The love for food was the recurring theme for 5 days at SIAL in Paris, one of the largest in the world fairs that closes its doors on Thursday. 39 Lithuanian Food Exporters have a stand on SIAL, a gigantic biannual food fair, the largest in France, and a meeting place for more than 180,000 visiting 7200 companies from 119 countries on 250,000 m² of exhibition space (25 times Litexpo!).
Lithuania's National Stand at SIAL in Paris
© Ludo Segers @ The Lithuania Tribune

39 Lithuanian companies presented traditional foods ranging from bread products to cheese, but also ecological products, high end chocolate and ice cream. The Lithuanian food industry has been participating in this biennial exhibition for many years meeting buyers on the lookout for unique products with innovation and creativity as main drivers. Some companies are represented in Lithuania's national pavilion whilst others have their stands in sectorial areas of milk products, drinks and frozen products.

On Tuesday the Lithuanian Minister for Agriculture, Giedrius Surplys and the Lithuanian Ambassador Dalius Čekuolis had a meeting with the new French Minister of Agriculture, Didier Guillaume. After the visit, the minister and the ambassador visited the stands of the Lithuanian companies. They spoke with the business representatives and got a taste of some of the finest products that Lithuania has to offer to the world.

The conversations focused on export trends and business issues, discussing cooperation issues and Lithuanian embassy's assistance increasing the awareness of Lithuanian products and sales aspects in France. Minister Surplys said, ''This exhibition actively stimulates economic growth in the European market and opens up business development opportunities in new regions.'' He added, "Participating at this exhibition gives great opportunity to increase the awareness of the products of our companies looking for new export clients and markets as this fair attracts a lot of visitors, importers, exporters, wholesalers, and companies".

One of the innovative companies present was the Auga group. An integrated producer of sustainable biological products, Auga is the largest of its kind in Lithuania and one of the largest in the Nordic countries. The minister and the delegation tasted a very savoury soup produced by the company whilst learning about the innovative way this company grows mushrooms in an organic environment. Head of R&D and Commerce, Laurymas Miškinis explained that Auga employs 1200 people, produces 14,000 ton of mushrooms a year, most of it exported to Scandinavia. The company markets in beautifully designed packages of soups, vegetables and poultry products to a large number of countries, including Japan and Canada.

Matinga got plenty of attraction of visitors to its colourful donuts and croissants. General Manager, Mantas Agentas explained that the 20-year-old Marijampolė business uses the best and tastiest ingredients to produce a line of frozen breads, sweets and savoury goods. Exporting to 25 countries, mostly in North-Eastern Europe, Matinga is growing fast in Japan and the rest of Asia. Inventive and creative the company differentiates its products, such as donuts with dual topping colours and even two different flavours. They also use real chocolate instead of traditional fatty glazing. Matinga also uses natural ingredients to colour their croissants and attract new customers. This right in the home country of the croissant!

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