Europatat and Freshfel Europe will jointly celebrate their first combined annual meeting on June 2 in Brussels.
Adhering to the European Commission work programme for 2016, the common conference will be held under the theme “Not business as usual”.
The conference will review the upcoming challenges and opportunities for both sectors in light of a complex political and business environment. With a broad international line up covering policy and business perspectives, the associations will contribute to prepare both sectors for the future in an ever-disruptive environment, they said in a joint press release.
“The potato and the fruit and vegetable sector are looking back on a decade full of changes. Changes, which were at times unexpected and which penetrated all dimensions of the business. The digital revolution has shaken the business on all layers: in the production, in the supply-chain and in the interaction with clients.
“But also topics such as increased security threats, the introduction of the Russian embargo, the search for market diversification, climate change, changing consumer behaviour, the ongoing debates about an end of Schengen and trade negotiations with uncertain results are keywords, which have become constant companions of the daily business decisions.
“Successful business must learn how to manage these uncertainties and address these multifaceted challenges. Europatat and Freshfel Europe are therefore joining forces to explore strategies beyond the conventional paths – to use the sectoral synergies and to refocus both sectors sight on what is essential: good, healthy, nutritious products with a big potential,” the release said.
It went on to say that members of both associations will gain an exclusive outlook on the upcoming policy priorities given by high-level officials of the European Commission, who will highlight the Commission priorities in the field of trade, agricultural and promotion policy as well as quality and food safety.
Also to be discussed is disruption in both sectors from new competitors, “young, dynamic technology driven start-ups, who claim to have found the key to future business success.” Franziska Krauskopf, innovation advisor at TrendOne, and Hello Fresh CEO Thomas Griesel will look at the inherent potential and pitfalls of this technology-driven evolution, while Euromonitor global consumer expert Daphne Kasriel Alexander provides a look at the top ten consumer trends and their impact on the fresh produce and potato sectors.
Europatat is the European Potato Trade Association, representing the interests of the seed and ware potato traders in Europe. It has over 40 members, including both companies and associations.
Freshfel Europe is the European Fresh Produce Association. It represents the interests of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain in Europe and beyond and has over 200 members, including both companies and associations.