GWF Board

Global Women Fresh, the newly created networking platform for the international fresh produce industry, has announced the appointment of a board of directors to support its global development.

Suhanra Conradie (CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa), Mabel Zhuang (CEO of MZ Marketing Communications) in China, Rachel Montague-Ebbs (head of brand and communications at Soloberry) in the UK, Linda Carobbi (corporate director Savino del Bene) in Italy, Wilma van den Oever (communications manager at Groenten Fruit Huis / Fresh Produce Center) in the Netherlands, Michelle Masek (head of marketing at Apeel Sciences) in the US, and Maura Maxwell (Latin America editor of Fruitnet Media International), will help drive GWF’s expansion in their respective regions.

“We are delighted to have finalised our selection for the board of directors and are confident that each one will add great value to the organisation,” said Julie Escobar, who co-founded Global Women Fresh with Monica Bratuti and Viviane Schappo earlier this year to connect women within the produce sector and support the professional development.

Following the success of its inaugural networking event at this year’s Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin, the non-profit organisation is planning to hold two further events, the first of which will take place on 5 September at Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong, and the second at Fruit Logistica 2020.

“We’re very proud to say that the vast majority of the feedback we received for our first event was positive and this certainly encourages us to continue doing what we’re doing,” said Bratuti.

“More than ever we think the industry needed a space for women to share, connect and learn from each other. There is a special and powerful magic when women help other women.

“This has been a very gratifying experience and we’re constantly learning from the women who hear about us and are joining the conversation. All the feedback we receive will be taken into consideration for future events, which will get better and better each year.”

Looking ahead, GWF has set out five key themes that will frame future discussions as it seeks to bring about radical change in the global agricultural community.

“Food waste, sustainability, social impact, technology and innovation will be the five pillars that will drive our conversation around the world and give us the opportunity to engage and enrol the private and public sectors,” Escobar explained.

Global Women Fresh was set up by Viviane Schappo, Monica Bratuti and Julie Escobar to improve the lives of women at every level of the agricultural sector.

“Global Women Fresh is committed to making a difference for women in the agricultural sector, all the way from the field to the boardroom,” said Escobar. “We strongly believe there are great opportunities for women around the world to come together and share ideas, collaborate with each other and inspire the global agricultural community.”