- The Food Industry Suppliers Crossroads is held from Wednesday to Friday at the Parc Expo in Rennes.
- It will be the first post-Covid fair to be held in France.
- Screening stands will be set up on the site to test exhibitors and visitors.
It has been eight months since its aisles have welcomed the slightest visitor. Transformed into a vaccination center since mid-March, the Parc Expo de Rennes will return to more normal activity from this Wednesday with the opening of the Carrefour des Suppliers de l’Agro-Food Industry (CFIA). Postponed twice then finally canceled last year, the great gathering of food professionals will therefore be the first post-Covid show to be held in France. “We simply postponed the opening by one day to stick with the third stage of deconfinement”, underlines its director Sébastien Gillet.
🔛 Two and a half years without #CFIARennes, two and a half years without seeing each other … Today, impatience is stronger than ever. From June 9, only one watchword: 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐚𝐮 𝐂𝐅𝐈𝐀!
– CFIA Expo (@CFIAexpo) May 31, 2021
With the relaxation of the rules from this Wednesday, the show will therefore be able to benefit from the curfew shifted to 11 p.m. but above all accommodate up to 5,000 people in each hall. “The show is spread over eight halls so this gauge does not pose a problem for us,” he assures us. Created in 1997, the CFIA welcomes around 22,000 visitors each year. In view of the context, they will inevitably be a little less numerous this year, as will the exhibitors. “But we didn’t lose a lot on the way, around 5 to 7%,” says Sébastien Gilet. This clearly shows that the entire agrifood sector is eager to meet again ”.
“We need human contacts in our professions”
Before talking about business and signing contracts, the actors will however have to show a white paw on their arrival on the site and present a health pass or a negative PCR or antigen test dating less than 48 hours. Four screening stands will also be installed on site by the Regional Health Agency with the possibility of testing up to 1,200 people per hour. “All measures have been taken to guarantee the safety of exhibitors and visitors, there will be no risk in going to the CFIA”, assures the director, impatient to find the atmosphere of the show. “Digital has gained momentum in the event industry, but nothing replaces a face-to-face show, we need human contacts in our professions,” he underlines.
Marketing manager at Plastobreizh, a company based in Auray (Morbihan) and specializing in plastic packaging, Christelle Héno is also eager to find her customers. “I have participated in online events, it works well but it also has its limits,” she explains. It is nevertheless easier to meet face-to-face and to exchange in a precise manner with buyers, there are things which are more difficult to perceive during virtual exhibitions ”.