How to Respond to New Challenges?

Tatyana Piskareva
Head of the Directorate of Food Industry Fairs of AO “Expocentre”

Interview with the Head of the Directorate of Food Industry Fairs of AO “EXPOCENTRE” Tatyana Piskareva about the current situation, risks and trends, with the highlight on the upcoming trade fair “Agroprodmash-2022”.

— Tatyana Nazarovna, meeting you before the fair, we are once again forced to talk about new risks and difficult conditions for Russian business…
— The situation is indeed very complicated. However, we should bear in mind that despite the fact that several foreign companies serving the needs of the agricultural, food and processing sectors of Russian economy left and stopped working in Russia, the technological transfer of cutting-edge technologies in Russia will continue. Firstly, food safety is one of the main directions of maintaining Russian national security. Russian government together with the relevant ministries quickly engaged in the development and adoption of effective measures for the support of Russian business in order to provide an uninterrupted and affordable supply of a wide range of foods to the population. The government support triggered the continued intensive development of domestic machine building and other companies serving the needs of Russian agricultural sector and food processing companies. Secondly, Russian food business over the past years of development and sanction restrictions learned to adapt to the changing international situation by rearranging the supply channels and logistics due to the emerging problems with the import of raw materials, equipment, accessories and consumables. That’s why one of the main competencies of “Agroprodmash-2022” is the updating and building of partnerships.

— As you know, Russian food processing industry meets most of its needs using foreign equipment and consumables. The main suppliers of such equipment and consumables to Russia are big European manufacturers, particularly German and Italian companies. “Agroprodmash” has always gathered the leading European brands. Are there any complications with the foreign exhibitors?
– It’s still too early to say, but the number of the national collective exposition is likely to change this year. Nonetheless, Russian food equipment market is already quite mature: Russian companies have long been successfully presenting the products of the leading European manufacturers, many of which, as we see, make every effort to keep their strong relationships with Russian customers. It’s very important for them to reassert their market position, in particular through participation at “Agroprodmash”. Many of our traditional participants have already booked their spot at the fair, and there are also many newcomers. We expect the participants as always to present their modern solutions at the exhibition, including foreign companies.

— How is the fair preparation going just three months before its start?
— The trade fair preparation is going very well. We see a positive trend in such salons as “APM Meat Production”, “APM Poultry Production”, “APM Packing Equipment”, “APM Bakery Production” and “APM Confectionery Production”, where the foreign representation is traditionally high. “APM Ingredients” salon shows a good trend too. It will be located at the pavilions 3 and 7, as always. The positions of Russian companies are particularly strong here. Now, when Russian food processing companies are facing the problems with consumable supply, for example, there’s a risk of deficit of food wrap, casings or packaging materials for dairy production, they are trying to shift to the manufacturers from those countries which haven’t supported the sanctions, and they are also looking for new supply channels. And this is not easy. That’s why we hope that the participants at “Agroprodmash-2022” will be able to offer Russian food industry good alternatives for a wide range of products. For example, it is already obvious that there will be many participants in the sausage casing sector. We also expect that the exposition of the salon “APM Packing Equipment” will be widely represented not only by equipment but by packaging materials as well. We also see that many Russian manufacturers are strengthening their positions. This situation opens up new opportunities for many of them. Over the past years, Russian companies that were proactive and invested in development began delivering and exporting excellent products. Now they have a chance to get noticed and occupy a niche in the domestic market. Those participants who will present Russian products at “Agroprodmash” understand that very well, including manufacturers of equipment for the dairy, meat, bakery and confectionery industries, packing machines, automation tools and cross-sectoral equipment. All traditional 19 salons will be presented in the pavilions 2, 3, 7, 8 and “Forum”.

— Due to the imposed sanctions, the representatives of Russian business couldn’t participate at the leading European trade fairs. Do you think that “Agroprodmash-2022” will be able to show the latest trends in food processing equipment and technologies like before?

— We hope it will. I am sure that this year “Agroprodmash” will once again present an exposition that includes all modern technologies and solutions for the food industry, a wide range of machines and equipment, and technological solutions for companies from different sectors of the food industry. The exhibition will also give the participants an opportunity to make a statement, remind of themselves and present their latest solutions at the largest international trade fair. In the current situation, our exhibition will attract the representatives of all sectors of Russian food industry, allowing the professional audience to get answers to the questions of interest, find joint solutions in terms of logistics and finances, discuss the relevant development plans, see new equipment and face up to new challenges.