GBC2018 Rabobank

As Asia and North America continue to move ahead of Europe in terms of their overall share of the global fresh berry market, various exciting opportunities for growth are emerging in different areas of the soft fruit business.

That was the main message for those attending the latest edition of Global Berry Congress, the leading international meeting point for the world’s soft fruit industry.

This year’s event, which took place at the Beurs-World Trade Center in Rotterdam on 19-21 March, attracted a total of 474 delegates from 41 countries, as well as 33 exhibitors from different parts of the berry supply chain.

With a combination of rising demand in certain key markets and improvements on the supply side continuing to encourage growing interest in the berry business, delegates heard how new sources of supply in countries such as Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine are establishing more of a foothold in the marketplace.

They were also able to learn about interesting new commercial opportunities in India as well as the latest new varieties – for example, a black raspberry being developed in Poland. Technological innovation was also in evidence, including a laser system to keep birds away from plantations, and what is believed to be the world’s only robotic harvesting machine for berries that currently matches the cost of human picking.

Of particular note at GBC2018 was a radically altered programme format, which enabled visitors to choose from more than 40 different sessions and a similar number of expert speakers at six locations around the venue during the course of the day.

Presentations from Global Berry Congress 2018 are available to download from the official event website,