From the left to the right Ángel Amador, Nemesio de Lara and Manuel Juliá
The sixth edition of the Trade Fair has been presented today at La Merced Convent, the same by the President of FENAVIN, Nemesio de Lara, accompanied by Ángel Amador, Institutional Coordinator, and by Manuel Juliá, Director of the Trade Fair
FENAVIN 2011 will start its activity on the upcoming May 10th with two very ambitious objectives: to promote, even more if possible , the potentialities so that the offer and the demand can come together and to analyze and propose new ways of giving consumption of wine the prestige it deserves, in particular at a period in time in which the economic climate and the scarce consumption of wine on the part of the Spanish people -18 liters per capita in 2010, according to the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs- reflect the negative moment that the sector is enduring.
During the press conference held today Nemesio de Lara, President of the National Trade Fair on Wine and of the Provincial Government of Ciudad Real, in the company of the Trade Fair's Institutional Coordinator, Ángel Amador and the Director of the Trade Fair, Manuel Juliá, explained all that is to be known about the tools that the organization is getting ready in order to confront both challenges, apart from acknowledging FENAVIN's role, "which, in my opinion, has been decisive of the increase seen in the exporting of the wines of the region and province, as well as in the generation of added value thanks to the driving force exercised by bottling".
As detailed by De Lara, the scenario that is put forward by the organization in order to generate business meetings counts with 1193 wineries that will be bringing in wines corresponding to all of the Spanish denominations of origin, "a slight increase in comparison with the 1186 wineries we had in 2009", highlighting the presence of about 50% of the Castellano-Manchego wineries, of which 45% are from Ciudad Real, which means that 90% of the province's wineries will be represented at the trade fair, "information that is of utmost importance for us", he recognized.
As he recounted, to date a total of 104 wineries from the entire Spanish territory are placed on the waiting list, "this due to a lack of space, as the available space, distributed into eight pavilions, is still 29,525 meters. And despite the fact that many wineries would like to have their individual stand - he pointed out - instead they have decided to ensure their presence by grouping into stands". As a curiosity, he highlighted that from among the wineries that will be present we will have Bodegas Montecastro, property of which belongs to several very well known figures, among them Julio Iglesias and Pedro J. Ramírez, or Bodegas Iniesta, from the Albacete location of Fuentealbilla, a project promoted by the F.C. Barcelona player Andrés Iniesta.
In as far as the buyers are concerned, which represents the other great pillar of the 'FENAVIN Method' in order to promote business, this year specialized professionals will be coming in from fifty-four countries, all this handled by the organization as explained by FENAVIN's President. Hence it is expected that almost 700 buyers from each and every last corner of the planet will be coming in to work at the Business Center, "all this with the help of the Ciudad Real Chamber of Commerce and the IPEX (Institute for Foreign Promotion of Castilla-La Mancha)".
To be added to this figure are all those professionals coming in on their own, which according to the rate of credentials being issued for this edition, will almost reach 2000, representing a total increase of 27% in the number of foreign professionals.
The Contact with… program for national buyers, an important novelty
On the other hand De Lara also highlighted one of the trade fair's greatest novelties, which will be the Contact with… program for national purchasers, a computer tool that has worked beautifully in past editions in order to establish contacts between the exhibitors and the foreign purchasers and that this year aspires to attract 3000 distributors and purchasers that will be handled by the organization, apart from those coming in on their own, which could represent a figure close to 4500.
Hence business expectations generated among national wineries and Spanish and foreign importers are indeed great, as the increase in the presence of both figures foretells of a significant escalation in the number of commercial contacts, which in the previous edition stood at an average of 33 contacts a day per winery. "According to these figures, our desire is to surpass 127,000 commercial contacts in this edition" assured De Lara, who also underlined other values, such as the 14% growth in the number of brands that are present in the Wine Gallery and that 2000 national journalists and 500 international journalists are expected to be working at the Trade Fair. "The Trade Fair continues to represent a magnificent platform for encounters between the offer and the demand and we are still amazed at how well our trade fair is accepted amongst the wineries".
To enhance the prestige of consuming wine, FENAVIN's second great objective
Apart from the fundamental objective with which the organization originally devised the trade fair, that is to generate business for the participating wineries, this time FENAVIN also wants to focus on another basic challenge involving the sector's future viability, which as acknowledged by its President, is to enhance the prestige of consuming wine, reviving its historical connections with cultural, health and sports values and all this by applying indirect marketing.
According to his words, "the quality of wines is increasingly better around the world, but since the offer is so great the price is no longer a differentiating tool. In this sense we must communicate the importance of our wines and a lot of money must be invested by the wineries and cooperatives, money that they currently don't have, which is where FENAVIN's strength is to be found, precisely for those who do not have the necessary resources to enhance the prestige of their wine".
In tune with this line he also explained that "the organization is interested in uniting the image of wine with the country brand, so that the brand Spain can serve as an umbrella for the national wines. We are interested in insuring that the debates that arise in our forum will spread the need to use the Spain brand wine as an umbrella, as is already the case in countries with a great wine producing culture, such as the USA, where differentiated wine lists exist, with Italian wines, Australian wines; but not Spanish wines, which usually appear in the Others section".
So, following up on this idea the organization is preparing more than seventy activities that, apart from training sessions and conferences on how to improve exports to different countries or on the latest tendencies in marketing and new technologies to optimize wine sales, also include different spaces in which important figures from the world of literature, sculpture, painting; sports, health and the media will transmit their passion for the culture of wine and the added value that moderate consumption can contribute to the life of the Spanish people.
Hence the reason why important writers are expected, as is the case with Carmen Posadas, Espido Freire, Clara Sánchez, Luis Landero, Luis Antonio de Villena, Ana Rosetti, Marta Rivera de la Cruz, Dionisio Cañas, Rosa Regás and Antonio Colinas, among others; actors such as Concha Cuetos, Manuel Galiana, María Fernanda D'Ocón or Paco Valladares; singers such as Loquillo, journalists of recognized prestige such as Juan Cruz, José Ribagorda, Marta Robles, Nativel Preciado and first rate athletes who will be participating in the diverse proposals during the three days of the trade fair.
Important names from the international world of wine will also be sharing their knowledge at different activities that will take place on these dates. This is the case with Robert Joseph, considered one of the fifty most influential personalities in the world of international wine, founder of the International Wine Challenge, who will be throwing light on the necessary keys to know the tastes of the consumers in different countries; or David Seijas, Sommelier for El Bulli, and author of '111 vinos para 2011' (111 Wines for 2011), who will be talking about the criteria applied by Ferrán Adriá's team when choosing wines to accompany the surprising dishes they propose; or Robin Goldstein, a revolutionary American blogger who fights against the ratings advocated by the great global gurus in his web The Wine Trials, wagering as he does on simpler wines… and far less expensive wines.
Also, the Manager of the Ciudad Real Hospital Complex, Jesús Fernández Sanz, will be leading various encounters with recognized professionals representing different medical specialties under the slogan Wine and Health, which will cover the latest studies made on the benefits of consuming wine.
It is with these personalities and with other figures and activities that FENAVIN wants to encourage the population to recuperate the presence of wine at the table as an essential companion for health and enjoyment, always, of course, consumed in moderation.
Finally, De Lara highlighted the export figures corresponding to the region and province's wines, this with regards to the national total. In this sense he informed that Castilla-La Mancha exports increased in 18.12%, which represented transactions for a value of 359 million Euros. This growth stood at 18.78% in the province of Ciudad Real, which in turn represented an income of 204 million Euros, a figure that is almost a fourth of the total of the province's exports, "a very revealing piece of information that justifies the celebration of FENAVIN".
The President of the Trade Fair was very proud that "there are wineries that are managing to increase their sales abroad thanks to the trade fair; it would not make any sense for them to lie to us and then repeat again with us each year". In short, he concluded, "we have to continue working hard, because the future threshold for an increase in value is infinite and they are waiting for us. It is impossible to do more than we already do at the Provincial Government to support a sector that is such a determining factor as the wine sector. And the truth is that despite these strange times we are living, the wineries still want to be right here".