There were more than 10,000 in attendance at the event organised by BolognaFiere, in collaboration with FederBio and AssoBio, with the support of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Tourism Policy, the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Land and Sea, the Bologna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Craft and Agriculture and the Bologna Provincial Order of Agronomists and Foresters.
The first in-person event to take place at the Bologna Exhibition centre following the Covid-19 lockdown, SANA RESTART confirmed its credentials as a reference point for professional operators and a public passionate about natural and organic products who did not want to miss an event that this year chose to focus on the key role of sustainability in driving the economic recovery.
The second edition of THE ORGANIC REVOLUTION, the General Overview of the Organic Sector involved organisations, institutions and companies and provided a picture of the prospects for the market in light of the commitments of the European Green Deal.
“It was important to take the first step and with SANA RESTART we have managed to do that. For BolognaFiere and for everyone involved, choosing to reopen meant taking on an important responsibility: to the market that needs an opportunity – and not just a symbolic one – to power the recovery and, in the case of the professional operators and visitors that have been attending for more than 30 years, a responsibility to provide the best possible conditions in terms of safety for the recommencement of in-person activities. We can claim to be very satisfied with the results that SANA RESTART enabled the companies to achieve, providing substance to the business community’s determination to drive the recovery,” said Gianpiero Calzolari, president of BolognaFiere.
The success of the event was ample reward for our decision to entrust the role of forerunner in opening in-person events to the natural and organic sector, which is strategic for the economy and decisive for the country’s sustainable development policies. In spite of the consequences of the lockdown, the sector presented to the Fair data confirming its significant growth. Organically farmed land now makes up 15.8% of total agricultural land, sales of organic products in the domestic market in 2020 (year ending August 2020) exceeded 4.3 billion euros, while also recording constant growth was the number of households that purchase organic products (88% of Italian households purchased at least one organic product in 2020).
These are important statistics for a sector that is taking on a strategic business vision and dimensions that correspond to the trends of constant growth. In order to respond to the requirements of the sector to create the best possible conditions for the distribution of organic products and to support exports to rapidly growing markets, BolognaFiere has signed important agreements, first of all with Alibaba.com oriented to the development of strong commercial synergies. The agreement sealed the collaboration between two leaders of their respective markets: BolognaFiere (organiser of trade fairs in Italy and around the world and one the leading exhibition centres in Europe, specialised in trade events, which each year involve the participation of 2 million national and international professional operators) and Alibaba.com (e-commerce platform, global B2B leader and part of the Alibaba Group, with more than 26 million active buyers in the marketplace in more than 190 countries). This is the first “all round” deal that combines the commercial opportunities offered by trade fair events (traditional and digital) with the potential of the e-commerce channel.
SANA RESTART opened with the second edition of THE ORGANIC REVOLUTION, the General Overview of the Organic Sector, promoted by BolognaFiere in collaboration with FederBio and AssoBio and the organisational secretary of Nomisma. During the event, which began with a speech by Teresa Bellanova, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policy, representatives of Italian and international companies, organisations and institutions discussed the opportunities relating to the commitments made at European level with the Green Deal. Alongside the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 are the goals of the Farm to Fork initiative, which aims for 25% of all farmland to be used for organic farming by 2030 and the use of pesticides and antibiotics to be halved by that same year.
Events, initiatives & Awards at SANA RESTART
SANA RESTART also included events organised in collaboration with historic partners of the Fair such as FederBio, AssoBio, the Cosmetici in Erboristeria di Cosmetica Italia Group, Assoerbe and SISTE, which promoted one of the most successful initiatives of this edition. The initiative in question was La via delle erbe, created by SISTE in collaboration with ALTEA, the association of herbal remedy technicians at the University of Turin and with BolognaFiere, with the aim of introducing the public, through an illustrated pathway, to the world of medicinal plants and spices that have been used by man for nutritional or health purposes for thousands of years, and that today more than ever, in light of current scientific knowledge, can offer numerous applications and functions. The theme selected for 2020 was particularly well received: “The Golden Herbs”: ginkgo biloba, helichrysum, saffron and turmeric.
SANA RESTART also launched the Free From Hub, dedicated to the presentation of trends and new innovations in the free-from segment. Initiatives included the presentation of the seventh edition of the World Gluten Free Beer Award, the world’s only accolade dedicated exclusively to gluten free beer, organised by Nonsologlutine in collaboration with the Free From Hub. The initiative, which saw the introduction of a new award category for the Best Organic Beer, also acknowledged the emergence of a new term “organic & free from”, a growing trend in the sector of drinks and particularly common among craft beers.
Another partnership was launched this year with Slow Food that presented a Slow Food Manifesto for good, clean and just wine to identify the key aspects for sustainable viticulture and winemaking that respects the “terroir”, according to a modern vision of the role of winemaker not only as a producer of wine but also as an active driver of an agriculture that promotes cultural, economic, social and ethical growth as well as harmony with the land. Outlining the idea of the Manifesto were expert agronomists, architects and sociologists, as well as Italian and foreign vigneron.
The Bio& Consumo Awards, organised by Tespo also met with an excellent response from both the organisers and the public. The companies involved in the initiative were able to exhibit the products entered for the award, divided into categories Food and Cosmetics, in an exhibition created inside the Exhibition Centre. The prize ceremony took place as part of SANA RESTART and generated significant interest and participation from companies and the public.
On the topic of wine, there were also extremely positive results for the first edition of the Bio Wine Festival, an event organised in partnership with SANA RESTART at the Volvo Congress Centre at Bologna Congressi: two days of tastings and meetings to discover the best examples of Italian excellence in organic, biodynamic, natural and vegan production. An event with a strong educational imprint organised the exhibitors based on their production methods in such a way as to offer the numerous visitors a captivating sensorial experience boosted by cultural support of the highest level. The exhibition was flanked by four meetings, led by professionals or international renown, to take an in-depth look at further facets of organic wines: organic sparkling wines, biodynamic wines, organic wines and natural wines.
The three days of the event laid the foundations for next year’s edition, which will take place in September 2021 with some specific preview events taking place in advance, such as the initiative SANA Organic Tea (organised in partnership with the In-Tè association). The initiative will enable participants to boost their knowledge of the product, its relevance and its thousands of years of culture that are also expressed in intriguing ceremonies relating to its consumption.
SANA 2021 is scheduled to take place in Bologna from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 September.