Nemesio de Lara says that the trade fair must be national and that a new Convention Center is something that would make him happy, independently of whether he heads the project or not
The sixth edition of FENAVIN successfully closes its doors this afternoon, and this despite these current times of crisis, circumstance that forced the trade fair's organization to prepare a backup plan, as revealed by its President, Nemesio de Lara, which quite fortunately has not been necessary because way before the trade fair was set to start there was already a long waiting list. Therefore, it can indeed be said that "the crisis has not been noticed at FENAVIN," although, despite the importance of this matter, it was certainly not the most relevant, as the first thing Nemesio de Lara had to say this morning were words of solidarity for the families of the victims of the earthquake that struck Lorca, in particular for those who have lost a loved one in the disaster. "All of Spain is showing its support and offering condolences, and we also want to offer a minute of silence to show our respect for the victims," he said.
Nemesio de Lara also apologized to all those who wanted to participate in the trade fair, but were unable to. That is, those that are behind the long list of wineries and exhibitors that have not been able to come to Ciudad Real because of a lack of space. "Absolute perfection could be achieved with the Convention Center that is being planned, even if the project is still not underway, although we will not stir up any political trouble, as we hope that the evidence of the trade fair's success will give rise to answers from those that are in the obligation to build the Center. And I can guarantee that I will be the first to celebrate the day when it is finally finished, even if I am no longer its President, as there are many spaces available in other cities that have trade fairs that are far less important than FENAVIN, which means that the day we have one I will be a happy man," he added.
Therefore, Nemesio de Lara considers that "the only drawback in our trade fair is the fact that we do not have a Convention Center. The squaring of the circle would indeed be achieved if a Convention Center was to exist, although we would still be able to organize FENAVIN with just a few awning poles, because FENAVIN can boast that it is a renowned brand. If we were willing to sell the trade fair, I can guarantee that it would have many buyers and we would indeed make a lot of money," he emphasized.
On the other hand he also highlighted the fact that "for the time being" there has not been a single dissenting voice on the trade fair from the wine sector, as all the testimonies that I have gathered together have been "very positive."
He also commented that for the Spanish winery owners, FENAVIN is the top trade fair in the world, even if it does stand between the second and third position in this ranking. In this respect, he explained that "for a Spanish winery owner, no matter what he produces, it is technically impossible to find a better trade fair in the world to do business." And he reiterated that "they have it right here, in Spain, in Castilla-La Mancha, right here in Ciudad Real."
He also specified the great satisfaction he feels when he repeatedly hears requests that FENAVIN be turned into an international affair in that pertaining to the exhibitor foundation, although he has also wanted to make it clear that this "would be absurd," because the idea is to only display and sell Spanish wines. "The trade fair saw the light with this vocation and we want it to continue just like this for a long time," he repeated, before acknowledging that people like the President of the National Association of Gastronomy Journalists and the President of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce have assured him that there are indeed wineries from outside of Spain that are interested in coming to FENAVIN. "We are aware that Portugal has called the National Trade Fair on Wine, however, we are interested in the wines of Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha and Spain, in that order," he insisted.
Other opinions that Nemesio de Lara has heard, in a completely spontaneous manner, are those of a Catalan exhibitor, who wanted to come in to the trade fair with an underage minor and who was told that entry was forbidden to minors. This person ended up congratulating the organization on their decision. Other examples are an Australian buyer and another Italian buyer. The first commented that he likes FENAVIN much more than Alimentaria, while the second pointed out that it was a thousand times better than Vinitaly.
Having said that, Nemesio de Lara, while in turn highlighting the work climate and the peaceful working atmosphere that FENAVIN offers to the exhibitors and buyers, also wanted to make it clear that the trade fair "is an absolute luxury, a source of pride, complete satisfaction, because we have also contributed to the full booking of hotels and restaurants and because thanks to FENAVIN, Ciudad Real is now known by many."
FENAVIN in figures
FENAVIN's President has also talked about the trade fair's figures, which stand at 9442 national buyers, an increase of 148% in comparison with 2009, and 2740 international buyers, 29% more than in the past edition. Hence we are talking about 12,182 buyers and importers, which comes to certify an increase of 104%.
Likewise, 140,000 commercial contacts have been made. In this respect, the President specified that to calculate the figure they have added up the buyers, plus 50% of the professional accreditations and then multiplied the resulting figure by an average of only two daily contacts. Hence, it is more than clear that this estimate is no exaggeration, but in fact quite the contrary.
Nemesio de Lara also commented that buyers from fifty-four countries have come in to the trade fair, eleven more than in the 2009 edition. 120,000 bottles have been uncorked, corresponding to 1200 different brands, a hundred more than the expected number. And a staff of 75 persons has been in charge of handling the Wine Gallery, where this year they have undertaken the challenge of organizing the greatest wine tasting session of all, in number of attendants, number of wines and in the prestige of the lecturers heading the sessions, therefore, successfully hosting the greatest event that FENAVIN has ever organized.
Changing to another subject, 450 persons have been working and have been at the service of FENAVIN's organization, quite a few of them long before the event actually started. Apart from this there have been 1197 wineries represented in 600 stands, as some of the wineries and cooperatives have shared a stand, as was likewise the case with some of the Pago wine producers.
On the other hand, a total of 2400 persons have assisted the professionals and buyers in the spaces that the organization had assigned to them. 74,300 accreditations have been issued, of which 42,000 correspond to professionals.
A total of 25 ancillary companies have also participated at FENAVIN 2011, of which twenty-two were from Ciudad Real. "FENAVIN does indeed cost a lot of money and it is apparently an important expense, rather than an investment. However, goods and services from our region have been contracted at the trade fair," Nemesio de Clara cleared up, mentioning the 1.4 million Euros that the provincial institution contributes to the trade fair. The rest, up to three million Euros, is provided by the collaborating institutions and corporations and by the exhibitors with the payment of the fee that covers the surface for the setting-up of their stands.
"Hence, FENAVIN is the cheapest possible trade fair with these characteristics that can be organized anywhere in Spain and the world. What is spent is not just allocated to abstract theories, as in fact we are actually buying and including things that those located in Ciudad Real are selling to us, and we are not wasting a single cent. And I am not talking about induced wealth, because the cost that FENAVIN covers is then translated into benefits for the province's corporate world," he affirmed.
In as far as the anecdotes related with this year's FENAVIN, because there are always anecdotes to be told, Nemesio de Lara mentioned one with a Chinese buyer and a small winery that produces organic wines. The buyer wanted to purchase four times more than what the winery actually produces. Another curious piece of information is that 3900 contacts had already been previously made through the Contact With… Program, even before the trade fair actually started. He assured that this program will be perfected, given that it destined to become a prominent differentiating element with regards to other trade fair proposals.
Before highlighting the work and collaboration of the media, in particular the media groups from Ciudad Real, Nemesio de Lara specifically thanked the Institutional Coordinator and the Director of the trade fair, Ángel Amador and Manuel Juliá, respectively, and the entire FENAVIN team for their outstanding work.
"We will start preparing the next edition this very afternoon, as soon as FENAVIN 2011 closes its doors." This is how Nemesio de Lara has concluded the traditional overview that he always offers to the media on the last day of the trade fair, with the same reflection that he has made after each trade fair for the last ten years.