Organic Food Industry Continues to Raise Its Profile in Japan

December 4, 2011

NürnbergMesse’s BioFach Japan recently kicked off its 11th edition Nov. 1-3 at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Centre amidst growing interest in the organic food industry in Japan, with 168 exhibitors from 10 countries.

“Last year’s BioFach Japan impressed with its most successful edition ever,” said Frank Venjakob, director of events for NürnbergMesse International headquartered in Germany.

He added, “Whereas we welcomed more exhibitors and visitors to the 10th birthday than ever before, we faced a totally new situation this year.”

The overall exhibition industry in Japan was hit hard by the earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster, but even though BioFach Japan was slightly smaller than last year’s show, it still drew strong interest.

“The desire of many consumers for uncontaminated food has grown immensely, so mainly trade buyers poured into the exhibition,” Venkajob said.

He added, “On the other hand, this helped to provide good-quality talks for the exhibitors.”

Petra Wolf, member of the management board of NürnbergMesse, said this year’s show was an opportunity platform for communication and exchanging views, as well as a place for organic industry players to come together.

To further support the industry, NürnbergMesse, along with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), launched a fund-raising project at BioFach Japan to support the organic farmers and their families affected in the Tohoku region.

“The aim of this project is to make organic farming land reusable,” Wolf said. “NürnbergMesse has also donated 100,000 yens to this fund.”

BioFach Japan is part of a global series of shows run by NürnbergMesse, with events in Germany, China, the United States, India and Brazil.

Next year’s BioFach Japan will be held Nov. 21-23.

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Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? 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Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.