The winners of expoSE and expoDirekt Innovation Awards 2020

Bruchsal, November 18, 2020. Despite the cancellation of the trade fair duo, the Verband Süddeutscher Spargel- und Erdbeeranbauer e.V. (VSSE - Association of asparagus and strawberry growers Southern Germany), organiser of the trade fair duo expoSE & expoDirekt, has decided to award the "Best of 2020" expoSE and expoDirekt innovation awards to the latest products with clear advantages for users and with the potential for market penetration. The expert jury of expoSE and expoDirekt 2020 awarded six innovation prizes from 18 submissions. “Even if it is a shame not to be able to hand over the prizes personally at the trade fair, it was important for us to send the awards to the winners. On the one hand, the exhibitors pushed ahead with their innovation despite Corona, on the other hand, growers are looking for products that offer solutions to current problems such as the shortage of harvest workers and the lack of pesticides and that make direct agricultural marketing more effective, "explains Simon Schumacher, VSSE board spokesman and organiser of the trade fair duo.

The expoSE innovation award winners 2020:

The manufacturer 4 Disc from Dortmund has developed the spreading technology STREUIX, with which growers can apply precisely, effectively and inexpensively beneficial insects for biological pest control in protected cultivation. They are distributed in a fully mechanised process. The core of the process is an elastomer, a type of foam, which is rotated at the bottom of the container to dose the insects. This distributes beneficial insects across plants in a very careful and targeted process which can deliver precise quantities exactly where they are needed, eliminating waste and excess. According to the manufacturer, this patent-pending system offers up to ten times more efficient distribution than common alternatives.

The harvesting machine for green asparagus “Christian” of the Dutch manufacturer Christiaens Agro Systems BV can harvest around one hectare of asparagus in two hours. The maximum speed of the machine is 6 km/h and depends on the performance of up to three people who sort the asparagus from the belt at the back of the machine. The machine has a variably adjustable harvesting height with an automatic cutting height adjustment for the correct cutting results. The green asparagus is cut very straight and directly at ground level by a specially developed band saw, resulting in only minimal cutting waste during further processing steps. Optionally, the grower can use a field weed at the same time to loosen the surface and remove weeds. According to the manufacturer, Christian saves work time and costs, improves working conditions, and facilitates easier planning.

In response to increasing demand for mechanical weed control options, Harlander Landtechnik has developed the Spargelfingerhacke SF-4 (asparagus finger weeder) especially for weed control on the side of asparagus ridges between rows. The machine frame can be fitted with two or four finger weeders, with the two front finger weeders using a hydraulic width adjustment, and the two rear finger weeders using a mechanical width adjustment mechanism. The height and tilt can be individually adjusted on each unit. Since asparagus finger weeders are installed on the front of the tractor, any desired tilling equipment can be installed on the rear. This allows growers to eliminate weeds between rows with just one pass over the area. Depending on the properties of the ridges, the machine travels at a speed of 10 to 14 km/h.

The expoDirekt-innovation award winners 2020:

The Italian manufacturer Carton Pack has received the expoDirekt innovation award for CartonShell®, a corrugated, sustainable cardboard alternative to plastic clamshell packaging. It is particularly well-suited for berries and cherry tomatoes, and can be closed using simple vertical pressure (manual or mechanical). The patented product not only offers good moisture resistance and high structural strength, but it is also suited for automated processes (such as automatic filling and sealing lines). It uses the materials cardboard and cellophane foil, which means CartonShell® can be disposed of with paper since it is made of 100% cellulose-based materials.

With the asparagus packaging SpargelPak EV ++, the Polish manufacturer SOFRUPAK Witold Gaj is launching the first 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable, sealable packaging for fresh asparagus on the European market. It is made of corrugated cardboard, has an integrated lid and its entire interior is coated with cellulose film. SOFRUPAK was the first company in Europe to develop the innovative technology CCC (CelluloseCoatedCardboard), which is a method for bonding sheets of corrugated board to cellulose film on a roll. Because the packaging is made of raw materials made from renewable energy sources and bonded using specialised, water-based glue, they are completely recyclable and 100% biodegradable. The interior film protects products against moisture, while the openings allow customers to inspect the quality of the asparagus. The simple, quick closure mechanism of the packaging eliminates the need to purchase expensive machinery.

The cloud-based business platform FrachtPilot enables the complete digitisation and automation of marketing processes of agricultural direct marketers in real time - from customer orders to warehouses and delivery to invoicing. The platform was developed alongside agricultural direct marketers of different sizes and from different market areas. Because software development focused on creating a product with wide-applicability, according to the manufacturer it can help generate good time and cost savings without requiring adaptation. The FrachtPilot is characterized by the following points: fully integrated software support for all sales and distribution processes as well as high process transparency with the option of collecting real-time information, time efficiency thanks to comprehensive automation in collecting customer orders and returns, as well as in invoice generation and review, good cost efficiency thanks to capacity and route planning optimised via algorithm, good scalability with a cloud-based solution and low costs thanks to flexible monthly rental rates for functions that can be rented flexibly on a monthly basis. According to the manufacturer, customers could save up to 25 percent in time and costs by using the FrachtPilot.

The jury:
The expert jury consisted of the following participants: Ute Heimann (editor-in-chief of HOFdirekt), Markus Kirn (strawberry grower from Ingelheim), Isabelle Kokula (asparagus advisor at the Karlsruhe District Office), Thomas Kühlwetter (editor-in-chief of Spargel- & ErdbeerProfi), Rolf Meinhardt (asparagus grower from Weiterstadt), Dr. Elisabeth Seemer (Head of the Advisory Team Income Alternatives at the Rhineland-Palatinate Chamber of Agriculture) and Joachim Ziegler (Group Leader Horticulture at the Service Center for Rural Area Rheinpfalz).

The trade fair duo expoSE & expoDirekt

Unfortunately, Verband Süddeutscher Spargel- und Erdbeeranbauer e. V. (VSSE) had to cancel the 25th expoSE, Europe's leading trade fair for asparagus and berry production, and the 10th expoDirekt, Germany's largest trade fair for direct agricultural marketing, on November 18 and 19, 2020 in the Messe Karlsruhe. The next trade fair duo will take place from November 17 to 18, 2021 at Messe Karlsruhe. Further information is available at:

The Verband Süddeutscher Spargel- und Erdbeeranbauer e. V. (VSSE)

The Verband Süddeutscher Spargel- und Erdbeeranbauer e. V. (VSSE) is Germany's largest association for asparagus and strawberry growers, with over 630 members. VSSE has organised expoSE since 1996 – Europe’s leading trade fair for asparagus and berry production. It has also been organising Germany's largest trade fair for agricultural direct marketing, expoDirekt, since 2011. Further information is available at:

Verband Süddeutscher Spargel - und Erdbeeranbauer e.V. / Association of asparagus- and strawberry growers Southern Germany
Werner-von-Siemens-Str. 2-6 / Gebäude 5161 - 76646 Bruchsal

Simon Schumacher, CEO / Spokesman of the Board
+49 (0)7251 3032080

Isabelle Bohnert, Press and Public Relations Officer
+49 (0)7251 3032184



Simon Schumacher
Fon: +49 7251 3032080

Isabelle Bohnert
Press and Public Relations Officer
Fon: +49 7251 3032184