Brazil fair foreshadows continued growth
An upbeat mood defined the Vitória Stone Fair in Vitória, Brazil, where exhibitors were predicting a rebound year for the stone industry
Now in its 35th edition — counting events taking place in Vitória as well as Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espírito Santo — the Vitória Stone Fair featured more than 420 exhibitors, in an area of more than 430,000 square feet (40,000 square meters). In addition to being promoted by Sindirochas and Cetemag, the Vitória Stone Fair 2013 was presented by Milanez & Milaneze.
For years now, the Vitória Stone Fair has served as a launching point for some of Brazil’s “newest” materials, including new and exotic varieties of granite, marble, quartzite, onyx, slate and more. Very often, the Vitória Stone Fair exhibit floor is the very first place these stones are viewed by the international marketplace.
In addition to exotic materials, the full spectrum of Brazil’s traditional, popular stones can be found at the Vitória Stone Fair, including the announcement of popular stones being sourced at new quarry locations.
Going beyond stone materials, material could be found in a variety of formats and surface finishes — including backlit panels as well as brushed and textured surfaces. Products on display in Vitoria included slabs as well as tiles, mosaics, sinks, furnishings, panels and other architectural applications.
Universally, the stone suppliers at the Brazilian fair were forecasting significant growth for 2013, and they pointed to the North American marketplace as the their top export target.
For buyers of natural stone, the Vitória Stone Fair’s location in the stone-rich state of Espírito Santo allowed attendees to visit the facilities of some of the nation’s leading stone producers. With processing facilities throughout the Vitória region, and even more facilities and quarries throughout the state of Espírito Santo, there is no shortage of opportunities to purchase material directly at the source. According to a survey by Centrorochas (the Brazilian Dimensional Stone Export Center), Espírito Santo represents 73.81% of all stone exports from Brazil.
Initiatives at the fair
The 2013 edition of the Vitória Stone Fair also served as a forum for the announcement of measures to bolster the stone industry by the state and federal governments, with the presence of Renato Casagrande, the Governor of Espírito Santo; Givaldo Vieira, the Deputy Governor; José Fernando Coura, President of the Brazilian Mining Institute; Samuel Mendonça, President of Sindirochas; and Emmic Malacarne, President of Cetemag, along with other politicians and industry professionals.
The Vitória Stone Fair also continued the promotion of the “Brasil Original Stones” branding campaign by Abirochas, which began at the Marmomacc fair in Verona, Italy, last year. The goal is to promote Brazilian stone materials as a distinctively unique brand name.
“In a world of copies and replicas, Brasil Original Stones enables people worldwide to live with the beauty and originality that only nature can provide,” states a section of the campaign’s promotional material. “Everyone knows that Brazil is a country blessed by nature — beautiful beaches, fantastic landscapes and above all, beautiful and joyful people. And now, everyone who wants a unique product to dress their houses and other works, will know that there is a country with the most beautiful ornamental stones, and this country is Brazil. The stones of Brasil Original Stones do not leave a factory that produces thousands of identical parts. Each piece from Brazil Original Stones is unique, and there lays its great value; you have contact with the beauty that nature has created thousands of years ago and now may be present as part of your life.”
The allure of natural stone as a premium building product also drew the attention of architects and designers from Brazil, who attended the Vitória Stone Fair as a delegation of the National Convention of the Association of Interior Designers. “This type of initiative brings together professionals from a very important segment in the global scenario, in which Brazil is a benchmark,” said Renata Amaral, President of the organization.
The 2013 Vitória Stone Fair also took place in the wake of a major agreement with Veronafiere, organizer of the Marmomacc trade fair in Verona, Italy. At last year’s edition of Marmomacc, Veronafiere announced that the organization has taken 60% ownership (with an option for 100%) of Milanez & Milaneze, which owns the Vitória Stone Fair as well as the Cachoeiro Stone Fair. A new company was established, Veronafiere do Brazil.
The next edition of the Vitória Stone Fair is set to take place from February 18 to 21, 2014.