Australian Peter McPherson is the new president of the International Blueberry Organisation (IBO), as the global body prepares to usher in a new era of development and collaboration for the category.
McPherson succeeds Chilean Blueberry Committee president Andres Armstrong, while Argentinean Blueberry Committee president Carlos Stabile will assume McPherson’s previous role as IBO treasurer. British and Polish industry representative Stephen Taylor will continue as IBO secretary.
McPherson, who serves as general manager – berry international at Costa Group, said his election at the IBO Summit in Argentina and Uruguay earlier this week was unexpected but certainly an honor.
“I am very proud to represent the Australian Blueberry Growers Association and now the global blueberry industry – that being said I have big shoes to fill following on from my good friend Mr Andres Armstrong and we must maintain focus on delivering value to all our members,” McPherson explained.
“Given Mother Nature’s influence on our business, every day presents new challenges, and given the generic nature of the IBO we will continue to add value to all growers as the industry continues to grow – after all that’s what the IBO stands for.”
Armstrong said he was confident in handing the reins over McPherson, at a time of great promise and excitement for the sector.
“I think renewal is very healthy for institutions. Peter has impressive experience and knows the industry very well throughout the world,” Armstrong said. “I am sure he will be a big help.”
Last year’s IBO Summit in Coffs Harbour, Australia, had more than 300 participants, with delegate numbers swelling to 400 at this year’s event in Concordia, Argentina, and Salto, Uruguay.
“As convener in Australia last year we were very proud of our event but let me say with some 400 hundred attendees this year it has continued on in lifting the bar,” McPherson said. “Both the Argentine and Uruguayan committees must be congratulated particularly given that the past few seasons have not been overly kind to them – the presentations were of very high quality as was the hospitality.”
McPherson said the next IBO Summit would take place in China but the timing was yet to be confirmed.