The first 'Freskon' International Exhibition on Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, held from 23 to 25 April at Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre, exceeded all expectations. The goal of TIF-Helexpo to promote 'Freskon' as a point of reference for the sector in the broader region of South-East Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean  was achieved. The total number of trade visitors that visited the event came to 4,155, of whom 600 were foreign, coming from over 36 countries around the world. In fact, they include the 120 hosted buyers invited by TIF-Helexpo. The number of exhibitors came to 200.

The 'specific weight' of foreign representatives was truly impressive, given the fact that the overall turnover of the foreign hosted buyers coming into contact with Greek exhibitors amounts to 3.2 billion Euros, which demonstrates the importance of the event and the 'players' it managed to attract. There were over 2,500 business meetings held, with numerous Greek exhibitors noting that they had never achieved contacts of this calibre before.

These quantitative and qualitative figures underlined the role that Freskon was called upon to play as a strategic link between the Greek production of fresh fruit & vegetables and the international markets, major foreign retailers and supranational distribution networks. This first major event demonstrated the enormous prospects of Freskon in the best possible way. After this year's valuable experience, the event will return even more dynamically in 2016.

As regards the degree of achievement of the initial goals set by the Exhibitors for their participation in Freskon, the general picture indicates very good and good satisfaction of these goals. More specifically, Exhibitors achieved high satisfaction levels in regard to the goal of promoting their enterprise, as 75.8% considered it very good and good (50.5% and 25.3%, respectively). The goal of information (for the Exhibitors to receive and provide information) also exhibits high satisfaction percentages, with 70.6% of Exhibitors considering it very good and good.

The parallel events of 'Freskon' were also very successful and included a special section named 'FreshCon Market', where 18 top international retailing chains met with Greek exhibitors and explored fields of cooperation with each other.

There was great interest in the International Cherry Congress, which attracted over 600 participants from around the world and achieved significant representation of all the cherry-producing countries of the Mediterranean. During the Congress, the international cherry market was mapped and focus was placed on the Greek cherry and its dynamism.