After drawing more than 350 people to this year’s event in Trentino, Prognosfruit is eyeing next year’s gathering in Hungary

Prognosfruit has reflected on a successful return to Trentino, Italy, where it gathered more than 350 delegates from the apple and pear sector from Europe and beyond.

Generic apples and pears in RPCs supermarket Adobe

Image: Adobe Stock

The 48th edition of the event included the annual conference, where the first apple and pear crop forecast for the Northern Hemisphere was announced, as well as several networking events and visits in Trentino.

The event was organised by the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) in cooperation with Associazione Produttori Ortofrutticoli Trentini (APOT).

“It was a pleasure welcoming the apple and pear sector here in Trentino to show our region, our way of thinking and producing, and our unwavering commitment to sustainability,” said APOT director Alessandro Dalpiaz.

Philippe Binard, secretary general of WAPA, highlighted the importance of the crop forecast.

“The annual apple and pear market outlook is both an established tradition and responsibility for the sector, as it fosters networking, communication, transparency, and provides market intelligence at the launch of the campaign,” he explained.

“The retrospective evaluation of the previous forecasts confirms the reliability of the process, which is complemented by regular updates to deal with uncertain climatic and market conditions, as well additional information on the season such as qualitative information, stock depletion, and trends for processing and organic products.”

In his closing remarks at the event, Luc Vanoirbeek of Copa Cogeca highlighted the upcoming priorities for the sector.

“First, climate change will be the most important challenge for the survival of agriculture, especially for apples and pears,” he outlined.

”Regarding the volumes, the low stock figures of the last season combined with the lower production for the upcoming crop are a reason to be moderately optimistic.

”Quantity aside, we should focus on quality and how to communicate effectively to increase the consumption of apples and pears, which are excellent products that align with the sustainability and health ambitions of the EU Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy,” Vanoirbeek continued. “On this background, the value and price return of the production should be uplifted to cover the rising costs while raising return for growers.

”Based on its health nutritional and environmental benefits, the sector should focus on quality to secure enough space for marketing and storytelling on the shelf of the shops,” he added. ”Quality is stable compared to other products and consequently consumers are never disappointed.”

At the end of the conference, Péter Kelemen of FruitVeB announced that the next edition of Prognosfruit will take place in Budapest in August 2024, returning to the Hungarian capital for the first time in 18 years.