Germany's fish fair 25 - 27 February 2024

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The fish international is the only trade fair for fish and seafood in Germany - a platform for the trade and the gastronomy. In Bremen, the trade finds out about new products on the German market and gets an overview of innovations and developments. More than 320 exhibitors from 27 nations present their products. Experts from the fish industry, wholesale, retail and gastronomy visit the fish fair to find suppliers, to inform themselves and to exchange ideas.
In February 2024, fish international and GASTRO IVENT will be held together again. GASTRO IVENT in Halls 6 and 7 offers a wide range of food and beverages as well as suitable accessories for the catering industry.
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Straw instead of plastic!

Straw instead of plastic!

Straw-stupid? No! As a packaging material for refrigerated or even frozen goods, straw is a smart solution because it is sustainable in many ways. "After use, the packaging simply goes on the compost heap or into the green bin and is thus recycled without leaving any residues," says Patricia Eschenlohr, Managing Director of Landpack GmbH. Another big plus: "Straw is available in huge quantities as a natural raw material, and processing it into insulating panels requires significantly less energy than the production of plastic."

Together with her husband Dr Thomas Maier-Eschenlohr, the entrepreneur from near Munich has developed an ecological alternative to environmentally harmful Styrofoam from the agricultural waste product. With the products of her Landpack GmbH, she now wants to convince visitors to fish international of the environmentally friendly substitute for plastic packaging.

Plastic packaging slows growth in online trade
Ordering food online is a trend. But when Patricia Eschenlohr became more intensively involved with this topic as a management consultant a few years ago, she quickly realised: "The fact that plastic packaging is used for shipping scares off many potential customers". Styrofoam, once a popular insulating material, is increasingly coming under criticism: its production is energy-intensive; its disposal is considered problematic. In addition, Styrofoam is increasingly turning up as microplastics in the sea. The Eschenlohrs looked for alternatives: "But there was nothing on the market," Patricia Eschenlohr remembers when her project began a good ten years ago.

The couple finally found the solution in the area around Munich: "Straw is ideal as an insulation material. The residual material from the grain harvest naturally has a high insulating value thanks to its natural stalk structure made of micro-chambers. When processed into boards, it insulates just as well as Styrofoam. The thermal conductivity value of both materials is 0.041 W/mk. The material also became interesting for another reason: "Straw is available in large quantities," says Patricia Eschenlohr. In Germany alone, 30 million tonnes are produced each year during the grain harvest - about 30 per cent of this could be used differently without negative consequences for agriculture.

For two years now, production has been running at full speed
Despite the obviously good starting position, Patricia Eschenlohr and her husband took a considerable risk when they set up their own business with their idea for environmentally friendly refrigerated packaging. Many questions had to be answered, for example: How can the natural material be turned into a hygienically perfect material? How can the straw be processed into durable and compostable sheets without glue? How can the regulations for refrigerated packaging in the food and pharmaceutical industries be met? And last but not least: How can the packaging be produced competitively in large quantities? The couple systematically worked through the questions. The fact that Thomas Maier-Eschenlohr is a mechanical engineer (he did his doctorate on medical robotics) made it easier to find solutions. In 2015, the product and process development was finished and patents were filed; in 2016, a semi-automated pilot production could start for the first customers. In 2017, the purpose-built factory in Allineg near Fürstenfeldbruck was already operating in two shifts. A second factory (also in two-shift operation) has been in operation for two years, and the third production facility is in the planning stage.

Cold chain holds even in standard mail
The principle of shipping coolers is comparatively simple. Their walls are made of specially prepared, pressed straw. The material is coated with a starch-based wrapping. The assembled boxes are suitable for shipping frozen products in combination with dry ice at temperatures of -18°C as well as for refrigerated products in the 4°C range. Even in midsummer, the boxes maintain these temperatures for two to three days in standard postal shipments. Patricia Eschenlohr counts among the other advantages that the base material straw can absorb moisture if, for example, condensation occurs during transport: "In addition, the shock-absorbing properties are very good."

More than 600 existing customers - focus on life science and pharmaceutical industry
In the meantime, Landpack regularly supplies more than 600 existing customers, a considerable proportion of whom come from the life science and pharmaceutical industries as well as laboratory medicine. After initial connections to large companies in the fish industry, Patricia Eschenlohr would like to reach smaller companies in the industry during fish international. Landpack has long been producing on an industrial scale "but we also supply our products in small quantities", the entrepreneur promises. For the fishing industry, the switch from classic Styrofoam to straw boxes could also be a contribution to the climate neutrality increasingly demanded by customers. Per cubic metre, only 20 kWh of electrical energy is consumed in production, whereas the Styrofoam box requires 1050 kWh per cubic metre of material.

Straw instead of plastic!

fish international…

  • gives traders a platform where they can gain information on what's new in the German market and get a good overview of the fish industry.
  • offers a varied and individual assortment of fish to give traders ideas for achieving better market positioning.
  • presents a concentrated display of machines and technical aids and appliances for SMEs.
  • shows a broad spectrum of counter concepts for fishmongers and mobile fishmongers that is only to be found in Bremen.
  • gives you time to talk to other fish industry members so you can discuss ways to perfect your everyday work.

fish international – that is over 10,000 sqm of exhibition space for more than 320 exhibitors from 27 nations. Experts from the fish industry, wholesale, retail and gastronomy visit the fish fair to find suppliers, inform themselves and to exchange ideas.