The European Organic Congress by IFOAM, with the title “Organic’s contribution to the European Green Deal”, aims this year to inspire the participants by focusing on how the agri-food sector’s initiatives enhance the transition towards a more sustainable food system, through the aid of leading examples from representatives and experts amidst the organic sector. The New EU Organic Regulation 848/2018 will also be explored, while focusing on its implications for the objective of 25% EU organic land by 2030. We will dive deep into how organic districts, living labs and farm demonstrations contribute to rural development and the success of the Organic Action Plan. Moreover, organic’s contribution to climate change mitigation, with the EU Green Deal, the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies and last but not least, the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) will be key themes for the Congress’ debates.
The micro-events were very diverse, with attendees invited to notably visit an endive cultivation inside an old German blockhouse. /// © Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
On the last weekend of April, Bordeaux put on its finest clothes to celebrate 48 hours of urban agriculture (48h de l’agriculture urbaine).
It must seem strange to read this news when France is still under lockdown, yet the event was quite legal, with 2,000 citizens allowed to discover agriculture in its many forms. “The event, which we have been planning since November 2020, was able to continue because we divided it into 60 micro-events scattered throughout the city, and a lot of them were outdoors,” said Marie-Agathe Widlöcher, one of the organisators. It was also necessary to meet strict sanitary conditions, which meant that almost every event received no more than six people, including the facilitator, with reservations made beforehand and mask-wearing was mandatory.
It was the event’s third edition in Bordeaux after a two-year gap. Marie-Agathe Widlöcher explained that they had been planning to “do it differently from previous years, long before the second and third waves of the pandemic. For example, several associations of shared gardens, farms or agri-food professionals were contacted to make direct visits to their workplaces.”
Salomon Mouawad of the association Les incroyables comestibles said: “The goal is to reconnect people to nature just as they connect to their WiFi by raising awareness of the soil and its properties.” That’s why his association opened its doors to the shared garden it had been taking care of to show it off to city-dwellers for a weekend.
Marie-Agathe Widlöcher was also pleased to receive the support of the Chamber of Urban Agriculture, Agrobio Gironde and La Ruche qui dit Oui !, which connect them with various players in the food chain.
Farmers turn out for the rendezvous
“Our goal is to connect farmers and citizens, so the latter can gain a better understanding of the food cycle right down to when it arrives on their plates. The cycle from production to purchasing might involve the MIN* of Bordeaux or a solidarity grocery store in the neighbourhood,” said Widlöcher. The events were very diverse, with attendees invited to visit La ferme de Pauline in Lormont, Le jardin de Quentin in Eysines (a traditional farm), or an endive cultivation inside an old German blockhouse. “Farmers were very interested in the event because they want citizens to have a better understanding of their work. We would have liked to have had more farmers contributing to the event, but it is a big time for them and not everyone was able to attend. As they were micro-events of half an hour or an hour, this facilitated their participation. And we are already very grateful to all those who were able to take part,” said Widlöcher.
48 hours of urban agriculture is a national-scale event that is organised differently depending on the city. La SAUGE operates coordinates the various events up and down the country from its headquarters in Paris to ensure global communication on the internet and social networks. The organisers of this festival hope the event will spread to the international sphere, with editions in Spain or Belgium, as several groups in each country have expressed an interest in participating.
*wholesale market for perishable food and horticultural products
Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, is excited to announce the opening of registrations for its upcoming annual Europatat Congress that will be organised on Thursday, 10th of June in a virtual format. This year’s event is open to the whole potato sector (registration is free of charge). Register today and don’t miss the opportunity to join the annual gathering of the European potato community!
Under the slogan “Stay connected – new strategies for the potato sector”, this special edition of the Europatat Congress will explore how the potato sector can benefit the most from digitalisation. Opening a two-hour virtual event moderated by Jean-Paul Judson (Founder of Nowmore), the Digital Expert Ömer Atiker will give an energising and inspiring keynote speech on how to use new digital possibilities to improve the daily operations of all types of companies and organisations operating in the potato sector. Watch this video to get a sneak peek of his charming style and get ready for an unconventional and engaging discussion full of surprises!
Other confirmed speakers include Anthony Atlas, Head of Product and Growth of ClimateAi; Lilian Escalon, Director HZPC Europe; and Felipe Medina, Technical Secretary General of ASEDAS and member of the European Economic and Social Committee. They will share their insights on the challenges and benefits that digitalisation can offer to the potato sector. Finally, Liam Glennon, Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee of the World Potato Congress in Dublin, will give an overview of the programme and activities planned for this unique potato event that will take place in Dublin (Ireland) from 30 May to 2 June 2022. Visit www.europatatcongress.eu and find more information about the programme, speakers and sponsorship opportunities
© Global Women Fresh
Global Women Fresh (GWF), the international network for women in produce, has announced the speaker line-up for its latest webinar, which takes place on 26 May within Fruitnet’s World of Fresh Ideas online learning and networking event.
Zespri CEO Daniel Mathieson, Nicole Neeman Brady, CEO of S-DAC and Lori Taylor, founder and CEO of Produce Moms, join moderator Michelle Redfern for a lively discussion on issues affecting women in produce. This will be followed by the announcement of the winners of the inaugural GWF Woman of Impact and EmpowerHER Awards.
Founder, Julie Escobar, said: “We’ve invited three exceptional industry speakers to join us for critical conversations around gender equity, setting the stage for the exciting announcement of the winners of our first ever awards celebrating the role of women in the global fresh produce arena. We’re thrilled with the amount of nominations we have received for the awards, as well as the support of companies who have already come forward to sponsor the event and the work that GWF does. We’d invite more companies to get involved and help us to empower, inspire and connect women around the world.”
Fruitnet’s World of Fresh Ideas is a live online learning and networking event for the global fresh fruit and vegetable business that takes place over two days on 26 and 27 May. It will feature four different programme tracks offering a wide range of talks, interviews, and interactive discussions with experts from across the international fresh produce business.
Photo: IBO SUMMIT 2021
The International Blueberry Organization (IBO) and the Association of Blueberry Producers & Exporters from Peru (PROARÁNDANOS) are responsible for organizing the IBO Summit 2021, which will be held virtually from August 23rd to 25th, with Peru as the host country.
The IBO Summit is the most important event of the blueberry industry, gathering the industry’s top leaders in a blueberry producing country. This time we will gather virtually in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, to address common challenges and coordinate potential solutions, explore opportunities and, fundamentally, to promote the health and sustainability of the blueberry industry.
This year the summit will be held on a 100% digital platform created exclusively for the event, allowing participants to virtually visit farms in different regions in Peru and participate in a wide range of presentations and discussions by renowned professionals from around the world.
The IBO Summit 2021, whose motto is “Together to be the Berry Best”, will be a global event, projecting to attract participants from more than thirty countries, including the Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. It will be a unique opportunity for sponsoring companies to generate business contacts and exposure for their brands.
For more information please visit the event´s website: https://ibosummit2021.com.pe/
On April 21, the Ecuadorian Banana Cluster celebrated the Banana Day with a high-level international event on the sector’s industry and its future. It was attended by important speakers such as MEPs Juan Ignacio Zoido and Mazaly Aguilar, the Ambassador of the European Union in Ecuador Charles-Michel Geurts, representatives of the European Commission such as Koen van Dyck from DG SANTE, Maija Laurila from DG JUST and Luis Carazo from DG AGRI, Professor, PhD and researcher at Wageningen University Gert Kema, PhD and Professor Emeritus at the KU Leuven Rony Swennen, currently researcher at IITA, and Carolina Dawson from CIRAD.
More than 550 people registered for the event, and attended by an average of 300 people during the two hours within 3 different panels:
- Panel 1- “Different Regions, Different Needs” where the need for agriculture adapted to local realities was discussed.
- Panel 2- “Shared Responsibility” in which the theme of shared responsibility was discussed, for a responsible and sustainable participation in the entire value chain.
- Panel 3- “Future of Bananas” where the future of the banana sector and the industry was discussed, for an inclusive platform to accelerate the ecological and sustainable transition.
Participants showed their positions on the issues of sustainability, shared responsibility, certifications, FOC TR4 and the future of bananas in general. Speakers highlighted the role of shared responsibility in achieving sustainable development objectives, the coherence between EU requirements for local and imported production, the need for safe and simple certifications focused on consumers, and the need to promote dialogue and innovation.
At the end of the event, the Cluster shared an open letter to present to the authorities where the main conclusions drawn from the meeting were defended and asked the participants for their signature, support and diffusion. This letter also asks the United Nations (FAO) for the official declaration of April 21 as International Banana Day and its inclusion in the calendar, given the great importance of this fruit.
During ProColombia’s Reactivation macro business matchmaking forum, April 12-23, close to 1,000 companies from 62 countries on four continents will hold 13,000 virtual business appointments with 2,000 Colombian companies from 26 departments. Among the most prominent buyers are PriceSmart, Hyatt, The Home Depot, Toyota, Jerónimo Martins, Ralph Lauren, and Electronic Arts.
Nearly 1,000 buyers from 62 countries in Oceania, Asia, Europe, and the Americas will connect with 2,000 Colombian companies from 26 Colombian departments across more than 13,000 virtual appointments that will take place from April 12 to 23 as part of 85th edition of ProColombia’s Reactivation macro business matchmaking forum. Canada is the special guest country on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of the FTA between Colombia and Canada.
The United States, Peru, Canada, Guatemala, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Spain are the countries with the largest number of participating buyers. For instance, there are a total of 191 U.S. companies, which will be looking mainly for agricultural, food, and fashion products.
The departments with the most participating companies are Cundinamarca, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Atlántico, Santander, Risaralda, Caldas, and Norte de Santander.
Colombia’s Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, José Manuel Restrepo, highlighted the great interest of buyers from around the world, who despite the current circumstances which demand that the meetings be held online, want to make the most of this opportunity. The Reactivation macro business matchmaking forum will connect them to Colombian goods and services as offered by 2,000 Colombian companies. “With support from ProColombia, over 13,000 appointments, are expected to be held,” said the minister. He also underscored that this version of the event saw a considerable increase in the number of buyers and sellers. It is a timely opportunity for boosting foreign sales of non-mining products, he added.
“The Reactivation macro business matchmaking forum is the most important trade meeting in Colombia and the cornerstone of our strategy to boost the country’s non-mining exports and to consolidate Colombia as a world-class supplier of goods and services,” said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia. “And it comes at a time when we have seen a major interest on the part of buyers in what Colombia has to offer in terms of agricultural products, fashion, metal mechanics, chemicals, and 4.0 industries, as well as in goods and services for biosafety and protection.”
Santoro said that of the 1,000 buying companies, 580 will be participating for the first time in a ProColombia macro business matchmaking forum. They hail from 53 destinations, which shows that there is new interest by international companies that are eager to learn about the supply of Colombian goods and services.
Among the most prominent foreign companies are PriceSmart, Hyatt, The Home Depot, Toyota, Jerónimo Martins, Ralph Lauren, Dole, Coto, Carter’s, and Electronic Arts.
Similarly, of the 2,000 national companies, 643 will be participating for the first time. These companies are domiciled in 23 departments, which reflects the great interest of Colombian companies in becoming international and reaching foreign markets.
Four countries are participating for the first time in this matchmaking forum: Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba; Oman; Iraq; and Luxembourg.
There will also be side activities such as the Internationalization Solutions Block, where companies will be able to schedule individual 30-minute meetings with different Colombian and public institutions to obtain first-hand information on matters related to the export process. The Indirect Exports business matchmaking forum, held between Colombian suppliers and buyers, was organized to enable local companies to find national allies to better export their goods and services.
At the end of the Reactivation Master Roundtable, a face-to-face program will be held, with international buyers coming to the country to learn first-hand about national companies. The international companies that will visit the facilities of Bogotá firms will come thanks to the support of Bogotá’s Secretariat of Economic Development.
Hyatt, Electronic Arts, The Home Depot, and more
The U.S. hotel chain Hyatt, a global hospitality company with 20 brands and more than 950 hotels in 67 countries, will be seeking suppliers of construction materials for projects in the Americas at the Reactivation macro business matchmaking forum. Meanwhile, the Chinese subsidiary of the multinational fruit company Dole, which is headquartered in Shanghai and has more than 2,000 employees, is interested in Hass avocados from Colombia.
The Canadian branch of Electronic Arts, one of the world’s leading video game companies with more than 300 million registered users worldwide and creator of the popular FIFA game, is interested in 3D art, animation, and software services for video games.
The Argentine supermarket Coto, with 50 years of experience in the market and presence mainly in the Greater Buenos Aires area and 120 points of sale, will hold virtual business meetings with Colombian fresh fruit entrepreneurs.
The retailer Club Monaco Ralph Lauren in the United States will be in talks with Colombian manufacturers of casual apparel for men and women, seeking garments such as blouses, suits, pants, jackets, weaves, and others.
In its virtual appointments Jerónimo Martins, the Portuguese food distribution chain with a presence in Portugal, Poland and Colombia, will be looking for avocado, papaya, and mango for export to Portugal.
From the U.S., PriceSmart, the food and non-food retailer in Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean, is interested in textile products in interior, home, fashion, and jewelry categories.
The Home Depot, America’s largest retailer in the home improvement category, will be looking for home décor, furniture and wood products, office furniture, outdoor furniture, home furnishings, towels, and disinfectants.
Wayuu mochilas and handbags created by artisans will be the main objects for the U.S. fashion company Tory Burch, an important brand based in New York.
A good start to the year
Colombia’s non-mining exports have had a strong start this year. In the first two months of the year, they grew 4.3% and registered sales worth US $2,5 billion, thanks to the boost in international sales of agricultural products and chemicals and life sciences, which increased 2.7% and 18.5%, respectively, according to figures from DANE, Colombia’s statistics institute, analyzed by ProColombia.
In February alone, even in the midst of the pandemic and low global demand, the country’s non-mining exports reached US $1,3 billion —8.8% more than in February 2020. It is noteworthy that foreign sales in the manufacturing sector saw the best February performance in the last 6 years (US $653.68 million) and were the main contributor to the growth of total exports of goods in the year’s second month.
The annual Smart Water Systems conference will highlight the methods the water companies are using to ensure the goals and targets that have been set are reached and exceeded. The event will take place on 19-20 April 2021 at 11:00am (Europe/Madrid), and will focus on how new technologies, IOT and Artificial Intelligence can help to produce and analyse real-time data to ensure more efficient leakage detection and management; leading to better customer engagement and subsequently decreased customers water usage.
The agri-food industry is a strategic sector for boosting the Portuguese economy. In recent years there has been a change in the profile of agri-food companies: a greater concern for the quality of raw materials, product differentiation, and a commitment to design and branding are some of the main elements that distinguish this industry, making it a highly competitive sector.
Portugal is a high-quality producer with an increasing degree of innovation, which further strengthens its partnerships as a supplier to various international markets. The Portuguese agri-food industry is one of the sectors with the highest level of development and is enjoying exponential growth, promoting the incorporation of innovation in the production processes of traditional products and the creation of products with high added value.
Companies in the sector are increasingly well-equipped in terms of food safety, operating in compliance with the requirements set by the European Union with the backing of the necessary certifications for global exports.
Wines, oils and preserves are a key part of the acclaimed Mediterranean Diet, and olive oils from Portugal are no exception, winning distinctions at the main international olive oil competitions every year. Portugal is among the world’s top ten exporters of both olive oils and wine. Portuguese agri-food companies have invested in high quality standards as well as the most advanced technical solutions available on the market to modernize their processes and make them more efficient. These factors have led to the rapid evolution of the sector and the companies that operate within it, resulting in a considerable increase in exports from the agri-food industry. The Portuguese climate is ideal for producing fruit and vegetables, which is why Portugal not only comfortably meets its own domestic demand but is also in a position to export large volumes of top quality fresh produce.
Trade relations between the players in the Portuguese agri-food sector and the international market are founded on cooperation and transparency, both of which are key factors when it comes to establishing and sustaining long-term relationships.
The Digital AgriExport 4.0 event, held under the slogan of Take Portugal with You, will take place online between 12 and 23 April this year. The action is organized by Inovcluster, the Agri-Food Association for the Central Region of Portugal, and some 40 international importers have already registered.
This international event is the ideal meeting point for international buyers to get a greater insight into Portuguese specialities – from snacks, cheeses, and preserves to fruit and vegetables, charcuterie, olives and olive oils, wines, and a huge variety of natural, organic products.
Buyers who are interested in taking part in the event should send an email to Inovcluster at email@example.com to request their access code and enjoy all the features available on the digital platform.
Photo: Virtual Platform – ISS 2021
The International Strawberry Symposium will run from 1 to 5 May, with a presentation on the evening of 1 May. Scientific research studies will be discussed for three days, from 2 to 4 May, together with all the latest discoveries in genetics, nutrition, agronomic management, and more. The final day, 5 May, will be dedicated to on-site visits. For this day, an online connection will be included, with the possibility of a live presence, following all protocols, as it will take place outdoors and there will be wide open spaces.
“Taking part in the International Strawberry Symposium 2021 is not like attending an ordinary webinar. Indeed, the symposium is conceived not only as a time for education and information, but also as an opportunity for scientific exchange,” said Bruno Mezzetti, associate professor and co-organizer of the event. The Symposium registration price is locked until 30 April.
“The webinar package includes 15 speeches, posters, virtual tours, the Berry School, the two books (more than 1000 pages, including 150 articles on the research) and all other necessary information. By accessing the platform, a participant is part of a real exhibition and therefore I invite those companies who want to be featured as sponsors to participate. Within our platform, a person can move as if they were physically present at an event and have access to the different rooms.”
The symposium will offer information at a very high scientific level, as testified also by the high number of approved scientific contributions. About 50% of these have been reviewed and will constitute the proceedings, two volumes of about 1,000 pages.
For more information and registration: www.iss2021.com