On 15 and 16 November, the global onion sector has an unmissable event in the city of Albacete, Spain: the 2nd International Onion Meeting, IOM 2017, organised by the Association of Onion Producers of Castile-La Mancha with the collaboration of the Institute of Foreign Promotion of Castile-La Mancha, IPEX, and the Governments of Castile-La Mancha, the province of Albacete and the city of Albacete. The event will serve to discuss the main issues affecting the crop.
Albacete has been chosen to host this year's edition of the IOM because it is one of the main onion producing areas in Europe, with more than 5,000 hectares devoted to the crop in the 2017 campaign and a production totalling 364,234 tonnes.
During the two days of the event, five main topics will be addressed: markets, cultivation, distribution, export and post-harvest. 15 November will begin with a market analysis at national and international level which will count with the participation of Alfonso Tarazona, president of ACEC and partner of PROCECAM, and the German expert Dr Hans-Christoph Behr, of Zentrale Markt-und Preiberichstelle.
It will continue with the presentation of the biggest news in the fields of genetics and varieties, with experts like Mr Koen Van der Voort, manager of the Dutch company De Groot in Slot, a partner company of Bejo, and Mr Juan Carlos Brevis, geneticist of the Bayer company in the United States. Then, Mr José Muñoz, of Granada Coating, will address the issue of aid systems for the development of seed processing, and David de Scals, of FMC, will present the new way of fighting diseases that affect the crop. In the afternoon, expert Jaime Palafox, of Nebrija Business School, and Juan Carlos García, of the certifier SHC, will outline the various existing distribution chains and the food security needs that are currently required.
To end the day, Ms Prado Flores, of the Foreign Promotion Institute of Castile-La Mancha, IPEX, and Ms Laura Cortés, export specialist at Globalcaja, will address the needs of foreign traders working with onions and outline the various banking instruments that can help guarantee the successful completion of operations.
During this day, the event will also host the international presentation of the quality mark "Cebolla de La Mancha", which aims to improve the value of the onions cultivated in the main producing region of Spain.
On 16 November, the seminars dealing with the post-harvest will start with the participation of specialist Mr Lyndon Johnson, of Bayer USA, and Mr Teunis Verheij and Mr Win Kmbrink, of the Dutch company Dijksma Koudetechniek, who will present the different existing systems for storage and post-harvest treatment and the innovations that are currently being introduced in this field. To end the day, Mr Bas Ruybrok, of JDC Onion Grading Solutions, and Mr Albert Lleguerri, of Manter Packaging Ibérica, will present the latest innovations in processing and packaging systems for onions.
All of this will happen in a single venue: the Conference Centre of the city of Albacete, where there will also be two exhibition areas to allow the most important companies in the sector to present all their advances and developments in the different areas affecting the crop, from the harvesting machinery, the seed, the fertilizers, etc., to the quality certification of the final product.