On November 18, 2022, the INC attended the 35th European Trade Meeting, organized by Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V., in Hamburg, Germany. The meeting brought together around 100 participants from various nut and dried fruit organizations and companies from 12 countries. Discussions focused on some of the most important topics for the nut and dried fruit industry such as sustainability, consumer trust, thoughts and perspectives from the sectors, EU-politics, food imports on the background of environmental challenges, and the importance of transparency in consumer communications.

In the first presentation on the thoughts and perspectives from the sectors, Mr. Jens Borchert, Chairman of the Board of Dried Fruits and Edible Nuts Section of the Waren-Verein, and Managing Director of Palm Nuts and More, brought up the importance of industry cooperation and keeping an open dialogue with regulators and policymakers to avoid unnecessary burdens on trade. Looking to EU-politics, Ms. Anna Boulova, Secretary General for FRUCOM highlighted upcoming regulations in the frame of the Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy, Due Diligence law, deforestation, Eco-Score, and sustainability claims.

Regarding food imports and the impact of climate change, Mario Jales, Economic Affairs Officer from the United National Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, gave insights on how increased temperatures have direct and indirect consequences on crop yield. He also mentioned how developing nations are the most vulnerable to climate change and trade is part of the solution. If trade is constrained, climate change will lead to even more welfare losses. Otto Schacht, Executive Vice President of Sea Logistics for Kuehne+Nagel also touched on carbon-neutral sea freight solutions. Kuehne+Nagel has committed to the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi) and transition to a zero-carbon business model.

The last discussions from the meeting focused on transparency, consumer trust, and communication. Constantinos Calios, Founder and CEO of KoRo Handels, GmbH talked about how transparency is a unique selling proposition for companies and how it can be leveraged to improve sales and customer communication. The meeting concluded with a panel discussion between Hauke Will, Head of Agricultural Production, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG (Ritter Sport); Marcus Wewer, Strategic Quality Assurance for Organic Private Labels, REWE Group; Louis Hinzen, Senior Manager Economic Affairs, FoodDrinkEurope; and Constantinos Calios. In the panel discussion, they highlighted that products need to be the center and how companies must adapt their consumer communication, as it has continuously changed over the last decades.

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