2022 Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global boasts 1,500-plus exhibiting companies in first Barcelona event
The first Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global to take place in Barcelona, Spain, will feature more than 1,500 exhibiting companies, the event’s organizer, Portland, Maine, U.S.A.-based Diversified Communications, said on Thursday, 31 March.
At a press conference in Barcelona, Diversified Communications Group Vice President Liz Plizga said 1,527 firms from 76 countries have already signed on for the 2022 event, which will take place 26 to 28 April at the Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via exhibition grounds. [Editor’s note: Diversified Communications also owns and operates SeafoodSource.]
“We are thrilled to be back here in Barcelona. We've been planning for this move for many years. And to have two years without events, it has been quite challenging. But we have a lot of excitement to come back and our customers are [excited] for Barcelona,” Plizga said.
Plizga said the upcoming event will feature an estimated 39,545 square meters of net exhibit space, representing 97 percent of the size of the 2019 event, which was the largest edition of Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global. That is a robust figure considering a reduced presence from China and Ukraine, and the absence of exhibitors from Russia and Belarus, Plizga said.
“The fact that we are 97 percent in terms of space and size compared to the largest edition without that participation is a true testament to the event and the importance that it plays as a platform for buyers and sellers to do business and meet face to face,” Plizga said.
The event will welcome thousands of attendees, including hundreds of key buyers representing supermarkets, hypermarkets, restaurants, traders, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and representatives of the hospitality industry. Fifty-nine countries and regions will operate national or regional pavilions. New exhibiting countries include Czech Republic, the Falklands, Lebanon, and the French island of Réunion.
There are more than 150 companies exhibiting for the first time at Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, including Balfego & Balfego, S.L., Crusta C, Profand Group, S.L., Hofseth International AS, Maresmar S.L.U., Mascato, S.A., Mercamadrid, S.A., G. Mondini SpA, Grasselli SpA, Mediterranean Shipping Company España S.L.U. and Optimar A.S.
Longtime exhibiting companies that have confirmed their participation in the 2022 event include AquaChile, CONFREMAR, Congelados y Frescos del Mar S.A., Denholm Seafoods Ltd, Frime, S.A.U., Iberconsa (Grupo Ibérica de Congelados), S.A.U., Iceland Seafood International, Krustagroup S.A.U., Sjor A.S., Mowi A.S.A., Nordic Seafood A/S, Baader, Cocci Luciano S.R.L., Craemer GmbH, FoodTech Belgium, Marel, Palinox Ingeniería y Proyectos S.L., and Ulma Packaging, among others.
The event will also feature an educational conference covering 20 topics, ranging from panels on seafood industry business and leadership, an overview on climate change’s impact on the industry, and an update on the aquafeed sector, with 65 international experts featured across the three-day event. And the annual Seafood Excellence Global Awards, which recognize the best seafood products of the year, will be presented on the first day of the expo.
Plizga said the global event will have an estimated economic impact of up to EUR 100 million (USD 111 million) for Barcelona.
“The exhibition will have a very positive impact on the local economy and will bring together industry players, seafood buyers and sellers for three days of networking, building business relationships, finding new products, and sharing discussions about emerging trends in the seafood sector. All in one place,” she said.
In 2019, Diversified Communications announced it would be moving Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global from Brussels, Belgium, where it had taken place for 27 years, to Barcelona. Subsequently, the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the event in 2020 and 2021.
“We are expecting our first fair in this fantastic city to be a success. We chose Barcelona for its size and expertise in hosting international trade events, the variety of hotel options, and its eminent position within maritime industry,” Plizga said. “Our new venue partner, Fira de Barcelona, offers a modern and innovative space with extensive experience in working with large-scale events. These are the tools we need to hold a successful event and plan for long-term growth.”
Fira de Barcelona Managing Director Constantí Serrallonga said Seafood Expo Global’s move to Barcelona confirms the city has become the “epicenter for the food industry.”
"We are very excited to host the first edition in Barcelona of the largest event for the seafood industry, which further strengthens Barcelona and Fira as world hubs for international events,” he said.
Plizga said Diversified is confident the event will be safe to attend, based on the company’s experience successfully hosting the 2022 Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., in March.
“Diversified has run about 15 events since August 2021, and the lessons are pretty consistent. Leading up to these events, there's a lot of questions and people don't know what to expect. But what happened in Boston is that everyone got to the show, and people were so excited to see old friends to be a part of the community. They were grinning ear to ear,” she said. “I think that the pause in face-to-face trade events built up a lot of importance for events as a platform for buyers and sellers to meet one another and cement the relationships between buyers and suppliers. And those strong relationships built at these events were hugely important to companies and buyers in getting through the pandemic. That's something that people couldn't find online and can't be replaced digitally.”