Innovative strategies and essential networking for the international soft fruit business
28 November 2023 · 09:00 – 18:00 CET · Rotterdam, Netherlands



Global Berry Congress 2023 returns to Rotterdam after one of the most dramatic and challenging years for the berry business in recent memory. At this year’s event, our conference programme focuses on all of the big topics, including major market trends and industry challenges. This year’s agenda includes talks and discussions about inflation and the cost of living, climate change, sustainable packaging, tackling food waste, artificial intelligence, vertical farming and robotics, better engagement with consumers, compliance, emerging markets, and new supply sources.



Our Headline Hub stage delivers first-class analysis of current trends and possible future developments in key areas of the fresh berry business. The Headline Hub is a place for all stakeholders, from breeders and growers to buyers and category managers, to deepen their understanding of today’s fresh berry supply chains.

Registration opens

Networking break

Welcome to Global Berry Congress 2023
• Mike Knowles, Fruitnet

A fragile future: where next for berries?
Following a year of economic downturn and climatic adversity, our opening session highlights the key trends and major challenges ahead for the international berry business. Expert speakers offer insightful industry analysis and consider the factors that will affect the sector’s fortunes during the next 12 months.

• Cindy van Rijswick, Rabobank Research Food & Agribusiness (Netherlands)
• Colin Fain, Agronometrics (US)
• Michiel Vermeiren, Cooperatie Hoogstraten (Belgium)
• Katelyn Jones, BayWa Global Produce (Germany)
• Raffaele Benedetti, Unitec (Italy)

Networking break

Sustainable sourcing: how to match supply with demand
In an international market that remains as complicated and challenging as ever, we look at some of the berry category’s recent success stories and find out how companies can overcome its biggest challenges. Our extended session highlights various areas of interest, including environmental and commercial standards, labour provision, quality improvement, and recent advances in new variety development.

• Salih Hodzhov, WB Chambers (UK)
• Andriy Yarmak, FAO (Italy)
• Luliia Tymoshenko, Tiferet (Moldova)
• Ekaterine Vepkhvadze, Agritouch (Georgia)
• Oleksandr Pukshyn, Blue Berry (Ukraine)
• Miller Preciado, Elite Blu (Colombia)
Omar El-Naggar, Bloom Fruit Consultants (Spain)
Hussein Hassan, Fresh All Green (Egypt)
• Mouhssine Ismaili, iBerry (Morocco)

Networking lunch

The art of artificial: technology lends a helping hand
Artificial intelligence has made itself a mainstay of the mainstream media since our last Global Berry Congress. In this session, we tap into some very real and authentic human intelligence to deepen your understanding of where machines and technology can take the berry business next. From yield forecasting and advanced grading systems that help to limit food waste, to smart robotics that can reduce the need for pesticides and workers. Plus we check in with leading players in plant breeding to deepen your understanding of this vital area of research.

• Theo Slaats, YieldComputer (Netherlands)
Marco Snikkers, Onethird (Netherlands)
• Mihai Ciobanu, Fresh4cast (UK)
• Alessandro Gualandi, G-Berries (Italy)
• Alfonso López, Planasa (Spain)

Networking break

Keynote interviews: thought leaders in conversation
Accomplished interviewees share some of their vast knowledge and experience in the fields of vertical farming, category management, and more. Plus a fascinating talk on new concepts in food retail. Don’t miss these vital contributions to our Global Berry Congress 2023 programme.

• Marion Regan, Hugh Lowe Farms (UK)
• Robbrecht den Engelse, Buro Loods (Netherlands)
• David Meszaros, Smartkas (Netherlands)

Closing drinks



The Launchpad stage presents more in-depth sessions on important topics for the berry business. Expert speakers give their assessment of new opportunities and challenges relating to new markets, alternative packaging, and transport services.

Oriental opportunities: a closer look at Asia
As Asia’s import markets recover following the pandemic, we explore what new commercial opportunities might lie in wait for those berry companies who want to expand beyond their traditional, established markets in Europe and North America.
• John Hey, Fruitnet
• Ambrish Karvat, Yupaa (India)
• Hans Liekens, Sekoya Fruit (Belgium)

Better blues: Costco’s Canada case study
Following a successful trial earlier this year, CKF is now helping Costco Canada to achieve its sustainability goals with a wider roll-out of new, sustainable packs for the blueberries it sells. We speak to CKF about the future role that more environmentally friendly packaging can have in the fresh berry category.
• Shannon Boase, CKF (Canada)

From A to Berry: lessons in logistics
Shipping and airfreight perform vital roles by connecting fresh berry supply to key consumer markets.
Natasha Solano-Vesela, Hellman Worldwide Logistics (Netherlands)