International food and drink trade fair Alimentaria, held in Barcelona biennually, claims it could beat France’s Sial next year, becoming second only to Germany’s Anuga.

Organisers Reed Exhibitions Iberia and Fira Barcelona say it will cover 105,000 sq m - 96% of which is already booked - with 150,000 visitors and 4,000 exhibitors. This compares with Sial’s 99,000 sq m and 140,000 visitors in 2002.

The show, which takes place from March 8-12, has expanded to take in two conference centres 1km apart - Montjuic and the Gran Via. Food From Britain, which organises the UK contingent, has recruited 16 stands, including AG Barr, Nisa International and Milk Link.

FFB is also arranging a trade development visit during the show for suppliers interested in exploring the potential of the Spanish market.

The Welsh Development Agency is also organising an area dedicated to Welsh suppliers.

Regular features of Alimentaria include Innoval, an area dedicated to innovative products which compete for awards in 11 different food and drink categories. But new features next year will include arenas dedicated to trends in organic food, olive oil and wine.