From 7-9 September, 2023 the 24th international exhibition “Riga Food” was held in Riga, which brought together food and beverage, packaging material and packaging manufacturers, developers of innovative technologies and equipment, catering specialists, hotel and sales employees. This year, 420 companies from 30 countries participated, national stands represented companies from nine countries. It is the largest food exhibition in the Baltics region, which summarizes and determines the development of the industry, demonstrates the latest developments and provides an opportunity to get acquainted with reliable companies in the industry.
Award ceremony for winners
Both a solemn opening ceremony and a series of informative events encouraged visitors to visit the exhibition. Among them – awarding the laureates of various competitions – we should mention, for example, the Nordic International Cider Awards (NICA) competition between Nordic and Baltic companies.
On the other hand, this year, the Club Packagers of Ukraine (Клуб Пакувальників України), organizing the XXV national competition “Ukrainian Packaging Star” and “Ukrainian Label”, also invited packaging companies from Latvia, Poland and Turkey to participate. Latvia’s participation in both competitions was supported by the Packaging Association of Latvia together with the companies “Smiltenes Piens”, “VG Kvadra Pak” and “BrandBox”, which sent packaging and label samples to Kyiv. The international professional jury noted the high level of “BrandBox” packaging and label design, recognizing as competition winners 2 packaging series Dr. Pakalns brand products (for adults and children), as well as 2 labels – Steinhauer’s beer and House of Riga Black Balzam hot drink. The competition winners are also “VG Kvadra Pak” with a package for oatmeal “For a strong Ukraine”.
The traditional BT 1 exhibition gave the opportunity to receive awards in Riga for representatives of “VG Kvadra Pak” and “BrandBox”. Prizes and diplomas were presented to the winners by Veronika Khalaydzhi, President of the Club Packagers of Ukraine, and Iveta Krauja, member of the competition jury and Chairperson of the Board of the Packaging Association of Latvia. The Diploma for fruitful cooperation with the Club Packagers was awarded to Iveta Krauja, who personally contributed to the significant development of cooperation between Latvian and Ukrainian packaging organizations, especially after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and during the war.
National stand of Ukraine
The participation of Ukrainian companies in the “Riga Food” exhibition was organized by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Latvia, the representative office of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Latvia, the Chamber of Commerce of Ukraine, the Federation of Ukrainian Employers, the globalization service for Ukrainian business NAZOVNI and the Council of Exporters and Investors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. On the first day of the exhibition, the national stand was ceremoniously opened by Anatolii Kutsevol, Ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia, together with Latvian Minister of Agriculture Didzis Šmits, Vice Mayor of Riga City Council Edvards Ratnieks, Chairman of the Board of the International Exhibitions Company BT 1 Viesturs Tīle, Project Manager of the exhibition “Riga Food” Rolands Nežborts. The attendees were also greeted by the Ukrainian Trade House in Latvia.
40 companies that produce various food and beverage products, packaging, packaging materials and equipment presented their products at the national stand. The Club Packagers of Ukraine presented the specially prepared English text issue of the “Packaging” magazine, as well as the products of its members – polymer packaging materials and ready-made packaging produced by the company “TAC Evotek” and paper bags and containers for fast food purposes produced by the company “Univest Marketing”. Modern packaging solutions made of polymer materials were demonstrated by the company “Dzherelo” from Dnipro, “Cherpack” bags of the “Chernigov Package” brand made of polymer materials, as well as paper cups and tableware “Vomaks 2012” from Kropyvnytskyi and packaging equipment “Barskiy Engineering Plant” and “PET Technologies” from Chernihiv. The companies “Paper Eco World”, “Lviv Garden” and “Stolychnyj Mlyn” were represented at the exhibition with separate stands.
The next day was a special event, as the President of the Republic of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs visited the exhibition, who met with representatives of Ukrainian companies and inspected the exhibited products. He showed special interest in the editorial work of the Packers Club and the magazine “Packaging” during the war and the club’s cooperation with the Packaging Association of Latvia. President Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed his words of support and wished the Ukrainian people to defeat the aggressor sooner and restore their country.
Interest in the products produced in Ukraine was sufficiently high throughout the exhibition. The representatives of the companies talked about the production and the work of the companies in the difficult conditions. Information obtained at the exhibition will help to acquire new customers and expand market opportunities. And the world will learn more about Ukraine, its hard-working people and Ukrainian quality products.
Ph.D. Veronika Khalaydzhi (Вероніка Халайджі)
President of Club Packagers of Ukraine (Клуб Пакувальників України)