The global blueberry industry is set to meet from June 24-26, 2019 in Richmond, B.C., bringing together leading experts to discuss opportunities and challenges for the industry worldwide.
The International Blueberry Organization (IBO) Summit agenda will host a number of speakers. A full-day tour that includes a trip to a blueberry field and processing facility as well as an insiders look at a BC retail operation, will give attendees an overview of British Columbia’s operation, considered one of the world’s most experienced blueberry industries.
“The IBO summit brings the global blueberry industry together under one roof to address challenges and explore opportunities moving forward,” said Anju Gill, executive director of the BC Blueberry Council.
“The international delegation will experience first-hand the natural beauty of British Columbia, the largest highbush blueberry-growing region in Canada. We are pleased to announce a superb lineup of industry specialists, and ‘on-the-ground’ panelists, including fruit quality experts, breeders, retailers and exporters from around the world.”
The program consists of a range of educational sessions, panels and presentations, which will educate attendees on the latest developments and future trends in production, marketing, logistics, equipment, trade and market access, substrate production, breeding and genetics, and retail.
The IBO Summit is held in a different blueberry-producing country every 18 months, highlighting the interconnectedness of the global blueberry industry as both demand and production continue to grow at astonishing rates. Canada ranks third in the world behind the U.S. and Chile in terms of production volume.
“British Columbia leads in packing and processing technology advancement and grows some of the best quality blueberries for the global markets,” said Abbotsford-based Parm Bains, chair of the IBO Organizing Committee. “Along with some of the most ideal growing conditions and high food safety standards, BC blueberries are known for their quality, putting our berries in high demand from customers around the world.”
Organizers say this year’s IBO Summit is set to be the biggest yet and is now at capacity with more than 400 registered for this three-day event.
“The IBO Summits held over the years have continued to grow no matter how you look at it – the number of participants, the range of activities, speaker topic and expertise, and global representation,” said Peter McPherson, chairman of the IBO.
“The agenda that the Canadian organizing team has put together will only enhance the importance of this truly international event. The presenters and speakers at the conference will be at the leading edge of all topics in blueberries globally.
“In addition, there is a clear intention to provide quality time to allow all industry participants to network with industry leaders and experts to gain insights that will grow their individual wisdom in this great industry. Clearly, this is an event not to be missed by all in the blueberry business.”