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Early bird registration until July 1

International Strawberry Congress programme as good as finished

The third International Strawberry Congress will take place in Antwerp, Belgium from 6 to 9 September. This event is organised by Cooperation Hoogstraten in collaboration with Testing Centre Hoogstraten, VBT and VCBT. The combination of knowledge, practice and sales make it a unique congress.

Bridge between science and commercialisation
Leen Matthé of Cooperation Hoogstraten indicates that the programme is as good as finished. "We will start at 1 pm on Wednesday afternoon with an introduction from our director Gaston Opdekamp and the Moderator Michael Barker. Then we want to bridge the divide between commercialisation and science. Between 1.30pm and 3pm we will have two very different speaker, who have touch points with the consumers. The first is Kevin Folta, professor of genomics and president of the horti department at the University in Florida. Then Richard van Hooijdonk will talk about trends and the future in food. Together they will give the participants thinking points for throughout the congress."

Science and commerce
After the introduction by these two speakers the groups will split up and scientific and commercial groups will be created. "This time there will even be someone from the political sphere speaking in the commercial part, and will give advice in the area of export in a changing world. His name is Jonathan Holslag. He will have interesting things to say and we intend to make those in the sector think about their company's position. A 'call for abstracts' is being sent out into the scientific hatch. Online papers will eb sent in which will be judged by a scientific committee. This time there were more than 65 entries of which 18 will be effectively presented during the congress. The other abstracts will be presented as posters. For the scientific part we have important support from the full committee, as we have too little knowledge of it." 

Consumer central

The year the consumer is the central topic. "The first time we had sustainability as a theme, the second was innovation and now we have the consumer. We notice the importance of the consumer in all parts of the chain. We have a marketing department and here we present effective research into how the consumer sees strawberries in the store and how you can influence and guide purchasing behaviour. There are techniques for this and different speakers give useful tips."

Location: A room with a Zoo
The congress will be held in the Flander Meeting & Convention Centre in the heart of Antwerp. This is next to the Central Station and so easily accessible by public transport. There is a large underground car park near the station, so the venue is also easy to reach by car. The location isn't just unique due to its beautiful historical and new buildings, the earnings of the congress centre are completely used to support the work around animal welfare, cultivation programmes, research and nature conservation at the Zoo. A great advantage."

Speakers are coming from all over the world and are very diverse. "We are proud to announce Matthew Corrin. This is the founder of Freshii, an innovative concept from Canada that mainly uses fruit and veg to support a healthy lifestyle. What Starbucks is to coffee, Freshii is to fruit and veg worldwide."

"Various tours will be held on Friday, including to Hoogstraten cultivation companies. There are people who have already seen the Belgian side, so we are still looking at the possibility of an extra tour, possible in the Netherlands," concludes Leen.


"For the organisation of this congress, we can already count on the support from a lot of companies from the sector, including Herkuplast, CIV, Infia, Smurfit Kappa, Koppert, Idris, EuroPoolSystem, Bayer Crop Science and Biobest. Companies who would still like to be a part of this event can always contact us."

The preparations are in full swing and the entries are streaming in. Those who sign up before July 1, can enjoy a cheaper price and will pay 375 Euro. After this date participation is 450 Euro. So sign up quickly!

Publication date: 6/16/2017


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