Iba set a new benchmark this year with 1255 exhibitors and more than 70,000 visitors from across baking, confectionery, catering and retail industries.
The German Bakers’ Confederation (GHM) president Peter Becker said the trade show exceeded his expectations.
“On the one hand, we have had more foreign visitors at iba. On the other hand, I am particularly pleased that so many German bakers have attended the most significant trade show in their industry,” Peter said.
“Everyone has seized the opportunity, which only arises once every three years, to gain a comprehensive overview of the market. Nowhere else will you find such a wide choice of different companies.”
GHM chief executive officer Dieter Dohr said iba sets trends for the industry, that play out on a global level.
“Iba offered solutions for the individual challenges of each and every visitor, be this the efficient use of energy, hygiene, and packaging or coffee – all of which are issues that will become increasingly important in the future,” Deiter said.
Despite downsizing from seven to six days, exhibitors reported overwhelmingly positive feedback, with many acknowledging great willingness of participants to invest in the industry, compared with previous years.
“Right from day one there was a great atmosphere at iba, and many deals were concluded. The key to this level of success is certainly likely to be the manner in which companies presented themselves at this culmination of three years of business”, Peter said.
“It never ceases to fascinate me or other visitors to the show how companies give their utmost, not just in setting up their stand, but also when presenting their equipment live.”
A number of national and international competitions took place as part of the event, including the iba-cup for bakers, the German Championships of Master Bakers, and the iba-cup for confectioners.
The Southern Cross Baking Group (SCBG) Australian Baking Team performed well at the event, placing fourth overall.
The team, which consists of Scott Megee, Shayne Greenman and Emily Carnell and coaches Brett Noy and Will McPhail, beat eight international teams, yet were narrowly defeated by France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Brett Noy says the team is very pleased with the outcome.
“Once again much was learnt from the process and experience, and we look forward to sharing this with members of SCBG,” Brett said.
“We were very proud to have many of our sponsors and Aussie bakers at Iba to witness first-hand the high standard of competition, and value that comes from these events.”
The team spent two days chasing down ingredients and requirements for the competition, which also provided an excellent opportunity to experience Munich’s renowned food culture first-hand.
“The main central market was amazing and provided many fresh food opportunities, fruit, vegetables, herbs, seafood, and traditional German sausage vendors line the streets with their wares,” Brett said.
The Australian team also got to see a little of the country, with a two-hour trip down the base of the Bavarian Alps with WP Group representative Franz Kovacs.
“Bakery Albinger, our hosts, were very generous and provided the ingredients and equipment requirements for the team,” Brett said.
“We were also given the opportunity to mix some different doughs and to try some of the bakeries specialties as well, this bakery uses Austrian flour, which was something none of us had experienced before, it was a type 550 flour – 0.55 per cent ash – and is commonly used in bakeries in that area.”
Although the team would have preferred to place first, second or third, they agreed the experience was incredibly educational. Both Scott and Shayne will move on to train other promising bakers around the country to compete in upcoming national and international events.
“We can’t rest on our laurels, it’s important to continue to grow and to develop our processes, as well as our base of internationally experienced baking professionals,” Brett said.
The SCBG team acknowledge the support of their sponsors; Van Rooy machinery, Weston Milling, and Manildra.
The next iba will take place at the Munich Exhibition Centre in September 2015.