18 Jun 2022

The 2023 IBO congress will be in Poland

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The International Blueberry Organisation (IBO) has announced that the next IBO Summit will be held in Lublin, Poland, from 3-5 July 2023. The choice reflects the IBO's support for the booming berry sector in Poland and solidarity with the Ukrainian growers of blueberries .

The IBO said it wanted to support the growth of Poland's blueberries industry, which according to the USDA was worth $2.1 billion in 2019, while at the same time highlighting Ukraine's blueberries industry in a show of solidarity.

With in-person visits to some of the largest blueberries farms in the world, the summit will share the experiences of some of Poland's leading blueberries growers, with the aim of examining how to further improve production and increase consumption levels globally.

INCREASED CONSUMPTION

blueberries have been grown commercially in Poland for over 45 years. Currently, the area cultivated in the country is close to 11,000 hectares and annual production is 55,000 tonnes, a large proportion of which is exported.

While imports of blueberries to Poland have increased, domestic consumption has soared in recent years, fuelled by better off-season availability and the successful 'Time for Polish Superfruit' promotional campaign.

Dominika Kozarzewska, from the IBO and the Polish Blueberry Promotion Foundation, said: 'We want delegates to benefit from the rich experience of the Polish blueberries industry and learn how blueberries has become a lifestyle product for millions of Poles.

IBO 2019
IBO 2019
IBO 2019
IBO 2019
IBO 2019
IBO 2019

Some images from the 2019 IBO Congress (Canada)

"We will provide valuable pointers to increase consumption and share why Polish consumers have started to value taste above all else".

VISITS IN PERSON

The 2023 Summit will include a visit to the Ochoża production site, one of the largest organic blueberries production sites in the world with a cultivated area of 110 hectares, including 30 hectares under tunnels.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit the Karczmiska Blueberry Factory experimental farm, which focuses on Northern Highbush varieties, and the Polskie Jagody producer organisation, whose production covers 130ha. An optional excursion is also available to visit the Wilczewscy Blueberry Farm, the largest farm of blueberries in Europe.

THE CAPITAL OF BLUEBERRY

A scenic city in south-eastern Poland with over 700 years of history, Lublin lies at the crossroads of eastern and western Europe. It is also the capital of Poland's main soft fruit producing region.

Our success as grow ers can be attributed, among other things, to the unique climate of the region," said Kozarzewska. "We are very active as growers and see our responsibility in expanding the market, not just as passive participants. This is the most distinctive feature of Poland as a producer of blueberries at the moment."

IBO SOLIDARITY WITH UKRAINE

In the wake of Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the IBO declared that it will express solidarity with the Ukrainian industry at blueberry, presenting it during the summit.

Iryna Kukhtina, President of the Ukrainian Berry Association, said: 'Despite the war in Ukraine and the damage suffered by some farms, the Ukrainian berry industry at blueberry is working: all farms where it is possible have started spring work on the fields.

"Again this year we will have exports of blueberries. In addition, we are starting the recovery and working towards further development of our industry already now. We are very happy to be part of the IBO Summit 2023″.

Kozarzewska added: 'We want to work together to make blueberries popular all over the world, and at the same time we want to support the Ukrainian industry by giving them the opportunity to show the world what they are doing in terms of producing blueberries'.

For more information, visit theInternational Blueberry Organisationwebsite.

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