To propose a conference topic or to take part as a speaker or expert panelist please contact:

Chris White – chris@fruitnet.com
Mike Knowles – michael@fruitnet.com

GLOBAL BERRY CONGRESS PROGRAMME 2017

 

Monday 27 March 2017

19:00–20:30  WELCOME RECEPTION & GLOBAL BERRY CONGRESS EXPO


Tuesday 28 March 2017

08:00–09:00  Delegate check-in and registration & Global Berry Congress Expo

09:00–09:10  Welcome to global berry congress

09:10–10:00  The Berry Consumer: new trends, behaviour and demands

As the berry market evolves, the need to track consumer behaviour remains as important as ever. With that in mind, we will present new research – specially commissioned for this year’s event – that illustrates how consumers perceptions might reflect new opportunities to increase berry sales. Plus we’ll highlight major new trends in grocery shopping and consider where the berry business itself is heading in the next few years. 

10:00–10:45  WORKSHOP 2 – BLUEBERRIES: TRENDS AND FORECASTS

Our second morning workshop will present general findings and major trends from the latest IBO global blueberry report, with analysis from key industry players.

10:00–10:45  Workshop 1 – Labour issues: ethics and automation

How can key players in the berry business gain a competitive advantage by ensuring their workers are treated well or by investing in technological innovation to automate production and harvesting?

10:45–11:30  Networking break at Global Berry Congress Expo

  • GBC TECH TALK 1

  • GBC TECH TALK 2

11:30–12:30   The Consumption Challenge: how to sell more berries

Selling more berries might not appear so big a challenge given the category’s recent performance, but it’s by no means certain such growth can be sustained. Our second plenary session focuses on potential new strategies and opportunities, with practical ideas for achieving success and generating excitement among consumers. 

12:30–14:00 NETWORKING LUNCH AT GLOBAL BERRY CONGRESS EXPO

GBC Tech Talk 3

GBC TECH TALK 4

GBC TECH TALK 5

14:00–14:45 New technologies to meet consumer demand

Rival technology suppliers will go head to head in our session on technological innovation, with each putting forward the case for investing in solutions that could potentially improve berry supply lines and therefore be more in tune with consumer demand.

14:45–15:30 WORKSHOP 3–Honeyberries: in search of the fifth berry

While much of the focus remains on the category’s four main products, the potential to foster demand for another major berry appears strong. Our speakers will highlight the honeyberry, one of the most interesting and promising new berries, which looks set to make an impact in the market during the coming years.

14:45–15:30 WORKSHOP 4–Making raspberries more marketable

While much has been made of the recent blueberry boom, the rise of raspberries has also contributed to the overall expansion of the international berry market. During this special workshop, our speakers will endeavour to identify where there is room for improvement in terms of the fresh raspberry offer.

14:45–15:15 Networking break at Global Berry Congress Expo

  • GBC Tech Talk 6

  • GBC TECH TALK 7

16:15–16:30 New international sources of berry supply

As the fresh berry market continues to expand, market analyst Euromonitor begins our final session by tracking recent changes in supply and demand. Then our speakers will highlight a number of countries where the development of new sources has the potential to meet growing demand in existing markets or even generate new demand in emerging ones.

17:45 – 18:00 Closing remarks

18:00 – 19:30 Drinks Reception


Wednesday 29 March 2017

08:00 – 17:00 Study tours

Organised visits to various places of interest for berry professionals. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come,  first-served basis.

GLOBAL BERRY CONGRESS 2017
 

SPEAKERS

 

RAFFAELE BENEDETTI
UNITEC (ITALY)

Raffaele Benedetti is sales manager at fresh produce equipment supplier Unitec. He has held this position since 2008, contributing to the expansion and consolidation of the company’s international trading network. Raffaele started as area manager, before becoming coordinator of the Spanish branch Unitec Iberica. He has participated in several international fresh produce seminars and conferences, focusing on the issue of post-harvest technologies.

Branko Bajatovic
Bluemond Limited (UK)

Branko Bajatovic is a director of Bluemond Ltd and works as a management consultant. Following 20 years working in the private sector and supporting international financial institutions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Branko has spent six years in the blueberry sector as an investor, producer, and organiser of a group of blueberry growers.

JAN VAN BERGEIJK
PLUS BERRIES (SPAIN)

Jan van Bergeijk, commercial manager raspberries, Plus Berries. Jan has been involved in the soft fruit industry since 1983 and in raspberries since 1989 when he joined Frutas Remolino in Huelva. Today the company is part of SAT Plus Berries and Jan is responsible for the group’s raspberry programmes. He specialises in varietal innovation and crop development.

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PETER MCPHERSON
COSTA GROUP (AUSTRALIA)

Peter McPherson is general manager of the Costa Berry Category. He has held the role since 1986, and his experience managing large-scale horticultural operations has played a key role in the steady growth and success of Costa's berry operations. In July 2016 he was elevated to the position of general manager for Berry International, having been instrumental in the successful expansion of the berry business internationally. Peter is the current president of the International Blueberry Organization.

Geoff Furniss
BBC Technologies (New Zealand)

Geoff Furniss is chief executive officer at BBC Technologies (New Zealand)

Eda Demir
OptiFreeze (Sweeden)

Eda Demir has been product development manager at OptiFreeze since 2014. For the past five years she has been involved with transferring the results of university research to the sale and marketing of OptiFreeze's patented technology, which allows the freezing and subsequent thawing of fruits and vegetables with no loss of flavour, texture or structure.

Jan Marc Schultz
SFI Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Jan Marc Schultz is procurement director at SFI Rotterdam (Netherlands)

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Logie Cassells
LoveHoneyberry (CANADA)

For the past seven years Logie has pioneered the research and development of many successful products and projects involving Honeyberries. He is a recognised authority on Honeyberries, providing consultancy services to producers seeking to drive innovation and change. Logie is also the author of the book Your Essential Honeyberry Guide.

 

Camilla Khrulova
OCtOFROST (Sweeden)

Camilla Khrulova is sales manager for eastern Europe and central Asia at individual quick freezing technology specialist OctoFrost. She has gained years of experience in the berry freezing industry, working on both mature and greenfield markets. Camilla has in-depth expertise in the whole cycle of berry processing, helping her to understand the challenges and opportunities berry processors face today.

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CORT BRAZELTON
FALL CREEK FARM & NURSERY (US)

Cort Brazelton is director of global business development at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery. the largest supplier of premium blueberry nursery stock to commercial fruit growers, nurseries and retailers worldwide.

TOM COEN
OCTINION (BELGIUM)

Tom Coen is CEO, founder and owner of Octinion, which has developed the world's first human-like robotic picker for strawberries. Having secured a masters in electrotechnical engineering from KULeuven in 2004, Tom went on to complete a PhD in engineering sciences at the same university in 2009, focusing on 'model-based predictive control to increase the capacity of harvesting machinery in uncertain conditions'.

ERIC LI
Yiguo (China)

Eric Li is Vice President of Yiguo (China)

Alexandre Pierron Darbonne PLANASA (SPAIN)

Alexandre Pierron Darbonne is president of PLANASA (Spain)

Gerard van Loon
The Greenery (Netherlands)

Gerard van Loon is sourcing manager for fruit at The Greenery. Gerard, 55, has worked for the Dutch group for 15 years and is responsible for building relationships with growers, breeding companies and nurseries to achieve optimal fruit quality at the right time for customers.

STEPHAN WEIST
REWE (GERMANY)

Stephan Weist heads category management for fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants at German supermarket chain Rewe, and is also brand manager for Rewe Regional, the group's brand for regional products. He has worked in fresh produce management positions at Chiquita, Landgard and Rewe, to which he returned in 2013. Stephan is an alumnus of the VWA Cologne and Insead Business School. Since 2014, he has represented the industry in Brussels as vice-president of Freshfel Europe.

Mihai Ciobanu
Fresh4Cast (UK)

Mihai Ciobanu is the CEO of intelligence platform fresh4cast.com, a system dedicated to improving predictability in the fresh produce industry. More than half of all berries produced in the UK now benefit from one of the forecasting solutions offered by Fresh4cast.

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BRYAN ROBERTS
TCC GLOBAL (UK)

Bryan Roberts is global insights director at TCC Global (UK), collaborating with major international retailers to help create meaningful shopper loyalty. Prior to joining TCC, Bryan was SVP & knowledge officer for Kantar Retail, and he has around 20 years of experience in the retail research and insights industry, working for clients including some of the world’s largest retailers and FMCG suppliers.

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MARION DUROSE
SAFE SPACE (UK)

Marion Durose has worked in retail and the supply side of fresh produce since 1993, focusing predominantly on berries. Now involved in raising awareness of modern slavery, as well as training and engaging fresh produce businesses to tackle the issue, Marion set up Safe Space Collaboration in 2016 to facilitate dialogue around difficult human rights issues within supply chains.

Richard Salvage
Maxstim (UK)

Richard Salvage is managing director of plant stimulants specialist Maxstim. Richard’s passion for science and innovation started whilst studying Mechanical Engineering at Salford University, moving into haemodynamics and vascular surgery research at Kings College London. He grew Shield Medicare into one of the world’s most successful contamination control companies. More recently he has developed Maxstim, an organic biostimulant that stimulates plant health and increases growth. Richard was awarded Cranfield University Entrepreneur of the year 2012 and he is currently carrying out postgraduate research.

Janja Postružnik
Haskap (SLOVENIA)

Janja Postružnik is a partner at Haskap Ltd. She heads up strategic consultancy for domestic and international clients, organisations and development at the Slovenian organisation. Last year saw the formation of Haskap Cooperative, which aims to be the biggest supplier of Haskap berries (Honeyberries) in northeast Europe. Prior to forming Haskap, Janja worked in corporate industry and finance.

Yulei Zhao
China Haisheng (CHINA)

Yulei Zhao began working as a senior plant engineer in Haisheng Group's soft fruit department in December 2016. His work is focused mainly on the management of strawberry production, including planting, nutrition and controlling disease and insects. For the past year, Yulei has been working on a PhD in plant pathology at RWTH-Aachen university.