The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) used its recent AGM to appoint Dominik Wozniak as its new president for the next two years.
Wozniak, of the Polish Society for Promotion of Dwarf Fruit Orchards, took over from Nicholas Dicey of Hortgro in South Africa. USA Pears’ Jeff Correa, director at the Pear Bureau Northwest, is the new vice-president.
“I am very honoured to take over the presidency of WAPA on behalf of my country, which is one of the world-leading apple production countries," said Wozniak. "I look forward to teaming up with Jeff to drive further the apples and pears categories in the consumer’s diet.
"In these days of renewed interest among consumers for fruit and vegetables and in particular for apples and pears, we do have a very favourable momentum," he continued. "Consumers are seeking to reinforce their health and immune system while consuming more sustainable products. We therefore need as WAPA to seize this opportunity and better communicate the numerous health and environmental benefits of apple and pears.”
The meeting, which gathered online representatives of the key global apple and pear producing and exporting countries, also decided that due to ongoing sanitary uncertainties, Prognosfruit 2021 will go online on 5 August 2021.
The next physical Prognosfruit meeting has been postponed until 2022, when it will take place in Serbia.
“There are still too many uncertainties about the sanitary and logistics conditions to organise in good conditions a physical meeting this summer,” confirmed WAPA secretary general Philippe Binard.
“With much regret, this Prognosfruit visit to Belgrade and Novi Sad production region will not be possible again this year, but we will for sure meet all together in August 2022 under good sanitary and logistics conditions and we all look forward to meet again physically to discover the Serbian apples industry and enjoy the hospitality of Serbia Does Apples,” he added.
The meeting also reviewed the latest production forecast for the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere markets.
WAPA noted that, given moderate crops, the seasons were developing "satisfactorily" and with a good outlook for all varieties.
"Covid-19 is still driving the demand on the positive side," the association stated. "The sector enjoys this season good fruit quality and sizes in most of the production areas.
"The sector is also very resilient to new market conditions and is adapting its marketing and promotion activities (such as tastings over social media) to the new purchase and consumption patterns resulting from the pandemic," WAPA added. "Despite the positive outlook there are however some concerns that need to be addressed, such as negative consequences of Covid-19 regarding access to seasonal workers and for international logistics access to containers."
The association also highlighted how the recent Suez Canal blockage had created further logistics challenges, albeit temporary ones.