Trainees Visit Fruit Logistica

Trainees Visit Fruit Logistica

Trainees Oliver Black, Adam Barham and Rory Dougall were lucky enough to attend Fruit Logistica 2020 during their secondment with Syngenta. We always like to encourage our Graduate Trainees to take advantage of opportunities to maximise their learning during their secondments. Opportunities like these are great for increasing your product knowledge, keeping abreast of trends and provide a great networking opportunity. Below is an account of their experience:


The World’s largest fresh produce trade show Fruit Logistica is held in Berlin each year hosting 3,200 exhibitors, 78000 visitors and nationals from 135 countries around the world. Adam Barham, Oliver Black and Rory Dougall attended this year as the three wise of men of MDS venturing to the Promised Land. We didn’t know quite what to expect when we arrived but immediately we got lost in the >130,000m2 fairground of fruit and veg grouped by countries and regions. Our morning started with a visit to Italy and noshing on pears and parmesan (surprisingly tasty) washed down with a glass of prosecco infused with radish (mixed opinions). After our delicious breakfast, we took a trip next door to the Netherlands where we sought out ornamental plants and asparagus. Thanks to our insightful secondments at Fleurie Nurseries, Maelor Forest Nurseries and Cobrey Farms, we could participate in some insightful, industry specific chat. We were able to go toe to toe with growers and supplier and it was good fun to share our stories and experiences from our MDS journey so far. On our globe-hopping tour we also took the time to visit some additional member companies including Compagnie Fruitiere, G’s, Del Monte and Fyffes.

The afternoon beckoned and we set out to explore the Future Zone, where innovation and technological leaps were the order of the day. Sustainability will increasingly become one of the main drivers our industry and it was great to get early exposure to some of the ideas that will shape our future. Compostable packaging using water based inks and adhesives, and ecolabels which disintegrate within 12 weeks are certainly both solutions which could make a big impact sooner rather than later. With the international focus of Fruit Logistica, the challenges of maintain the cold supply chain in less developed and remote parts of the world was an interesting topic which caught out attention. In response, one such company has developed modular, solar-powered cold rooms to sustain perishables in the most extreme environments.

As we are all currently on secondment at Syngenta, one of the major draws for us was to witness the unveiling of Syngenta’s eye-catching YoomTM Purple Tomato variety. The near decade-long project of breeding and branding paid off as it was voted the clear winner of the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2020 by the visitors of the event. More importantly, it also passed the taste test of our expert three man panel unanimously.

Safe to say we got our 5 a day and hopefully we’ll be back next year!