With the aim of contributing to the recovery of the sector in the current context, Fira de Barcelona will organize on September 28 and 29 the FHG Forum (Food & Hospitality, Tourism and Gastronomy Forum), a congress with a hybrid, virtual and face-to-face format, where prominent speakers and companies will address crucial aspects of the sectors represented in salons such as Alimentaria, Hostelco and Fòrum Gastronòmic Barcelona.

FHG Forum, which will take place at the Palau de Congressos in Fira de Barcelona, will be divided into three thematic blocks: Restoration, Foodservice and Agri-food Production; Hospitality, Communities and Tourism; and Retail, Large Food Distribution and Value Chain. In this way, through conferences, debates and round tables, it will become one of the main meeting and reflection spaces for the industry represented in the Alimentaria, Hostelco and Fòrum Gastronòmic fairs.

Ferran Adrià (president of elBullifoundation), Josep Roca (Celler de Can Roca), Nandu Jubany (Can Jubany) and Artur Martínez (Aürt) are already some of the chefs confirmed in this congress, which under the motto "Rethinking the future" will address the immediate challenges of the food industry in the current situation with the aim of facilitating the recovery of the sector.

Along with them, there will also be renowned experts such as the economist Marc Vidal who will discuss the need for the digital transformation of businesses to increase sales, and IESE professor José Luis Nueno.

For its part, the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors AECOC will present the new consumer trends in the post-COVID era from the point of view of distribution, and will raise debates such as the sustainability of online commerce and the new challenges of the chain value of the food industry at the "new normal".

Likewise, the event has planned the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and entities such as the Spanish Federation of Associations of Manufacturers of Machinery for Hospitality, Collectivities and Related Industries (FELAC), the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT), the Spanish Confederation of Hospitality of Spain (CEHE) or the association for collective catering companies, Food Service Spain, which will address future scenarios for tourism and hospitality.

In this sense, BTravel, the tourism fair of Fira de Barcelona, will coordinate a round table on the tourism sector with the presence of prominent sector leaders.

For the director of the FHG Forum, Josep Alcaraz, "it will be an important event, because it will present, in these moments of uncertainty, a solid platform where the sector can meet again, learn about success stories to face the current situation and discover tools with which to relaunch its business".

To this end, business meetings will be held between invited buyers and participating companies. "Fostering business meetings and the presentation of top-level speakers at a global hybrid event allows us to continue to maintain the identity of Alimentaria, Hostelco and Fórum Gastronòmic: internationalization, innovation and business, positioning ourselves as the point of reference support for the sector to look forward again", adds the CEO of Alimentaria Exhibitions, J. Antoni Valls.

On-site and virtual

The new event will have a hybrid format (face-to-face and virtual) so that industry, distribution, retail, agriculture, local commerce, restaurants, hotels, communities, foodservice and sector associations and institutions can participate actively, with maximum facilities and security conditions.

Thus, the FHG Forum will combine a face-to-face part in which attendees will be able to attend the various sessions scheduled during the two days, with a virtual platform that will broadcast all the conferences by streaming with simultaneous translation to achieve a greater reach.

The event will have the anti-Covid protocol that Fira de Barcelona has developed in collaboration with the specialized risk management consultancy Aon and the advice of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona in order to offer the maximum safety guarantees for workers, organizers, exhibitors, visitors and providers.

Susana Santamaria / David León