( dpa ) - The international Green Week agricultural fair in Berlin proved a crowd-puller, with 420,000 visitors spending 44 million euros (64 million dollars) at the ten-day event, which ended Sunday, organizers said.
"Visitors this year were more willing to buy compared with last year," Christian Goeke, trade fair company boss, said. Visitors in 2007 spent 40 million at the food and farm extravaganza that saw the participation of 52 countries this year.
While attendance this year was marginally down on 2007, there had been an increase in the number of participating trade fair specialists at the event, Goeke said.
Gerd Sonnleitner, president of the German Farmers' Association (DBV) said: "Green Week continues to make enormous strides and is more important than ever for agriculture."
The event's first International Conference of Ministers of Agriculture drew 1,500 participants, among them 32 agriculture ministers and permanent secretaries from abroad, as well as 650 official delegations from 36 countries.
"The Green Week success story continues," Germany's Agricultural Minister Horst Seehofer said. "The German agricultural sector is in a strong position, and in its invigorated state is well equipped to face the future," he said.
"We are completely satisfied," was the verdict of Pekka Vaeisaenen, the spokesman for the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forests. After a long interval, when the country was only represented by the private sector, the Finnish ministry presented various food producers on a much larger combined exhibition stand this year.
"Our objective of acquainting German consumers with Finnish products has been attained," Vaeisaenen said.
Austria's 2008 Green Week contribution also impressed visitors. A total of 34 exhibitors, eight federal states and the national farm holidays association presented products on a 2,500 square-metre display area.
Serbia made a surprisingly powerful showing at fair, with a host of manufacturers and a rich variety of products, such as truffles, marzipan, paprika specialties, jams and spirits.
Norway also stood out in Berlin. Its combined stand representative Kjell Joar Rognstad said visitors had displayed "keen interest in agricultural products from the north of the country."
Norwegian salmon that was specially delivered to the Green Week, was swiftly snapped up by visitors, Rognstad said.