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Covid Concern Causes SIAL Paris Organizer to Call Off 2020 Exhibition

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Add SIAL Paris to the lengthening list of international food trade exhibitions that have been cancelled or postponed due to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic that began in China late last year and has by now spread to virtually the entire world and been attributed to more than 606,000 Covid-19 deaths.

Slated for October 18-22 at the Paris Nord Villepinte, the biennial show has been rescheduled to run from October 15-19, 2022 at the same venue. This is the first time since debuting in 1964 that the fair has not gone on as planned. The last edition of SIAL, held in October of 2018, showcased the products of 7,200 exhibitors from 119 countries (87% hailing from outside of France) and a record attendance of more than 310,000 persons.

While the Comexposium Group organizer made many efforts to maximize the safety of visitors and exhibitors this autumn and unveiled detailed plans for the deployment of a ruthless public health protocol and reinforcement of personal and public transport services, it was not enough to overcome health concerns.

“The latest developments in the state of affairs worldwide and the uncertainties arising from them have led to a substantial shift in opinion among our audiences that we have consulted in recent days, with a majority now wishing to see the event postponed,” said SIAL CEO Nicolas Trentesaux and Adeline Vancauwelae in a jointed statement issued on July 20. “In keeping with our mission, it remains our firm intention to keep in touch with our market and accompany the recovery and the transformation of food industry market players.”

They added that plans are in the making for a series of new events from October 2020 onwards dealing with major global issues, trends and innovation that are set to shape the food industry of the future. These will include exclusive studies conducted by SIAL partners Kantar, ProtéinesXTC and Gira. Furthermore, the Comexposium Group will continue to expand its global network to offer regional growth platforms with major annual gatherings in China, Canada, Indonesia, India and the United Arab Emirates.