This year’s International Conference of Producer Organisations (POs) for fruit and vegetables (ICOP 2018) will take place in the Dutch harbour town Rotterdam from November 21st to 23rd. Founder and organiser of the ICOP-platform is the Austrian consultancy gfa-consulting gmbh. This year’s co-organiser is the representative organisation of the Dutch fruit and vegetable sector: DPA-Dutch Produce Association. Apart from the actual Conference day the organisers offer a supporting programme including practical excursions, visits and possibilities for networking and the exchange of experience and information.

Representatives from more than 20 European countries have already registered for the Conference.

The International Conference of Producer Organisations for fruit and vegetables will take place for the 13th time this year. One of the main issues of the ICOP is to provide a faceted insight into the European fruit and vegetable sector. That is why the event takes place in a different European country every year. This enables the organisers to set country-specific priorities and to offer practical insight into the production conditions on site.

The Netherlands is the venue of ICOP 2018. The attendees can look forward to three diversified days in Rotterdam, the biggest harbour town in Europe.

The event intends to provide a programme of wide scope with practical and theoretical input. So the organisers decided again to offer an approved mixture of a Conference day with theoretical presentations and discussion combined with practical visits of fruit and vegetables companies and organisations in the region of Rotterdam.

The actual Conference day focuses on the Common Market Organisation (CMO) and agricultural politics that are especially relevant for POs. Apart from that, ICOP deals with current market trends and new possibilities going along with sustainable production of fruit and veg.

To think outside the box and to try to learn from others is the aim of the thematic issue of “Best practice examples” of Producer Organisations from different parts of Europe. In line with the Conference well-known representatives from politics, business and research are going to do presentations.

On the day before the Conference the attendees of ICOP 2018 are able to visit the harbour of Rotterdam and to enjoy a welcome dinner in the evening.

The partner organisation of ICOP 2018 on site, DPA-Dutch Produce Association, has organised four different practical excursions for the third day of ICOP 2018.

Royal FruitMasters, the largest cooperative in the Netherlands producing apples, pears and soft fruit, will be visited in line with the first tour.

The second tour focuses on biological production as well as on the visit of a PO producing lettuce.

Nature’s Pride is an importer and exporter of exotic fruit, vegetables and berries and is the destination of the third excursion.

In line with the fourth tour the project Trias Westland will be presented. The project deals with the use of geothermal energy for sustainable production.

“ICOP intends to connect people, ideas and experience with each other and to provide a precious mixture of information and networking to be used in the daily business of POs”, Wolfgang Braunstein – CEO of gfa-consulting gmbh – points out.

A special highlight of this year’s ICOP is the venue of the actual Conference: the former cruise ship Steam Ship Rotterdam.

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