In September, at the International Exhibition Centre in Ķīpsala, the most important Baltic food industry exhibition “Riga Food 2021” took place in green mode, demonstrating the rapid development of the food industry, offering new, innovative products and efficient technologies.
Although the organisation of the exhibition under green mode created a number of challenges and restrictions related to the entry of foreign participants, crossing borders and receiving services, the event gathered an international audience.
At “Riga Food 2021”, 300 companies from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Austria, Moldova, Italy, Poland, Canada, Spain and Ukraine, a total of 15 countries, presented their products and services.
At the exhibition “Riga Food 2021”, visitors could visit the national joint stands of 6 countries - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Spain and Ukraine. Italian, Moldovan, Spanish and Ukrainian wines, which were widely represented at the exhibition this year, attracted great interest.
Over three days, the exhibition was attended by 14,720 people, 10% of whom were foreign visitors. Registered professional visitors came from 20 countries. Store chains from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were widely represented.
“I am glad that the exhibition in green mode allowed people to communicate freely, discover new tastes and build successful cooperation. Both participants and visitors welcomed the fact that they were once again able to fully enjoy the exhibition without masks, as it was before the pandemic. We are pleased with the great interest of food industry professionals. Once again, we were convinced of Latvian ingenuity, creativity and business intuition - local companies presented new, innovative and competitive products and services, which caused great resonance in the media as well,” says Rolands Nežborts, manager of “Riga Food”.
The opening ceremony of “Riga Food 2021” was attended by Edvards Ratnieks, Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture, Antonina Nenaševa, Deputy Chairman of Riga City Council City Property Committee, Viesturs Tīle, Chairman of the Board of the International Exhibition Company BT 1, and Rolands Nežborts, Manager of “Riga Food”. The opening ceremony was also honoured by the ambassadors and diplomats of Moldova, Ukraine, Italy and other embassies.
After the opening, the winners of the competition of excellent quality food products - milk, packaging, honey - were awarded, who won the gold, silver and bronze medals of “Riga Food”.
Latvian producers together
This year, the meat house “Ādaži”, the meat processing company “Nākotne”, the largest potato starch producer in the Baltics - “Aloja Starkelsen”, the spice producer “Valežs”, dairy producer “Jaunpils pienotava”, and the manufacturer of sweets and other delicacies “Rāmkalni Nordeco” worked together and offered their novelties at the Latvian national joint stand. In turn, the wide offer of Latvian bread and confectionery producers was presented by the members of the Latvian Bakers’ Association - “Dona”, “Lāči”, N. Bomja bakery “Lielezers”, “Hanzas maiznīca”, “Saldus maiznieks”, LPB JSC “Priekules maiznīca”, SIA “Puratos Latvia” (“Pūre” products) and “Orkla Group” company “Lanordija”.
For the second year in a row, the products of Latvian fishermen could be seen together at the joint stand of the fishing industry, where the products were presented by the holding group “Gamma-A” company “Līcis-93”, “Karavela” with the brands “Kaija”, “Verģi” and “Sudrablīnis”, which presented the new ready-made meal’s brand “Express Gourmet”. Nutritionists Lolita Neimane, Andris Brēmanis and Atis Tupiņš also came to the food exhibition to get acquainted with the richness of fish products. They admitted that small sprats are not properly valued in the Latvian market.
Traditionally, special attention has been paid to “Riga Food” innovations in the food industry. In the exposition “Innovation for Food”, the visitors of the exhibition were the first to learn and taste products that are not yet in stores, to participate in the development of recipes, as well as to taste and express their thoughts on the desired tastes and packaging of a new product.
For example, Jānis Dunkers, a 2nd year student at Liepāja University, and Anete Zauka, a student, presented an innovative fruit and vegetable dryer at the exhibition and met their first potential buyer. Everyone interested could taste the “Furious Foods” vegan burger with beef flavour and vegan mayonnaise, “Mītavas čiekurs” snacks for immunity - chocolate with pinecones, soft drink “Ingvertonic”, “OBDO” non-alcoholic gin and many other interesting products.
Kitchen conversations and tasting of the most popular beers in the living room of “Riga Food”
For two days, “Chefs’ Club” were the hosts of the “Riga Food” living room - well-known chefs, food industry specialists and entrepreneurs showed their skills in the open-plan kitchen and cosy living room. In the Lounge it was not only possible to take part in conversations and be inspired by personal success stories, but also taste new flavours and get recipes for delicious dishes. Guests of the Lounge were Svetlana Riškova, president of the “Cooks’ Club”, Inga Āriņa-Vilne, owner of the “Soira” cheese factory, Pēteris Gobzemis, owner of the ostrich farm “Nornieki”, Jēkabs Naumovs, chef of the Children’s Clinical University Hospital, Artūrs Arnicāns, author of the “Baltic Chefs” project; host of the cooking show “La Dolce Vita” Roberto Meloni and others also visited the living room.
On the third day of the exhibition, the president of the Latvian Bartenders’ Federation Raitis Akerblūms took over the stage, aka living room, turning it into the World Beer Lounge, where “Riga Food” visitors could enjoy more than 25 of the world’s most popular beers.
The next international trade exhibition for food, beverages, food processing, technologies, packaging, innovations, public catering, Horeca and shop equipment and services “Riga Food 2022” will take place for three days - from 8 to 10 September 2022 in the International Exhibition Centre in Ķīpsala, Riga.
“Riga Food” is organised by the International Exhibition Company BT 1 in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics, Latvian Technological Centre, “EEN Latvia”, Latvian Chefs’ Club, and “Diplomatic Economic Club Latvia”.
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