Photo report: International Soft Fruit Conference

With 760 visitors from over 40 countries, the International Soft Fruit Conference, held yesterday in Den Bosch, Netherlands, was the meeting point of the soft fruit growing world. The future of the soft fruit industry has been discussed broadly with topics like growing under LED, market developments and of course Integrated Pest Management. Today, the participants are visiting several high-tech Dutch strawberry farms.

Check out the photo report here. 

The International Soft Fruit Conference was held for the eighth time and is organized by BVB Substrates and Delphy with the support of many sponsors, Swiss Grow being the golden one. 

Soft fruit consumption
Wholesome, convenient, full of flavour. It can easily be explained why the consumption of soft fruit is on the rise globally. Strawberries are leading, the blueberry market is growing rapidly and the first attempts at high-tech growing of raspberries and blackberries are being made. Due to the market asking for year-round produce grown safely and locally, the protected cultivation of berries is expanding - supercharged in Europe by the fine revenues growers made over the last years. All this adds up to an interesting soft fruit market, with growers willing to invest and suppliers innovating to be ahead of the competition. 

An important topic to the industry is Integrated Pest Management. This year the annual DROPSA meeting was combined with the ISFC.

DROPSA is a global project focusing on threats to the soft fruit market: Drosophila suzukii for example, but also bacterial pathogens like Xanthomonas fragariae. Because their eradication or containment is not possible, these are a major threat to the industry, and the development of IPM is vital for the future of the industry both in the EU and worldwide. In the conference, strategies were introduced to develop effective, innovative and practical approaches to protect major European fruit crops from pests and pathogens.

The conference was held on January 11th, with a conference dinner afterwards. Today the participants are visiting several high-tech Dutch strawberry farms.

Check out the photo report here. 

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