The German and Italian baking federations have welcomed new co-operation between their countries’ respective trade fairs - IBA World Market for Baking and ABtech Expo.

Both federations and the engineering consortium Sipan have agreed to co-ordinate their trade fair policies "in the interests of all market partners", they said in a joint statement.

Currently, both the IBA and ABtech fairs take place on a three-year cycle but in future they will be staged in alternate years, with the IBA show being held in Dusseldorf from 3-9 October 2009, while the next ABtech event will be in Milan in October 2010.

The two baking associations are also planning to cement their cooperation by taking part alternately in competitions, with an Italian team battling it out at the IBA Cup 2009 and a team from the German federation competing at ABtech 2010.

Commenting on the new German-Italian trade fair alliance, president of the German baking federation Peter Becker, said: "The cooperation between the two fairs and their sponsoring organisations will help stabilise the trade fair landscape in the sector in Europe."

Edvino Jerian, president of the Italian baking federation, said: "The agreement underlines the growing significance of ABtech and strengthens the co-operation between the two associations."