As the result of violence caused by a strike of the military police in February, the Vitoría Stone Fair/Marmo+Mac Latin America cancelled its original date, but has regrouped and set June 6 to 9 as its new dates.

Brazil has long been known for its extensive granite varieties, unique quartzite and other exotic stone. And over the years, the Vitoría Stone Fair in Vitoría, Espírito Santo, has grown to become a well-known exhibition with a large international presence. In recent years, the fair’s organizer, Milanez & Milaneze, partnered with the Italian show management, the Veronafiere Group, and the exhibition was renamed the Vitoría Stone Fair/Marmo+Mac Latin America. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond its control, the 43rd edition of the stone exhibition, which was originally scheduled for February 14 to 17, 2017, had to be postponed. Show management is pleased to report, however, a new date for the Vitoría Stone Fair/Marmo+Mac Latin America has been set for June 6 to 9, 2017, at the Carapina Events Center, Serra.

The four-day event was canceled in February due to a strike in the military police, which resulted in public security issues in the state of Espírito Santo. “This decision was made considering the multiple requests sent by the exhibitors and visitors of Vitoría Stone Fair to the organizers of the event, with the purpose of preserving the safety and integrity of our customers, exhibitors and visitors, and of all service providers committed to the event,” according to a statement on the fair’s website at the time. “We reaffirm the importance of this international event for the ornamental stone sector, and we reiterate our position to preserve the safety of those involved and hope to have everyone’s understanding.”

According to the Milanez & Milaneze CEO, Cecília Milanez Milaneze, activities for the June event are already underway. “Brazil is important in the worldwide scenario of natural stones and continues to be a reference point for foreign purchases,” she said. “We have already started different international actions to bring buyers and exhibitors from the strategic markets to the Vitoría Stone Fair 2017. Our team recently promoted the show at the Xiamen Stone Fair in China.”

For the Sindirochas president, Tales Machado, the change of the date for the Vitoría Stone Fair this year was a result of an unusual situation. However, the Espírito Santo State stone sector is very well consolidated to continue as a protagonist of this activity in the country. “We think that temporary difficulties act as a stimulus because at the same time they bring opportunities as well,” he said. “The Espírito Santo State stone industry is formed by businessmen with strong entrepreneur capacity, which for many years has made the State of Espírito Santo the biggest producer, trader and exporter of stones in Brazil. We are optimistic that the new event date will go beyond our expectations of a great event.”

Statistics illustrate Brazil is the biggest producer and exporter of stone in the world, and Espírito Santo is the primary state producer of ornamental stones in the country — having the largest manufacturing industrial park in the sector, responsible for more than 80% of the exports and 10% of GDP of the Espírito Santo State. Data from the Ornamental Stones Industry from the Brazilian Association (Abirochas) stated that in 2016, Brazil exported natural stones to 120 countries, whereby the main buyers were the U.S., China and Italy. The exporters to these countries add up to 80.6% of Brazilian sales of this sector, with Espírito Santo again in the spotlight, reaching 1.8 tons and
US$ 921.4 million in exports.

“Vitoría Stone Fair is one of the most important fairs of the sector in the world and the only one in Latin America, gathering businessmen, suppliers, and local and international buyers in one place,” stated José Eduardo Azevedo, the Development Secretary of the State of Espírito Santo. “The fair has been already consolidated as an important international event, and contributes with the local market fostering employment and incomes. That is why the news that the fair will take place in June is very positive, keeping Espírito Santo in the international marble and granite fairs route. The Espírito Santo 2017 events calendar will stay untouchable, as well, and that is an important point for the Espírito Santo State economy.”