Two years in the making IFE opens on March 23 and will be staged for the second time at the state-of-the-art ExCel exhibition centre in east London and will welcome some 30,000 trade visitors and 1,400 exhibitors all under one roof.

The last show took place just a month after the outbreak of foot and mouth in 2001 with visitor numbers around the 26,000 mark for the event but undoutedly affected by the crisis.

There will be some 40 country pavilions at IFE 2003, taking up about one third of the show’s floor space. Debutantes include Malaysia, Morocco, Bulgaria and Brazil while IFE veterans France and Germany will once again be attending.

There is also increased representation from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales this year to keep up the Home Nations’ traditionally comprehensive contribution to proceedings with trade body Food From Britain once again a key presence at the show.

For a full 15-page IFE preview see this week's issue of The Grocer.