Four days dedicated to blueberries, a small fruit that is increasingly produced and consumed to the point of registering a 35% increase globally, featuring global players and leading technical and scientific experts and international opinion leaders. The International Blueberry Days will be held during Macfrut, the international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector, from Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 May at the Rimini Expo Centre (Italy), and will start with the “Blueberry School” for young research fellows of the Marche Polytechnic University, scheduled for 2 May. With a special focus on the symbolic fruit of the 40th edition of the trade fair, this event will be organised by Macfrut, coordinated by Professor Bruno Mezzetti of the Marche Polytechnic University along with Thomas Drahorad of NCX Drahorad.
The International Blueberry Days at Macfrut is scheduled to begin on Wednesday 3 May with the Symposium, during which key scientific topics (genetics, plant nurseries, nutrition, farming techniques, nutritional and biomedical aspects) will be addressed, with the participation of the world’s leading experts.
Thursday 4 May will be dedicated to global players, which will include the US-based Driscoll’s, the number one nursery and fruit producer, and the Australian Costa Group, a leading blueberry breeder and producer. On this day, the spotlight will be on market trends and production performance, and case histories of major global players will also be presented.
On the last day, Friday 5 May, guided tours of a test field that will be set up in the dynamic area at the trade fair (Blueberry On Field) will be conducted by technicians and experts.
‘The development and dissemination of new varieties and the introduction of new farming techniques are promoting large-scale cultivation of blueberries in different production areas in the world, increasing the interest of consumers who are attracted by improved quality and year-round supply,’ explains Bruno Mezzetti of the Marche Polytechnic University. ‘However, it is not that easy to meet the demand for high-quality blueberries, since knowledge and technical skills are required. The aim of the “Blueberry School” and “Blueberry Days” at Macfrut is to offer a unique opportunity for discussion between researchers, technicians, and sector professionals on all aspects concerning the blueberry production chain worldwide.’
Thomas Drahorad, President of NCX Drahorad and Editor-in-Chief of Italian Berry, agrees that this is the right direction: ‘The aim of the International Blueberry Days programme is to analyse the complex and dynamic global blueberry sector. Over the last five years, the international map of producer countries and supply schedules have radically changed, along with per capita expenditure and the geographical distribution of consumption. New producers, new consumers, and new markets are emerging, driven by a large number of new varieties , with a view to achieving superior organoleptic qualities, shelf-life, and agronomic characteristics. This will all take place as part of the extensive programme of conferences and meetings to be held between blueberry sector professionals from all over the world who will be gathering in Rimini.