The most important international agricultural-food fair in Central Europe AGRA, for the 56th time opened its doors on August 25th in Gornja Radgona (Slovenia), on the crossroads of three borders. It highlighted young people in the agro-industry, generational renewal, digitization, innovation, know-how and networking. The exhibition area of the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia was held in the sign of the 120th anniversary of the Institute’s activities, celebrated this year. At the same time, special attention was paid to the presentation of the construction of the Center of Excellence for Agricultural Sciences SLO-ACE, which is planned in the near future, and the officially signed Letter of Commitment for support of SLO-ACE under the Horizon 2020 call “WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2” between Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia – Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises (CCIS-CAFE) and Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (KIS).
The AGRA Fair was visited by a number of ministers, ministerial and economic delegations from Europe and the world and it was traditionally opened by the President of the Republic of Slovenia in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia, ministers and ministerial delegations from the European Union, representatives of embassies and other top economic and political representatives from Slovenia, Europe and the World. Every year the AGRA Fair receives excellent media attention. It is accredited to over 230 journalists from Slovenia and abroad, who report on the fair, and from it, in over 800 journalistic contributions. Over 95% of its exhibitors assess the fair performance as successful, and this assessment also confirms the continuity of participation.
CCIS-CAFE is the main and the biggest representative organization for food industry in Slovenia. It represents branch interests of around 180 agricultural and food companies, registered in Slovenia vs. Slovenian governmental and non-governmental institutions/organisations, as well as in equivalent EU associations. The very close collaboration to the food industry rounds up the wide range of possibilities and highlights the association as a multiple purpose adviser. As representative of the national food industry association, CCIS-CAFE has an important role in managing the strategic development innovation partnership SRIP HRANA for the thematic area of Sustainable food production. CCIS-CAFE is being recognised as an important stakeholder in the local, regional, national and EU food innovation eco-system with strong outreach. CCIS-CAFE sees SLO-ACE as an important stakeholder in defining and developing research agenda for the specific needs of different businesses.
The main objective of SRIP HRANA (Strategic Research and Innovation Partnership “Sustainable Food”) is personal growth and development of the agro-food sector and consequentially the entire Slovenian economy. It aims to form modern and sustainable operations of chains, which will ensure uninterrupted supply with high quality food products on the domestic market as well as developmental breakthrough on the international market. Primary interest of SRIP HRANA is progress/growth/evolution/development of those in agricultural chain who exploit the natural and structural features, while ensuring the supply of products to their population. The SRIP HRANA partnership already associates the main Slovenian organizations in the field of agriculture and food, three largest Slovenian universities and four the most important research institutions in Slovenia, including the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, and other important organizations in the field of agriculture, food, nutrition and food technology.
There are 5 areas of joint development of SRIP HRANA action pillars:
– raw material quality management for sustainable vegetable food production and processing and for sustainable livestock production with an emphasis on risk management and reduction of environmental impact;
– optimization of agro-food processes based on automatization, digitalization and robotization;
– development and use of advanced technologies in the production and processing of food; development and use of advanced materials;
– ensuring food safety, detecting food fraud at all stages of food production and processing and
– monitoring changes in the habits of consumers and the perception of individual aspects of food (packaging, new technologies, advertising, food labels, etc.) in order to efficiently plan the development of new functional foods and study the effects of food and nutrition on human health and the role of the consumer in the food offer for further development.