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Fruit Logistica 2011

This show, held in Berlin each year in mid-February, continues to go from strength to strength.

This year more than 56,000 visitors from over 130 countries visited the event to see almost 2,500 exhibitions from 84 countries.

The potato presence continues to grow each year and this year, for the first time, the Potato Council organised a stand with mini booths for a number of UK potato companies.

The Pommies contingent arrived with a very full list of customers to visit. The export season was in full swing and many East European and Russian companies had stands. There were also many floating visitors like ourselves who we frequently arranged to see, missed the time or couldn’t find the meeting spot and tried again.

The first day ended with an invite from the German Potato Industry to a buffet dinner and long speeches, but lots of German beer and wine.

Day two was spent criss-crossing the many halls in the exhibition centre visiting many customers and potential customers with Susanne striding out in front in excruciatingly high heels. This was followed by a visit to a famous Germanic Italian restaurant having queued for over an hour trying to catch a taxi from the exhibition centre. We were joined by a group of Russian customers who, after the meal, insisted on a few night caps. Susanne is believed to have arrived back at the hotel in time for breakfast.

My visit finished with a taxi ride to the airport and a driver who not only told me his life story as a Kurdish refugee from Southern Iraq, but played me music of him singing and performing on the car stereo and passed me his iPhone so I could watch the videos on “YouTube”…

…It was a long taxi ride.

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