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[Press Release] Innovation Awards 2024: FLIA and FLIA Technology Winners Announced

February 15, 2024

This content has been published as provided by its author. It has only been modified from its original version to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

Feb. 9, 2024 – Not one, but two awards were presented at FRUIT LOGISTICA today for innovations in the fresh produce sector. In addition to the annual FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award (FLIA), which went to Unica Fresh for its Zucchiolo variety, this was the first time a prize was given honoring innovations in machinery and technology. The Dutch company Koppert won the FLIA Technology for its new Mirical packaging concept. Five companies in each category contested the coveted awards with their innovations.

Zucchini on the outside, cucumber on the inside: Zucchiolo wins the FLIA

The Zucchiolo made the biggest impression on trade visitors at FRUIT LOGISTICA, who over two days voted for the coveted international award. Winning over half of the votes, the oval-shaped vegetable secured the top spot at the FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Awards. The Zucchiolo is not, as one might imagine, a new zucchini variety, but a vegetable representing a completely new product category on the European market.

What is remarkable about this 250-gram product is that it can be consumed fresh and raw in a salad, similar to a cucumber, or cooked like a zucchini or an eggplant. It is rich in fiber, vitamin A and C, and antioxidants. The extraordinary vegetable is tasty, and at the same time revenues are being donated to charity. 50% of the sales income is going to social causes such as fighting cancer.

“The Innovation Awards of the FRUIT LOGISTICA are truly an honor. It’s a motivating push for all professionals in the industry to wake up every morning and pursue what we love most: adding value to our farmers’ crops,” says Andrea Álvarez, business development manager at Unica Fresh. “Developing new vegetables is challenging, but our goal is always to introduce nutritious and healthy products to society. I thank the entire ‘Zucchiolo’ value chain, from the geneticists to the marketing team to the farmers for their trust. Everyone pushed for this product to come on the market.”


The Zucchiolo by Unica Fresh (Spain) makes the biggest impression on trade visitors at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2024 and wins the FLIA.

Pest control in a box: Mirical wins the FLIA Technology

The newly introduced FLIA Technology went to the Dutch company Koppert for its Mirical packaging concept. The Mirical (Macrolophus pygmaeus) predatory bug combats whitefly, which frequently infests greenhouse vegetables. Instead of using plastic, Koppert now supplies these predatory bugs in corrugated cardboard strips and a cardboard tray, which are both attached directly to the plants. As well as making the predatory bug more effective, Koppert’s packaging concept also means the product is fully compostable.

“Winning the FLIA technology is the true recognition of a year and a half of hard work and shows how important biological pest control is. We are excited that our evolution with something simple such as cardboard strips gained the award. With our new packaging the predatory bugs are directly placed in the plants. Our innovation speeds up the introduction of the animals and is labor saving. We are very happy that FRUIT LOGISTICA gave us this great stage for our product,” says a delighted Tim Bossinga, product manager for biologicals at Koppert.


The Mirical packaging concept by Koppert (Netherlands) wins the FLIA Technology, presented for the first time at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2024.

The annual presentation of the Innovation Awards honors outstanding innovations from the entire value chain of fresh produce. A total of around 70 innovations were submitted, from which a panel of experts picked the five best ideas in each category. Trade visitors at FRUIT LOGISTICA 2024, which took place from Feb. 7 to 9 in Berlin, then voted for their favorite product. A list of all the nominees can be found at FruitLog, the news blog of FRUIT LOGISTICA.

About FRUIT LOGISTICA

FRUIT LOGISTICA is the leading trade show for the global fresh produce business and represents the entire value added chain of the fruit and vegetable sector, from producer to the point of sale. At FRUIT LOGISTICA 2023 more than 2,600 exhibitors from 92 countries displayed their products, services and technical solutions. Some 63,500 buyers and trade visitors from 140 countries took part in the event. The next FRUIT LOGISTICA will take place from Feb. 7 to 9 in Berlin.

About Messe Berlin

Berlin has been a trade fair destination for 200 years and one of the most important such hubs for many decades. Messe Berlin — the state’s own trade fair company — conceives, markets and organizes hundreds of live events every year. It strives to be an outstanding host for visitors at all events, generate optimal business stimuli, and provide fair conditions for everyone. This concept is reflected in the company slogan: Messe Berlin – Hosting the World.

Images: Messe Berlin GmbH

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