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Fresh ideas for the fruit trade

From 7 to 9 February 2024, when the international fruit trade meets in Berlin, it is not only the leading international players who will be taking part. The trade fair will also give startups a platform, with an opportunity to network with established companies on the last day of the event in Hall 5.1. A panel of experts has chosen 20 startups from all the entries, with concepts that are particularly innovative and forward-looking. ”What I like most is how international the startups are“, says Alexandra Prümke, marketing manager for FRUIT LOGISTICA. “The 20 startups are from 14 different countries and five continents.”

The video shows Startup Day 2023.

More efficient supply chains

She sees new products and services for logistics and supply chains being one of this year’s key topics. Digitalisation has brought about fundamental change in this field, she says.

Many startups are presenting matching solutions, for example Cargo Produce from Austin, Texas. Importers and exporters can use their platform to digitally manage orders and documents, track containers and HGVs, and use temperature data and courier updates to adapt their planning.

Dockflow‘s services are used to handle sea freight. Designed by graduates from the University of Antwerp, the SaaS platform is based on blockchain technology and makes transporting and distributing see freight more efficient while reducing costs.

The software developed by the Berlin-based startup Holocene promises to optimise processes through standardisation. Freight papers are automatically checked and a warning is given if any information is missing.

Logistikbude is a startup that has designed a software infrastructure for returnable systems. Its SaaS solution can be used to efficiently manage pallets, containers and racks, reducing costs and saving resources.

Useeble‘s invention sounds a bit like James Bond: in future producers will be able to mark their produce with smart ink. Chemistry researchers at the University of Eindhoven spent four years designing ink resistant to ageing and temperature. This indicates when a product’s shelf life has expired. At FRUIT LOGISTICA 2024 the startup will present a scalable prototype.

Improving productivity

Alexandra Prümke sees greenhouse solutions being another key topic. Fotoniq is marketing special coating products for controlling temperature and light which create optimum growing conditions.

Gardin uses sensor technology and machine learning to help producers create an optimum plant environment. The plants inform the growers of their needs, so-to-speak. The results are healthy, tasty produce.

Greenhouses are also where Polybee‘s system is used, and employs drones and AI to reliably pollinate plants with great precision.

MiFood‘s robot facilitates rapid and efficient harvesting, automating it as well as storage so as to potentially reduce CO2 emissions and food waste. The Spanish company also sees this as a way to overcome labour shortages and reduce the risk of accidents.