Macfrut, Italy’s Fruits and Vegetables International Fair, was held in Rimini on 7 to 9 September. The decision to hold Macfrut and other internationally renowned fairs such as Cibus or Salone del Mobile was a bet in a period of great uncertainty. Macfrut attracted 32,600 visitors in just three days. Although these numbers don’t match those of the 2019 edition, they still represent a success that not everyone initially dared to hope for.
“This is a clear sign that we are at a turning point” said the President of Macfrut, Renzo Piraccini. “The wide participation of the agri-food sector underlined the importance of this exhibition, which was both a great showcase for the Italian fruits and vegetables sector, but also an opportunity to get back to normal relations between people. The enthusiasm shown during these three days was good, especially thanks to the great participation that was above all expectations.” The success of Macfrut proves once again what Italy can do when institutions and economic actors team up.
Zimbabwe was one of the protagonists of the 2021 edition of Macfrut. The country, located in sub-Saharan Africa, has an important agricultural tradition, and was once considered the breadbasket of the region. As Gianni Bauce wrote in an article on Africarivista, “agriculture, thanks also to the great abundance of arable land, has always been one of the most important sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy: it produces 14% of the country’s GDP, it is worth 40% of exports and it employs 70% of the workforce.”
Zimbabwe has recently implemented new strategies to support the agricultural sector. At the same time, the country has identified export diversification as one of the key strategies to revive its international trade, as highlighted by the National Export Strategy presented in 2019 by President Mnangagwa. According to Allan Majuru, director of ZimTrade, Zimbabwe’s trade promotion and development agency, the participation in Macfrut represents an important step in the search for new markets.
Specifically, Zimbabwe is a strong producer of citrus fruits, berries, legumes, and avocados, all products that Italy imports. “Zimbabwe’s participation in Macfrut is the product of the good relations and growing collaboration between the two countries, the result of the work and commitment of all partners“, said the trade officer of the Italian Embassy in Harare.
Zimbabwe hopes to gain a position in the Italian market, which has great potential for its fruit and vegetable sector. This hope was strengthened by the interest shown by many visitors for the Zimbabwean stand. Hazel Masvanhise, director of Farmbay, one of the three companies taking part to the delegation, said that the positive reactions from potential buyers are proof of the potential that lies in increased exports to Italy and the rest of Europe.