iba global bakery and confectionery trade fair postponed until 2023 due to pandemic

Organisers of the iba global bakery and confectionery event have confirmed the event will not proceed in Munich, Germany as planned this autumn, owing to ongoing coronavirus pandemic conditions, reports Neill Barston.

Restrictions on travel and concerns expressed within the industry were cited as the key reason for its postponement, with the event now not due to be held for a further two years, next set to be staged between 23-26 October 2023, owing to a packed global event schedule shaping up for 2022.

While plans for this October’s event had been well advanced, industry observers have noted latest news emerging from Germany regarding concerns over a potential third wave of coronavirus.

This led to the country’s government stating that it is considering re-introducing lockdown measures, meaning the environment for staging large global events remains uncertain under such conditions. The event was last staged in 2018, and attracted strong attendance from exhibitors and visitors from around the world.

As Confectionery Production reported last week, representatives from across the industry attended iba’s virtual Connecting Experts event just last week, with a host of sector experts reporting on the impact of the pandemic, and offering insights into present equipment ranges, solutions and focusing on how businesses have adapted their practices around the world in the past year.

In a statement on its decision, organisers said: “The world’s leading trade fair for the baking and confectionery industry will not be able to go ahead as planned from 24th to 28th of October 2021. In light of the uncertain forecasts, in particular in terms of the key success factor that is internationality, in close consultation with the owner and the representatives of the trade fair, GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen has taken the decision to move the event to 2023.

“Due to the uncertain development of the pandemic with continuing global travel restrictions, as well as a busy international trade fair schedule for the coming year, a staging of iba in 2022 is assessed as not advisable for all parties involved.

“Though iba enjoys great popularity despite the continuing COVID-19 crisis, the current uncertainties, especially against the international background of the trade fair, are reflected in many discussions in the industry.”

Dieter Dohr, Chairman of the Board of Management of GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen, added: ‘We are sensing growing uncertainty in the industry over the question of whether to hold the trade fair in the autumn of 2021. We take our customers’ concerns very seriously, especially when it comes to their need to plan ahead. The continuing lack of a global opening perspective and the travel restrictions that will remain in place leave us no other option but to postpone iba 2021.

The goal is to be able to present iba 2023 in its usual dimension with the same strength and quality. We are aware of our responsibility as a leading trade fair and, with today’s decision, we are ensuring that the industry will be able to plan both at an early stage and in the long term. We would like to expressly thank all those involved for their support over the past months and for placing their trust in us and the iba brand.’

As the representative of the entire community of exhibitors, the Advisory Board explicitly welcomes the decision to postpone, even though it has been a difficult one to make. Dr Krüger, Chairman of the iba Advisory Board, added that it supported the decision, as much as it was to be regretted.

Michael Wippler, President of the German Bakers’ Confederation added: ‘It is very regrettable that iba, as we love and know it, cannot take place this autumn. There is no substitute for being able to attend trade fairs in person and we all long for a face-to-face get-together, especially since there is a great need for exchange and an industry get-together. As bakers, we are optimists by nature and we are already looking forward to catching up with each other in person at the iba 2023.’

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