“2020 will go down in history as ‘the year of the coronavirus pandemic’. The health crisis that we are currently facing is affecting all sectors and has unfortunately also had a profound impact on the potato sector: global demand – especially in the food service industry – has dropped significantly, which has had a negative impact on production and processing.”
So says the organizers of INTERPOM 2020, Europe’s most specialised indoor trade show for the entire potato industry.
They go on to confirm that hundreds of thousands of tons of potatoes will have to be used for other sustainable purposes, such as food, feed or green energy. The sector is looking forward though to a resumption of economic and social activities: “Hopefully we will soon be able to enjoy potatoes and potato products outdoors again with family and friends again,” the organizers say.
“The potato chain is also in great need of a meeting forum such as INTERPOM: a place where all the key players in the sector can get together in a safe environment to discuss the future in a post-coronavirus world. The 20th edition of INTERPOM will therefore go ahead, but opening days will be changed and the event will comply with the COVID-19 health and safety measures,” the organizers of the event say.
“So, we will now be happy to welcome you and yours on Monday 23, Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 November 2020 at Kortrijk Xpo.”
New trade show days: Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday
The event is now 6 months away and is almost fully booked (94%). Together with the sector, the organisation is therefore very much looking forward to going ‘live’ again this autumn: holding face-to-face meetings, discovering new developments and contributing to every initiative that will keep things moving in the potato sector and business in the post-coronavirus world.
The organisation will obviously take all the necessary precautions to facilitate contact and consultation between all parties involved in the potato chain in a safe environment.
However, in order to comply with the social distancing measures that will undoubtedly still be in place this autumn due to COVID-19, Kortrijk Xpo has decided – with the support of Belgapom and various stakeholders – to reschedule the event from Sunday-Monday-Tuesday to MONDAY-TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY.
Sunday, which is usually the busiest day of the trade show (with 9,000 visitors and many family visits), will thus be replaced by Wednesday. This will help reduce crowd density, which means visitors will be spread more evenly over 3 very enriching professional days.
Obviously, visitors will have to register in advance if they want to come on any one of the 3 days of the event. This will allow the organisers to limit the number of visitors per day, and to control the flow of visitors in accordance with the limits that will be in place in November 2020.
Trade show theme: ‘Let’s connect the potato chain in a post-coronavirus world’
The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the various links in the potato chain will undoubtedly be the main topic for discussion at INTERPOM this year. Every player in the sector has questions that remain unanswered, and is looking forward to discussing the new approach to be adopted in the post-coronavirus world.
INTERPOM will focus on this issue by means of a fringe programme including targeted seminars / webinars, on-site interviews, new digital tools etc.
Furthermore, innovative exhibitors will also receive special attention via an ‘Innovation showcase tour‘: an independent panel of experts will make a selection of relevant pioneering solutions on the market that provide significant added value to further improve the sustainability and professionalisation of the potato sector.
“After all, innovation, creativity and technological progress are the main keys to tackle crisis situations,” the organizers say.