The 2023 International Blueberry Organization (IBO) Summit, starting on July 3 in Poland, promises to be a truly global meeting of the blueberry industry. It is the first IBO Summit in Europe, and also the first opportunity for the global blueberry community to meet in person since 2019.
“This meeting can truly be called the ‘Blueberry Davos’. In the space of two days, one will be able to hear from key people in the industry and academia, meet fellow growers from around the globe and main players on the blueberry market. Delegates from over 20 countries on six continents, from Peru to Uganda to China to New Zealand have already registered,” says Dominika Kozarzewska from the organizing committee.
The two conference days will kick off with a presentation of the 2023 edition of the Global State of the Blueberry Industry Report. “The report highlights significant growth in blueberry production, primarily driven by Peru but complemented by increases in other regions. This large change in supply dynamics comes amid a challenging intersection of rising input costs and static pricing structures,” Fain adds.
“The report takes note of a more aggressive pattern of converting existing fields to new varieties to lift productivity, meet increasing retailer demands on quality, and improve harvest efficiency. We are also seeing signs of a return to logistical normalcy in several regions, albeit not all. Stay ahead of the curve by exploring the full report and understanding how these dynamics are shaping the future of the blueberry industry,” says Colin Fain, CEO of Agronometrics and co-author of the Report.
Many participants are looking forward to the discussion between Soren Bjorn, President, Driscoll’s of the America’s, and Juan Ignacio Allende, CEO, Hortifrut S.A., entitled “The Road Ahead: Where is the blueberry industry going?”. Bjorn says, “This is a great time for our industry leaders to go together. The demand for blueberries has never been greater. However, we have many challenges ahead us. It is our collective responsibility to address the sustainability challenges of our business, while at the same time elevating the consumer experience associated with eating blueberries.”
The two conference days will be followed by farm tours to the largest organic and conventional blueberry farms in Europe, where delegates will be able to see not only demonstrations of innovative farm equipment but also how new Northern highbush varieties are performing under Polish climatic conditions, characterized by high yearly and daily temperature amplitudes.
“We decided to extend the Early Bird registration until 10 June, so there is still time to take advantage of the reduced rates for this unique event,” says Kozarzewska.