Cibus Connecting Italy, the two-day Italian agri-food event, ended today with very positive data on exhibitors and visitors, testifying to the vitality and creativity of a sector that has survived the pandemic period unscathed and is outlining the better strategies to deal with the problems caused by inflation.

A high volume of business fully satisfied the exhibiting companies. The success of this edition of Cibus Connecting Italy was also favored by the new exhibition context defined by the agreement between Cibus and Tuttofood, signed by Fiere di Parma and Fiera Milano.

An extraordinary result which confirms the energy and vitality of the Italian agro-food sector; even in a period of dramatic volatility, our companies show themselves to be creative and attractive by launching increasingly contemporary products on the market - commented Antonio Cellie, CEO of Fiere di Parma - They were two particularly intense days where international operators were able to touch the new of food&beverage dedicated to the various channels - from large-scale distribution to food service - and in the various categories - from local products to supplements. A multi-channel and multi-sector edition of Cibus that projects Fiere di Parma towards the new cycle that will see it involved, from next May, also in the organization of TuttoFood .

Among the novelties of this edition of Cibus, the area dedicated to fresh fruit and vegetables and manufacturing companies, with the aim of comparing the fresh supply chain with national and international markets.

The consumption of fruit and vegetables in Italy was discussed at the conference "Nudging for Conscious Shopping: new avenues of experimentation to support the consumption of fruit and vegetables". Against a 15% increase in prices, there was a drop in volume consumption of fruit and vegetables of around 7%. The lower middle classes suffer the most, on whose defense the country's economic balance depends. Starting from this evidence, Davide Pellegrini and Silvia Bellini, professors of Marketing at the Department of Economics and Business Sciences of the University of Parma, offered a new operational key to understanding, which identifies the large-scale retail trade as the key player for promoting concrete consumption of fruit and vegetables, for the benefit of a healthy diet.
Another conference, entitled "PDO and PGI: a winning opportunity for fruit and vegetables", organized by the magazine My Fruit, underlined that PDO and PGI fruit and vegetables are sought after and recognized as real quality brands and the instrument of Geographical Indications is very useful for enhancing production and supporting consumption.
In the Fruit & Vegetables area it was also highlighted that the optimal consumption of fruit and vegetables recommended by the Ministry of Health, in compliance with the WHO guidelines to reduce mortality caused by chronic diseases, is five portions per day
Horticulture is also being put to the test by climate change, as reported during the conference "The impact of climate change on fruit and vegetable crops". Above all, the long periods of drought, the sudden changes in temperature and the increasing diurnal temperature ranges require the adaptation of cultivation techniques and cultivation times, but also the search for varieties suitable for the changing climate.

Cibus, as per tradition, has given ample space to Start Ups, with a dedicated area and thematic workshops. The "Networking Day" conference, organized by Le Village by CA Parma, in collaboration with the Crédit Agricole Italia Group, addressed the topic of investments in startups in the AgriFoodTech sector. Following the speeches of the speakers, the startups Krill Design, Nutras, Linkify Affiliation, La Orange and Genuine Way, coming from the various Italian Villages, had the space to present their "Pitch" on stage to a selected audience that includes Business Angels and some professional figures sensitive to the world of innovation, with moderation by Riccardo De Sutti, Startup Manager of the Village by CA Parma.

It also participated in Cibus Connecting "Plug and Play", the largest Open Innovation platform in the world (born in Silicon Valley and now present in 26 countries, including Italy) which on the one hand connects startups with the largest companies in the world and on the other it invests and promotes investments to help them grow.

Another key theme of this edition of Cibus is sustainability, which was discussed at the "Cibus 4 Sustainability" conference.
"Good practices for the sustainable supply chain" presented a vertical study on the theme of sustainability, conceived in collaboration with PwC Italia and moderated by Andrea Meneghini, associate founder of GDONews. The meeting was an opportunity for open discussion between production and distribution companies to analyze the state of the art of sustainability processes internally structured by companies in the agri-food sector.
The theme of sustainability was also touched upon during the Confagricoltura conference "New skills for the sustainable transition in agri-food", in collaboration with Federalimentare, Infor Elea Academy, University of Teramo, University of Turin. The European project I-RESTART will be useful for the sustainable transition of food & beverage, which aims at defining an innovative learning method, based on short modules aimed at providing knowledge on the key factors that will shape the professional figures of the future, especially in the green and digital.

Nutraceuticals was one of the topics of Cibus Connecting Italy. Protein is an underrated nutrient in the daily diet. Most of the population does not get the adequate daily requirement. This precious nutrient offers numerous benefits when appropriately incorporated into everyday life. Not only does it promote tissue regeneration, but it also has a positive role in promoting better glycemic control. This is what emerged in the conference "Proteins and Daily Wellbeing", which saw the participation of Elena Casiraghi, scientific communicator and researcher at the University of Pavia.
The nutritional properties of meat and the importance of this food in a balanced diet were illustrated in the conference "The future of nutraceuticals between business and health" with the speeches of Dr. Susanna Bramante, PhD agronomist and scientific popularizer, Prof. Gabriele Costantino, director of the Department of Food and Drug Sciences of the University of Parma and Sonia Raule, president of Med is Veg. According to Dr. Bramante, "replacing meat with cereal-based substitutes risks leading to a deterioration in the quality of the diet, in particular due to a lower adequacy as regards more bioavailable essential nutrients in meat and animal products, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, zinc, calcium, iodine and iron. Loss in nutraceutical value".
At the Italian Food Village of Cibus there was talk of "Circular Agrinutraceuticals: ingredients for health from the by-products of the agri-food chains". INSAFE - Innovation for Sustainabiity in Food Systems And Economy was presented at the meeting, a scientific event and exhibition totally dedicated to the production of supplements with a view to sustainability. Indeed, in the circular economy model, the life cycle of a product must be extended with respect to the sole use for which the product was originally intended and the bioactive substances of which it is composed must be reintroduced into the production cycle. This allows the reduction of waste and its valorisation.

Ample space is given to the Out of Home sector, to which Cibus has dedicated the Horeca area The Hub, powered by Dolcitalia. Some of the protagonists of this area took part in the conference "The challenge of quality and the rallying call of the distribution sector: communication of value and sustainable production". A meeting, developed in collaboration with CIC - Cooperativa Italiana Catering moderated by Roberto Santarelli, of Tuttopress Editrice. Through the testimonies of some protagonists of the Away From Home channel, the spotlights were turned on the challenges that the Away From Home is facing today in response to a profound evolution in consumption.

The National Agrifood Cluster CL.AN intervened on the support to Italian food companies, which organized the workshop “Cluster CLA.N. and Pnrr Initiatives: Excellence in Support of the Development of the Italian Agri-Food System”. Two initiatives, financed by the PNRR, AGRITECH and ONFOODS, aim to support the development of the Italian agri-food system.

Attached: many visitors to the Cibus Innovation Corner. Upcoming appointments at Fiere di Parma: Mecfor, mechanical and subcontracting fair from 23 to 23 May; the SOLIDS exhibition, the professional exhibition for the technologies of granular materials, powders and bulk solids from 14 to 15 June.