Robinson Agri, Debbane Freres, Lama Foods, Natagri, Karma Lebanon, Zakka Technologies, Biomass, and Rawda farms are the eight Lebanese agribusinesses and members of the QOOT Cluster who represented the Lebanese agricultural scene in the yearly MACFRUT Fair in Rimini, Italy, held from September 7-9, 2021.
Participating in MACFRUT
QOOT Cluster collaborated with the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), to support members of the QOOT Cluster to participate in the MACFRUT Fair, a yearly event that focuses on input supplies, fresh produce, bio-solutions, packaging, and machinery. The fair was an opportunity for the members to benefit from acquiring new knowledge of the market and trends, meeting new partners, and gaining visibility on an international scale.
Participants in this exhibition benefitted from the opportunity to see the latest technologies in the agri-food sector, and to foster new business collaborations and linkages such as meeting with agricultural importers and exporters in the European market.
Hammam Samad from Lama Foods, a Lebanese company that exports a wide range of high-quality Lebanese fruits, vegetables, dried fruits and authentic food products to all countries in the GCC region, stated that the “QOOT Cluster is playing a crucial role in enhancing and merging collaborative hands and powers to spread Lebanon’s voice farther. Lebanon, through the QOOT Cluster, will surely bounce back very soon.” He added: “I benefited from two main aspects: the machinery that Italian companies are producing to automate and digitalize the production process, as well as the packaging material and prototypes available, which will allow us to enhance the shelf-life and the quality of the product.”
In his turn, Khaled Sinno, CEO and founder of Karma, wholesalers & exporters of fresh fruits & vegetables explained that “It was very useful to be updated on innovative technologies related to packaging, packaging material, packaging equipment, and the latest improvements in terms of agricultural best practices.”
“We joined QOOT Cluster a year ago and since then, the cluster was able to provide us with networking, events, exposure, visibility, access to information, access to technology, access to knowhow,” explained Georges Gharios, founder of Rawda Farms, a family-owned citrus grove founded in 1971 and located in Akkar-North Lebanon.
The aim of QOOT Cluster’s delegation is to foster the Lebanese – Italian relationship and navigate potential collaboration while empowering the agri-food sector in Lebanon.
QOOT Cluster members were accompanied by the regional representative of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in Beirut, Mr. Claudio Pasqualucci, and the Ambassador of Lebanon to Italy, Her Excellency Ms. Mira Daher, who participated with the Lebanese delegation in meetings with the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (IADC), Mr. Mario Beccia, and Mr. Aldo Cera.
During these meetings, the Lebanese agribusinesses had the chance to explain the sector’s challenges and explore potential solutions. Means to support the agricultural and agri-food sector in Lebanon were also discussed such as providing valuable linkages with Italian distributors and retailers, to introduce the Lebanese produce to the Italian market.
About the MACFRUT event
MACFRUT is an international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable industry, focusing on Fresh Produce, Field & Post Harvest. The international Fair is a B2B exhibition for the professional sector and business leaders from across 90 countries. The fair brings together major industry players, the latest innovation, market trends, and offers a unique business platform to allow participants to expand their network of business contacts and enter new markets.