It should be remembered that British Columbia is one of the main production regions in the world of this fruit.
In a statement, the president of the IBO, Peter McPherson, said that the board of directors agreed to hold future summits at intervals of 18 months, taking place between both hemispheres during the production periods.
Although Canada, like China, is in the northern hemisphere, McPherson has shown that the country was already assigned before this new system, so it is expected that the next Summit after Canada will be in the southern hemisphere in 2021.
“We hope that Canada will not be different from the past exhibitions in showing its achievements, innovations and informative updates on topics of interest to the sector.”
BC Blueberry Council executive director Anju Gill said that while the event was still in the early stages of planning, it would probably take place in the Vancouver area in 2019, either in late July or early August.
“We are really looking forward to hosting the event and demonstrating not only our British Columbia industry, but sharing knowledge with the global community,” said Gill.
He said that surface and production had increased in the province over the last decade, while new competition from other countries had also entered the scene.
“The idea is to focus locally and think globally,” he said.
“Canada has a much smaller population compared to other countries so while we work on our national market development we are also looking at international markets, as well as working not only on improving our product in terms of food quality but looking at some of the most profitable and effective ways of exporting blueberries. ”
Cort Brazelton, one of the founders of the IBO and a council adviser, reiterated the importance of Canada for the global blueberry sector.
“British Columbia as a province or state of high-level blueberry cultivation is the largest in the world,” he said.
“Some are fresh, but where they have a global impact today in terms of scale, it is because they are present every week of the year in the market as frozen.”
A look at what IBO China was
Brazelton said the Chinese IBO delegation did a very good job of directing the event, combining Chinese cultural characteristics and demonstrating development in the Yunnan blueberry producing region.
“One company (Joy Wing Mau) made a huge effort to ensure that this was an event that catered to both local preferences and was also very well organized to incorporate a positive experience for international attendees,” he said.
McPherson said the recent event was able to fuse Chinese culture and investment opportunities in production that are supported by government initiatives, as well as show a general push towards healthier lifestyles in China and showing huge market opportunities.
“Also the update on the global blueberry scene through the latest World Report has underpinned the growth to date and predictions in the future, particularly in countries where per capita consumption is still relatively low,” said McPherson.
Both McPherson and Brazelton pointed to the development of the national trade association as a key discussion point during the event in China.
“This is extremely important, especially in emerging markets where volumes are growing rapidly – this is also related to markets like some European countries where the industry takes a while, but the complete industry representation does not yet exist,” said McPherson.
He added that this also applies to China, which was “left to an important player to carry such responsibility.”
“The IBO is unanimous in its objectives to achieve such representation of the national industry, worldwide.”
“It became very clear to me, at least, the positive impact of having an industry association or a commission or a guild, and also how problematic it can be when they do not exist,” Brazelton added.
Brazelton also emphasized the IBO’s goal of “promoting and empowering associations and organizations in each country to be more effective, promote locally, promote within the markets they serve and disseminate the health message.”
It’s hard to tell if it’s about Poland, which is one of the biggest blueberry producers but at the same time isn’t in IBO. Are polish producers going to mature enough to become full-fledged members of this organization and talk about blueberry on the Europe scale? Blueberry is a global fruit and without cooperation with IBO it will be hard to create the view of a stable producer and exporter. Let’s hope that on the next height of IBO there also will be the delegation from Poland. Production and the speed of growth of blueberry production in Poland needs that from us.