WorldFood Istanbul, the most fruitful food products & processing technologies exhibition in the world, was held on 25-28 November at TÜYAP Convention Congress and Fair Center receiving the support of T.R. Ministry of Trade, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB), İstanbul Cereals Pulses Oil Seeds and Products Exporters’ Association (İHBİR), Out-of-home Consumption Suppliers Association (ETÜDER), Marmara Regional Procurement Managers Platform (MARSAP), Turkish Cooks’ Association, Culinary Tourism Society (GTD), and World Gourmet Society The Food Tech Garage Event, which was included in the WorldFood Istanbul exhibition for the first time this year created new partnership opportunities with industry representatives by supporting domestic enterprises in agriculture and food and encouraged the entrepreneurs working in this work field.
Stating that the compliance to the safety measures are strictly followed at the WorldFood Istanbul held amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is first emerged in Turkey in spring and spread throughout the world in a very short time and still a major concern, WorldFood Istanbul Exhibition Director Semi Benbanaste continued his words as follows:
WorldFood Istanbul Moves Forward with ‘Safe Trade & 365-Day Hybrid Exhibition’ Strategy
“According to the results of the survey conducted by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry with 10,000 exhibitors and 9,000 responding companies, which were published in September, 2/3 of the exhibitors stated that the cancelled trade shows significantly damaged their business ties and their brand recognition in the target markets decreased. 50% of the exhibitors said that the cancellations of live events negatively affected their chances to create new business opportunities.
“When we look at WorldFood Istanbul from this standpoint, we can say that the exhibitors are very satisfied with the decision of holding the exhibition based on the feedback we received. As a result, in this period, we all experienced an example that shows trade shows serve as a way to overcome the stagnation in the economy. Moreover, during this period, we organized an exhibition based on efficiency while creating WorldFood Istanbul.”
WorldFood Istanbul Exhibition Director Semi Benbanaste also added that with “the Safe Trade, 365-Day Exhibition” strategy, they have hosted nearly 6000 visitors from 145 countries for 4 days at the WorldFood Istanbul. Stating that 29% of the visitors were coming from abroad, Benbanaste continued his words as follows:
“More than 90 buyers from 13 countries build new partnerships with exhibitors through the virtual trading platform, Hyve Connect. There was a 15% increase in the number of visitors per exhibitor compared to the previous year. We spent four days that meet the standards for efficiency in the next-generation approaches to the exhibition organization.”
This year, safe food production, safe access to food, implementation, and adoption of sustainable approaches in all dimensions of agriculture and food, the future of agriculture and food sector; domestic initiatives and innovative solutions they offer were highlights of the exhibition.
Chef Somer Sivrioğlu shared the tips to build a more sustainable kitchen in the event where a limited number of kitchen professionals attended.
The Future of Healthy Food Depends on How Well We Take Care of Soil and Smart Agriculture
At the first panel of the exhibition, “President’s Forum: Food Sector 2021 Agenda,” İHBİR Chairperson, Haluk Okutur and Chairman of ETÜDER, Melih Şahinöz presented a sector outlook regarding the current status of the sector. Şahinöz underlined that Turkey needs to specialize in vertical farming to increase its competitive power, while Okutur said that the first step to eliminating problems in the supply chain is making consumers more selective.
In the panel “Sustainable Agriculture To End World Hunger,” moderated by İrfan Donat, speakers included TurSEFF Business Development Manager Selen İnal, Business Development Manager of Önder Çiftçi Production Süleyman Bezirgan, and the General Coordinator of Anadolu Meraları Yasemin Kireç and they talked about the future of healthy food. In the panel where the importance of efficient use of resources and sustainability in agricultural activities underlined, it was also emphasized that sustainability via traceability is possible through precision agriculture and smart farming practices, and to achieve this, the first thing to do is restore the soil and take good care of it.
On the second day of the exhibition, the panel titled “Access to Food: Food Supply Chain During Times of Crisis,” considerations suggesting there were no shortages; however, consumers felt the need to stockpile food were shared. In the panel held in cooperation with d.ream Doğuş Restaurant Entertainment and Management and moderated by the Supply Chain & Procurement Director of d.ream, Volkan Yazar, The speakers included Marketing Director for Fruits, Vegetables, and Meat of Migros Ticaret A.Ş., Ekmel Nuri Baydur, Co-founder of Nebyan Doğal, Nazlı Uyanık Yıldız, and Co-Founder & CEO of Kök Projekt, which provides a 360-degree service plan to food initiatives that contribute to sector growth, Semi Hakim.
Listen to Somer Chef Carefully to Create A Sustainable Kitchen!
In cooperation with the Culinary Tourism Society, the “Food Master’s Class with MasterChef Somer Sivrioğlu” event was held for the first time this year with a limited number of exhibitors despite the high level of demand. In the event, Somer Chef and kitchen professionals focused on the projects they carried out, the new technologies they developed and the zero-waste initiative to make company processes sustainable, while searching for healthy and sustainable food. Drawing attention to the importance of improving sustainability in the kitchen, Somer Chef said that there could not be a better year for the sustainable and healthy food concept that he picked due to the pandemic and that such an organization was invaluable during the pandemic. At the end of the event, the exhibitors were awarded digital certificates.
In the first panel of the third day of the exhibition, “Are Safe Super Foods the New Trend?” and the panel titled “Are Businesses Ready for Audits and the New Era?” the subjects of food with low mineral content due to global warming, demand for a healthy diet, the increasing need for superfoods such as bee propolis, and whether superfoods are a trend were openly discussed It was shared that consumers prefer companies that carry out social responsibility activities more. In the panel moderated by Samet Serttaş, the President of Food Supplement and Nutrition Association, speakers were BEE’O Founding Partner, Food Engineer (MSc.), and Propolis Expert Aslı Elif Tanuğur Samancı, Founder of Xsights Research&Consultancy, Çiğdem Penn and Yayla Agro Health Coach & Nutrition Consultant Dietician Nihal Tunçer.
In the last panel of the day, titled “Are Businesses Ready for Audits and the New Era?” BRCGS Turkish Representative Evren Efe Kabagöz talked about the importance of food production and inspection processes that have gained momentum due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and he underlined that the risk is minimized with the improved food traceability thanks to blockchain technology.
The Best Plate Challenge Turkey
In the “Best Plate Challenge,” which is held in cooperation with the WGS (World Gourmet Society) together with the support of the Turkish Cooks Association, Favorite Dishes, and Culinary Tourism Society within the scope of WorldFood İstanbul, the exclusive partner of the challenge in Turkey, chefs coming from all around Turkey competed to present the best and the most creative plate.
Hotel/restaurant/café chefs who prepared and served the highest quality dishes with superior skills proved why their plates, which were prepared most effectively, were creative and they were unique chefs with the videos and photos they sent. The accepted videos of the chefs, who only used the products grown in Turkey, were submitted to the global community of WGS and the world-class jury selected by the WGS. The plates were assessed in 8 different categories and finalists were selected for each category.
The Winners of the “Best Plate Challenge Turkey”
Participants submitting an image file format:
- The winner of “Best Local Taste” Category: Mesut Solmaz
- The winner of the “Best Cooking Technique” Category: Adem Berk Kömür
- The winner of the “Best Use of Ingredients” Category: Ömer Alkaya
- The winner of the “Most Creative Plate” Category: Tuğçe Yılmaz
Photography Category, 2-Star Category Winner:
- The most professional Food Photographer: Ayten Saner
- Show Your Chef Persona!: Ayten Saner
Participants submitting a video file format:
- The Winner of the “Best Social Media Interaction” Challenge: Semih Keskin
- The winner of the “Most Entertaining Video” Challenge: Hakan Aykut
- The winner of the “Best Local Taste” Challenge: Ömer Alkaya
- The winner of the “Best Cooking Technique” Challenge”: Muhammed Koçak
- The winner of the “Best Use of Ingredients” Challenge”: Özcan Yeter
- The winner of the “Most Creative Plate” Challenge: (There are two winners: Hamza Mercimek and Alaaddin Kısa)
Video File Format – Star Category Winner:
- The Winner of “The most professionally made video” Challenge: Musa Can*
- The winner of “Show Your Chef Persona” Challenge: Musa Can