ivif2010.


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