IFFA 2019 – where tradition meets high tech
For six days, IFFA – The No. 1 for the meat industry – showed how the sector can get fit for the future. From the smart meat factory, packaging trends and food safety, via clean labelling, to the growing expectations on meat quality, IFFA exhibitors provided answers to the demands of the meat-processing industry and the
butchers’ trade. And this against the background of an excellent investment climate.
Photo – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH – Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1
For six days, IFFA – The No. 1 for the meat industry – showed how
the sector can get fit for the future. From the smart meat factory,
packaging trends and food safety, via clean labelling, to the
growing expectations on meat quality, IFFA exhibitors provided
answers to the demands of the meat-processing industry and the
butchers’ trade. And this against the background of an excellent
“IFFA has once again shown that it is not only one of our
longest-established trade fairs but also, above all, the global meeting
place for the sector. Seven out of ten visitors came from outside
Germany. The mood in the halls, on the exhibition stands and in the
aisles was fantastic”, summarised Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) of Messe Frankfurt. “At the same time, IFFA is
the family meeting place of the meat-processing sector – the meat
industry, the machine manufacturers, the packaging companies, the
spice suppliers, the trade and butchers. Many of these companies have
been in the hands of the same family for generations and IFFA is where
they meet to shape the future every three years.”
This was also confirmed by the results of a visitor poll conducted by
Messe Frankfurt: 96 percent of trade visitors gave IFFA a positive rating.
On the exhibitor side, too, there was also an outstanding echo with an
overall level of satisfaction of 92 percent.
Welcome to the future – innovations at IFFA
As the driving force of the sector, digitalisation put the focus on the smart
meat factory. Automation and software solutions make production and
processes more intelligent. Food safety continues to be an important
subject with the aim being to replace manual activities with automatic
processes. In this connection, exhibitors showed, for example, the fully
automatic portioning and placement of steaks or cold cuts in packaging
materials using feeders or industrial robots. Also important in the
packaging field are smart solutions to protect meat and meat products
whereby the spotlight is on resource conservation and sustainability in
terms of the energy efficiency of machines and process chains, as well
as climate-neutral packaging. All in all, the outlook for meat-industry
suppliers is positive with worldwide meat production expected to rise by
five percent per annum until 2027.
85 percent of trade visitors consider the economic outlook to be positive
and rate the current situation of the industry as being satisfactory to
Traditional butchers score with quality, origins and processing
The significance of meat in society remains very high. Traditional
butchers score with consumers by offering quality and regional products.
Accompanying this trend are new careers, such as meat sommelier.
Innovative sales concepts, such as online shops, clever catering ideas
and customer communications via the social media are making the
butchers’ trade fit for the future. Additionally, artisan skills of the highest
order could be seen at the international quality competitions of the
German Butchers’ Association (DFV). Moreover, trainees had the
opportunity to demonstrate their talents in the international youngbutchers
competition in which the best up-and-coming butchers from six
countries competed against each other.
The challenge: a shortage of skilled personnel
Machine manufacturers and the butchers’ trade have a challenge in
common: a shortage of skilled personnel and trainee problems.
Companies must invest more in digitalisation, automation and robot
technology to lift the load from employees and simplify all meatprocessing
stages – such solutions for companies of all sizes and kinds
were to be seen at IFFA. This was confirmed by 95 percent of trade
visitors who said they were very satisfied with the range of products and
services to be seen at the fair.
A journey into the future: from the butchers’ trade exhibition to the
world’s leading trade fair
IFFA was first held 70 years ago as an exhibition accompanying the
conference of the Butchers’ Association of the US Zone in Frankfurt and
has developed over the decades into the world’s leading trade fair for the
international meat sector. In 2019, 70 percent of trade visitors came from
outside Germany – the top ten foreign visitor nations are the Russian
Federation, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland, China, the Ukraine,
the USA, Austria and Australia. Particular growth was registered from
Latin America (+31 percent) and East Europe (+15 percent).
Facts and figures: IFFA 2019
● Around 67,000 visitors from 149 countries = +7 percent
(2016: 62,440 from 142 countries*) / Visitor internationality:
● 1,039 exhibitors from 49 countries (2016: 1,036 from 51 countries) /
exhibitor internationality: 62 percent
● 120,000 square metres of exhibition space (+ 9 percent)
* FKM certified
The next IFFA will be held from 14 to 19 May 2022.
Full details about IFFA at: www.iffa.com