The leading berry suppliers in the United States turned out in force at last week's Global Berry Congress, which took place in the northern California resort town of Monterey.
The conference event, which took place on 6-8 April 2011 at the Hyatt Monterey Hotel, was attended by some 190 delegates from 16 different countries. It was the first time the Global Berry Congress had been held outside Europe. It was launched in London in May 2008 and was held again in the UK capital city last year.
"I thought the Global Berry Congress was very informative and was an excellent networking and collaboration venue," said Joe Barsi, executive director of California Giant, one of the USA's leading grower-shippers of fresh berries. "I look forward to future events."
Mr Barsi was one of a roster of a dozen speakers and expert panelists from the berry business to take part at this year's Global Berry Congress. The conference programme, which was developed by Eurofruit Magazine, Europe's leading fresh produce business magazine, included sessions on the comparative positions of the consumer market for fresh berries in Europe and the US, the opportunities for developing berry sales in the US, the growth in berry production and sales in North America, the crucial role for scientific advance in new berry varieties, as well as the opportunities for berry sales in new markets in Russia, India and China.
"We're delighted with the results of our first-ever conference in the United States," said Chris White, Eurofruit Magazine's managing director who also moderated the conference. "Delegates turned up in large number and participated throughout, both in the conference sessions and the many networking breaks."
The Global Berry Congress, which featured a small business expo of five exhibitors, was supported by 10 major sponsors, including leading US berry companies such as Naturipe, Driscoll’s, Well-Pict, Sunny Ridge, Ocean Spray, Grower Direct, and Plant Sciences International as well as European companies such as Hoogstraten, Planasa, and Fruit Logistica.
The event, which included field visits for delegates to some of Naturipe's berry growing operations in Northern California, concluded with a gala cocktail party hosted by Naturipe, featuring an appearance by Billy Dean, the country-and-western star who is also a company spokesman.
The Global Berry Congress will return to Europe in May 2012 and will return to the United States in May 2013. For more information, please contact Hannah Gorvin at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 20 7501 3707. More details about the Global Berry Congress are available online at www.berrycongress.com