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Manuel Pimentel: "We are in the middle of a change of cycle"

Large turnout on the first day of the 9th International Berry Congress in Huelva

The 9th edition of the International Berry Congress has kicked off in the Casa Colón, in the city of Huelva, with a large turnout of more than 1,500 professionals and more than 60 exhibiting companies. As always, good Serrano ham and refreshments have been served from lunchtime onwards.

Water as a limited resource and its scarcity has been one of the most important topics and the most discussed in this day.

The Mayoress of Huelva, Pilar Miranda, said that "it is an honor to host the International Berry Congress once again this year, since it is such a staple international event to talk about berries."

The Secretary General for Agriculture, Livestock and Food of the Council of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development of Andalusia, Manuel Gómez Galera, said that "the water supply is going to play a key role in the sector's future, so it is everyone's responsibility to continue working together to provide security to agricultural producers." He also said that the Council "supports the sector's request to start any necessary water works," stressing that the Regional Government has invested 200 million euros in such infrastructures in Huelva, and added that they must continue to work together on other vital issues, such as "competition from third countries and in obtaining a PGI."

The president of Freshuelva, Francisco José Gómez, says that this congress is going to be "a great place to sit all together and defend the sector," which is considered a great generator of wealth and employment for the province, "since we account for 11.5% of the province's GDP and generate almost 200,000 direct and indirect jobs."

Thus, he called for unity and to "put aside political disputes in order to find solutions to the sector's problems. I congratulate the sector's professionals for having, once again, managed to get through a very challenging campaign."

The opening ceremony also included an emotional posthumous tribute to entrepreneur Antonio Ángel Soltero León, who received the Golden Strawberry awarded by Freshuelva for a lifetime of dedication, devotion and defense of the sector. The award was collected by members of his family, who thanked the association for the award given "to a good man who dedicated his body and soul to the sector."

Manuel Pimentel: "We are in the middle of a change of cycle"
Manuel Pimentel, writer and publisher of Almuzara Libros, opened the 9th International Berry Congress with the inaugural conference "The revenge of agriculture".

Pimentel explained that "we are currently in the middle of a change of cycle. Between 2000 and 2020, eating and filling the shopping basket was easy and cheap, and this meant that society underestimated the value that agriculture really has. Now that is changing, because prices have gone up and people have become aware of the value of the products.

The former Minister said that "the last straw" was the European Union's latest CAP, "in which rural and agricultural settings were only shown appreciation from an environmental point of view, and it was encouraged for us to get our food from other countries."

With the current change of cycle, "the agricultural sector is taking 'revenge', with higher prices in rich countries and a shortage of products in poor countries," said Pimentel, who advocated seeking a path "that will lead us to better understanding and allow everyone to feel comfortable."

The Plus Berries Group did not miss the event.

After the inauguration, a program of technical conferences started in the morning and afternoon in halls A and B, with presentations given by experts from exhibiting and participating companies to address the latest technological innovations in the sector.

The program featured the companies Viveros California and Nutricorp, as well as Agrofresas, Syngenta Biologicals, El Pinar, Corteva Biologicals, Herogra Group, Tecnova, Famidan and Pelemix.