Freshfel Europe and Europatat celebrated their first-ever combined annual event on June 2 in Brussels.
Under the theme “Not business as usual”, following the European Commission’s work plan 2016, the conference hosted speakers from the European policy sphere as well as innovative business pioneers. With over 170 participants from both sectors, the event looked into the upcoming political and business-driven challenges for both industries.
“To reach today’s and tomorrow’s consumer, both sectors will have to rethink the way its products have been produced, packed and presented,” both associations concluded in a joint statement.
Accessibility of information, growing individualism, connectivity and the resulting societal changes have led to a ground-breaking fragmentation of today’s consumer. While price is less and less the driving element, consumers more and more connect their purchase decision to the accompanying immaterial values of the product. Aspects such as health, mental wellbeing, a sustainable and local production are driving aspects through all ages and consumer groups., the associations said in a media release.
Combining the idea of doing something ‘good’ for yourself and for others will be one of the crucial aspects of promoting products in the future, they said. How this can be applied in the potato and the fruit and vegetable industry was the dominant theme of the joint conference.
Both associations also used the event to held elections for their respective boards. Freshfel Europe re-confirmed Luc Clerx (Prominent) for another two-year period as president of Freshfel Europe as well as Stephan Weist (Rewe Group) as vice-president and Marc DeNaeyer (Trofi) as treasurer. Europatat welcomed former board member Jos Muyshondt (Pomuni) as new incoming president for the next term, while Domenico Citterio (Domenico Citterio & c.s.r.l.) and Gilles Fontaine (Desmazières) complete the board as vice-president and treasurer respectively.