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The 1st Freskon, organised by TIF-Helexpo from 23 to 25 April at Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre, aims at highlighting Thessaloniki as a strategic 'player' in the sector of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The first international event on fruit and vegetables has managed to attract 198 exhibitors and over 200 trade visitors, of whom 120 are foreign hosted buyers invited by TIF-Helexpo from 21 countries, with over 2,500 business meetings having been scheduled. The exhibitors participating in Freskon cover a broad range of sectors relating to production, transportation, trading, equipment, packaging materials and services of the sector, and will come into contact with representatives of major international supermarket chains, commercial enterprises and distribution companies-networks.

From left to right, the project manager of Freskon, Mrs. Tonia Nikolaidou, the CEO of TIF- HELEXPO, Mr. Kiriakos Pozrikidis, the Deputy Minister of Interior & Administrative Reconstruction (Macedonia & Thrace), Mrs. Maria Kollia- Tsaroucha, the President of TIF- HELEXPO, Mr. Tasos Tzikas, the Deputy General Manager of TIF- HELEXPO, Mr. Alexis Tsaxirlis and the publisher of the Magazine Froutonea, Mr. Panagiotis Orfanos.

During today's Press Conference on Freskon, the Deputy Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction (Macedonia-Thrace), Ms Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha, expressed her support for the endeavour undertaken by TIF-Helexpo. She underlined the importance of holding the new exhibition in Macedonia, a top producer of fruit and vegetables, and stressed that Freskon is paving the way for those who wish to become involved in primary production and proves that there are tremendous prospects for prosperity.

In turn, the President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tassos Tzikas, referred to the exhibition 'gap' that existed in the sector and was covered by Freskon, underlining that this new event aims at becoming truly international.

According to the CEO of the company, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, Freskon was the missing piece in the 'puzzle' of exhibition actions undertaken by TIF-Helexpo in regard to the primary sector (alongside Agrotica and Zootechnia). As he noted, Freskon is the only event in the sector held in the broader region of Southeast Europe, which makes the event all the more significant.

The selection of Thessaloniki as the host of Freskon was no accident, according to the editor of 'Froutonea' magazine, Mr Panayiotis Orfanos, who stated that Thessaloniki is a hub in the Balkans and the Southeast Mediterranean, as it is the starting point for the trade of fruit and vegetables. In fact, he stressed that the goal is for the city to become a strategic location for the sector.
The head of Freskon, Ms Tonia Nikolaidou, analysed the goals of this new exhibition for the growth of Greek exports and the international showcasing of the Greek brand name in the sector. The deputy general director of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis, noted that this new event is a major vector of optimism for the prospects of Greek production and commerce.
The parallel events accompanying Freskon include two outstanding sections: On the one hand, there is FreshCon Market, which places the domestic fresh fruit and vegetable market under the 'microscope' of foreign retail chains, as proven by the participation of 18 major chains from the Balkans (Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM and Albania), Europe and Greece.
On the other, there is the International Cherry Congress, which will be held on Friday, 24 April, aiming, among other things, at accelerating the export penetration of Greek cherries into foreign markets. During the congress, the international cherry market, new technologies concerning cherry cultivation, projections for the new season in the main cherry-producing countries, the export prospects of the product and methods-proposals for better selling the product will be analysed.

Freskon will be inaugurated by the deputy Minister of Rural Development, Mr Evangelos Apostolou, on Thursday, 23 April, at 19.30, at Pavilion 15.