GLOBAL BERRY CONGRESS 2016
Marco Kesteloo is a Partner of Strategy& in Amsterdam. He leads the strategic consultancy's Global Retail Practice for international clients in consumer products, specialising in strategy, organisation and operational improvements, as well as collaborative value chain between retail and consumer organisations.
Timo Tarkianen is sales account manager at horticultural technology firm Priva's horticulture branch office in De Lier, The Netherlands. A graduate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences with a masters degree in horticulture, Timo has played a key role in the "fast and fascinating" development not only of technical solutions but also new growing methods in the horticultural business. Prior to joining Priva in 1989, he worked for a Swedish company that provided technical support for Priva's processing computers.
Mario Loi is commercial director of Fresas Nuevos Materiales. He is an agronomist with extensive experience in the agri-food industry, and a strong technical and commercial background, having worked for many years in leading companies within the food sector. Over the past 15 years he has occupied both commercial and technical positions, giving him a comprehensive vision of the food chain, particularly in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry at a global level. In his current role, he works closely with berry growers, nurseries, buyers and retailers from all over the world.
Dominika Kozarzewska is president of the Polskie Jagody (Polish Berries) Producers Group, one of the founders of Polish Berry Cooperative, a marketing alliance of three leading Polish blueberry producers. Dominika comes from a family of blueberry growers and has extensive experience in fruit production and marketing.
David Smith is operations manager at SVA Fruits, a joint venture established in China by Chilean grower-exporters San Clemente and Hortifrut which, through its connections with the latter, also represents US firm Naturipe. An expert in the Chinese fresh fruit and vegetable market, David is also owner of Fresh Solutions, a US company that offers strategic consulting services for all sectors of the fresh produce industry. Prior to setting up that firm in 2011, he worked as quality control representative for China at Washington State-based fruit exporter Chelan Fresh Marketing.
Mateusz Pilch is a board member at BerryGroup, one of three producer groups - alongside Elliot and Polskie Jagody - who recently formed the Polish Blueberry Cooperative. The cooperative is aiming to be the country's number one supplier of blueberries. BerryGroup, meanwhile, has a total of 24 blueberry farms across Poland.
Holger Brandt is international business development director at one of Europe's largest produce marketers SanLucar Group, where he is also in charge of the company's market expansion to China and Turkey. Since 2010, he has been responsible for overseeing the group's cooperation with world-leading breeders, the main goal being to provide access to the best varieties for SanLucar's worldwide production projects - across its entire product range including berries, grapes, stonefruit and citrus. Holger studied business administration with a special focus on sports management at the German Sport Science University and Arizona State University. After years in the sports industry negotiating marketing and television rights, he joined the retail business working for Aldi, where he supported its new market entry in Spain
Cindy van Rijswick is an industry analyst for fruit, vegetables and floriculture at Rabobank International, the largest all-finance concern in the Netherlands and the world's leading food and agricultural bank. Cindy is part of the group's 80-strong global food and agribusiness research team that covers all major sectors from the farm to the consumer. She has published various reports, including reports on the topics of fruit consumption, sourcing complexity in the fresh produce business, the impact of online grocery retail, and trends in the prepared produce sector. She is instrumental in providing relevant analyses and views on the fresh produce sector for Rabobank deals and Rabobank customers.
Luigi Garavaglia is R&D Manager of Italian company ILPA/ILIP Group, which manufactures rigid packaging containers for food. A food technologist graduated from the University of Milan, Luigi is an expert in food packaging systems. He previously worked at Cryovac Packaging Technical Center, Combibloc and Sirap Group. Today,at ILPA /ILIP, he is responsible for innovation and research activities in the field of rigid packaging (trays, punnets, fruit nest trays) for fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and disposable tableware for the foodservice sector.
Ed Moerman has a long and proven track record in Integrated Crop Management and sustainable horticulture. He has worked in a wide range of positions at Koppert Biological Systems, and is now active as knowledge manager and international trainer on natural growing systems. Ed is convinced of the importance of a multidisciplined and participatory approach to both growing and learning, and is fascinated by the diversity and power of nature as a source of inspiration for growing sustainably.
Neil Simmonds is an agronomist, agri-business manager and consultant who specialises in large-scale arable farm management, independent agronomy and agri-business. In 2009, Neil helped establish Blue River, a blueberry supplier based in Wasosz. The venture created 50ha of production by 2014, at which point it built a state-of-the-art and fully accredited grading and packing facility. Blue River now supplies high-quality berries to premium, pre-pack markets in the UK, continental Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East.
Sandra Wolters manages the product and consumer marketing team at Driscoll's of Europe, Middle East & Africa. The team is responsible for product innovation and portfolio management. Since graduating from Wageningen University, where she read management economics and consumer studies, in 2002, Sandra has gained experience in various marketing jobs, including eight years at GfK turning consumer insights into strategies and recommendations.
Andres Armstrong is the executive director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee and has been since its formation in 2009, designing its marketing strategy and implementing its action plans. Early on, he was involved in sales and marketing in the industrial sector both in Chile and Brazil and also in the trade fair business. Today he is responsible for the promotion of the Blueberries from Chile around the world and supporting the grower community in Chile for producing the best quality and safest blueberries for the world markets. Since 2011 is the chairman of the International Blueberry Organization (IBO) that gathers more than 90 per cent of the Highbush Blueberry production in the world.
David Northcroft is category varietal development manager and technical manager for soft fruit at UK retail chain Waitrose. David has extensive experience of the fresh produce business, having worked in production, manufacturing and retail. In his current role, David is responsible for leading Waitrose's product development and innovation strategy for all areas of fresh produce. Working closely with buying and technical colleagues and a global supply base, he is also the key liaison for seedhouses, plant breeders and plant nurseries worldwide.
José Gandía spent his early childhood in Morocco and went on to study in Switzerland before obtaining a degree in Economics from HEC Paris. He co-founded SAT Royal in the 1990s with two other families. The company has a turnover of €100m a year, half of which comes from the production of proprietary stonefruit varieties and the other half from berries. It is a signatory to the University of Florida's Blueberry Breeding Programme and Cornell University's Raspberry Breeding Programme. Its berry production is located in Huelva, Portugal and Morocco.
Mihai Ciobanu is the CEO of intelligence platform fresh4cast.com. Mihai brings his experience from companies like Johnson&Johnson and Unilever to help improve the decision-making process in the fresh produce industry. In 2013 he founded fresh4cast, which offers a suite of services, including market intelligence, business intelligence and data flow automation.
Dominik Woźniak is chief executive of Polish fruit exporter Rajpol Trade and president of the Ewelina co-operative. He has worked for Rajpol since 2003, working initially as a quality manager, logistics manager and then sales manager. In 2010, he became the Rajpol co-operative's vice-president and sales director. Before joining the group, he was a quality manager for Auchan Poland. Prior to that, he studied at Warsaw Agricultural University's Faculty of Horticulture, completing an engineering masters in fruit storage. He then received an MBA in modern trade management from the University of Management and Law in Warsaw.
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.
Newton Kalengamaliro is director of breeding and variety development for Driscoll's of EMEA, where he is responsible for developing and executing the group's breeding strategy in Europe, Middle East and Africa in line with its global breeding initiatives and strategies. Newton is a graduate of Purdue and Virginia Commonwealth Universities and has broad experience in agro-industry, having spent 12 years with Philip Morris USA and later Altria, as well as four years with BP Biofuels.
Huelva-born Ela Daher has been part of the export and marketing team at Cuna de Platero for two years. Prior to that she worked in the export department of Plus Berries. Ela has a degree in philology from the University of Huelva, during which she spent two years studying at Limerick University and the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She brings a fresh perspective to what in Spain has traditionally been a male dominated industry.