Welcome

Speakers

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speaker Gaston Opdekamp
Managing Director of Veiling Hoogstraten

Gaston Opdekamp is Managing Director of Veiling Hoogstraten, a major player in the fresh produce world. Veiling Hoogstraten is a cooperative society for the sale of horticultural products. In the field of strawberries Hoogstraten® is a top player, on European level as well. Hoogstraten® strawberries are the pride of the auction. Gaston Opdekamp started his career at Veiling Hoogstraten in 1984, after which he became Managing Director in 2003.

speaker Josse De Baerdemaeker
Emeritus Professor at the KU Leuven and Visiting Professor at Kyoto University (Japan)

Prof. dr.ir. Josse De Baerdemaeker graduated from the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of the KU Leuven, Belgium and  has  an MSc and PhD degree in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University. Improving technology in crop cultivation, harvesting and handling to minimize losses and optimize yield and income for farmers are all part of his activities in precision agriculture and post- harvest technology.  He was chairman of the board of Coöbra, a fruit and vegetable cooperative, now part of BelOrta. He also served on the board of GLOBALG.A.P.  At this moment he is Emeritus Professor at the KU Leuven and Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, Japan.

speaker Nigel Barlow
Managing Director of Nigel Barlow Consultancy

Nigel is an Agent Provocateur, Author, Creative Coach, and Keynote Speaker to many of the world’s leading organizations, from Apple to Vodafone. He was a founding director of the Tom Peters company in Europe, and currently owns and runs his own business. He is also an Associate Fellow specializing in applied innovation at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School (the UK’s Number One business school).

He has written two books - Batteries included! Creating legendary customer service (Random House) and Rethink - How to think differently (Capstone).

Nigel lives in Oxford, England and Heathrow Departures Lounge - the majority of his business is international.

speaker Philippe Appeltans
Secretary General VBT

Philippe Appeltans graduated in 1995 as an Agricultural engineer at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He started his professional career as a consultant for young farmers. In 1997 he was appointed as president of the Belgian young farmers and became a member of the Executive Board of Boerenbond, the Belgian Farmers’ Union. On January 1, 2003 he became senior adviser for the horticultural sector in the Belgian Farmers’ Union.  Since September 1, 2007, he is the Secretary General of VBT – The Association of Belgian Horticultural Cooperatives. Besides his responsibility for the daily operation of VBT, he serves on the Board of Directors of many national and international organisations in the interest of the Belgian horticultural cooperatives.

speaker Philippe Binard
General Delegate of Freshfel Europe

Philippe BINARD (Belgian nationality, born in 1961) is currently the General Delegate of FRESHFEL EUROPE, the European Fresh Produce Association (www.freshfel.org). This association is the European fresh fruit and vegetables representative body incorporating more than 200 members (associations and companies) from the fresh produce sector. Besides his responsibilities within FRESHFEL EUROPE, Philippe BINARD is also in charge of other trade associations, namely WAPA (World Apple and Pear Association – www.wapa-association.org) and SHAFFE (Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters – www.shaffe.net). He was also the General Delegate of ECBTA (1993-2011) and Secretary General of ECSLA (European Cold Storage and Logistics Association – www.ecsla.be) from 1989 to 2002.

speaker Jan Engelen
Sales and Marketing manager of Veiling Hoogstraten

Jan Engelen is currently head of sales and marketing at Veiling Hoogstraten, a major player in the fresh produce world. Veiling Hoogstraten is a cooperative society for the sale of horticultural products. In the field of strawberries Hoogstraten® is a top player, on European level as well. Hoogstraten® strawberries are the pride of the auction.

Jan Engelen started his career in 1998 at the editorial board of Proeftuinnieuws; a publication appealing to both fruit and vegetable producers and associated agribusiness. In 2000 Jan worked for Syngenta Seeds as a sales representative in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2002, he became Business Development Manager for Syngenta Seeds after which he joined Veiling Hoogstraten in 2005.  

speaker Ad Klaassen
Secretary General DPA
Ad Klaassen is doctor in economics and engineer in agricultural sciences. He worked for the Farmers Union in Noord-Brabant, was manager of the auction in Veldhoven, manager for the co-operation VTN, manager CMO-projects at The Greenery and is currently secretary of the Dutch Produce Association (DPA). This is the sector organization of the Dutch Producer Organizations for fruits and vegetables. Also chairman of the Dutch platform GLOBALGAP, member of the Board Qualität und Sicherheit (QS), member of the Fruit and Vegetables Committee COPA-COGECA and chairman Committee Apples and Pears GroentenFruit Bureau.
speaker Alberto Garbuglia
Consultant in business and marketing development

Graduated in Agricultural Economics in Padua – Italy in 1986 and with a Postgraduate Diploma at the University of London, Alberto Garbuglia spent the first part of his career in Africa working in the framework of European aids to developing countries. Back to Italy in 1992 he stepped into the fresh produce industry joining ARPES, a leading Consulting Company in Rome. In 1997 form consulting he moved to fresh produce production and marketing joining Salvi Group-Ferrara first and APO Scaligera-Verona  later, with increasing responsibility to the position of CEO. Both these companies are leading growers and marketers of fresh produce and strawberries in Italy. Having gained a considerable experience in the international fresh produce industry he is nowadays consultant in business and marketing development.

speaker Chris Christian
Vice President, Marketing California Strawberry Commission

A produce industry professional with over 25 years experience, Chris Christian serves as vice president of marketing at the California Strawberry Commission where she leads consumer and trade marketing and nutrition research programs. In addition to leading the Commission’s marketing programs, Chris also sup­ports the management of finance and general operations.

Prior to her ten years at the Commission, Chris worked in management positions in the food and agri­culture industries, including ten years at Fresh Express Inc., where she held key roles in business manage­ment. Throughout her career, Chris has gained credibility and established relationships with produce pro­fessionals in the retail and food service industries, world class researchers, and food safety professionals.

Chris holds an M.S. in Food Science and B.S. in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University. She serves on several produce trade association leadership councils and is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (past Chair of Fruit & Vegetable Products Division), and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

speaker Göhkan Yaltir
Sales and Marketing Manager of Yaltır Tarım

Gökhan Yaltır graduated in 2006 as an industrial engineer from Koc University in İstanbul, Turkey. After getting his Masters in Finance degree from University of Tampa in USA, he started his career at Merrilly Lynch as a trader to get practical experience on Finance. In 2010, he moved back to Turkey to continue his career at the family company which is strawberry plant and fruit producer and exporter.   

speaker Hans-Christoph Behr
Deputy Managing Director of Agrarmarkt Informations-GmbH (AMI)

Hans-Christoph Behr was born July 18th 1958 in Hamburg and studied Horticulture at the University of Hannover. After Graduation (1983) and PhD thesis (1987) he left University in 1990 and started to work as market analyst for vegetables in the National Market- and Price Report Bureau (ZMP), Department of Horticulture. Since 1996 he was head of the Department Horticulture and since 2004 also responsible for the markets of organic produce. After the dismantling of the ZMP he joined the team of the newly found AMI (Agrarmarkt Informations-GmbH) in June 2009.The AMI is supplying the agricultural sector with independent market intelligence for all relevant products, among others fruits and vegetables. Since 2010 he is also responsible for consumer research at the AMI. In autumn 2011 Hans-Christoph was appointed deputy managing Director.

 

speaker Jan van Bergeijk
Manager of Plus Berries, S.A.T.

Jan van Bergeijk, a soft fruit grower with Dutch roots, went to Spain in 1989 to create a market for raspberry plants. From this point of view, he founded a company, namely Frutas Remolino, and started up a production with Spanish partners. This production expanded to 20 Ha over time and besides raspberries they now grow strawberries too.

speaker Nick Marsden
Poupart Imports

Nick Marsden graduated from London University in 1979 with an Honours Degree . He taught management and computing for 4 years to HND level at Writtle College in Essex before going into the produce trade . Initially he worked for Hunter Saphir   , moving to Jamaican Producers  and then American Fruit Importer in 1988 where he started working in berries  . Nick joined Kentish Garden ( now Berry Gardens ) when the company launched in 1996 and worked for many years as their Sales and Procurement Director . This year he joined Poupart Imports to help develop a soft fruit desk to serve non retail customers .

 

speaker Scientific Programme
Parallel sessions Research
The scientific programme will consist of keynote lectures by invited speakers (David Simpson and Bruno Mezzetti) and research papers by oral presentations (speakers will be announced in the Journal of Berry Research).
speaker Gaston Opdekamp
Managing Director of Veiling Hoogstraten

Gaston Opdekamp is Managing Director of Veiling Hoogstraten, a major player in the fresh produce world. Veiling Hoogstraten is a cooperative society for the sale of horticultural products. In the field of strawberries Hoogstraten® is a top player, on European level as well. Hoogstraten® strawberries are the pride of the auction. Gaston Opdekamp started his career at Veiling Hoogstraten in 1984, after which he became Managing Director in 2003.

speaker Josse De Baerdemaeker
Emeritus Professor at the KU Leuven and Visiting Professor at Kyoto University (Japan)

Prof. dr.ir. Josse De Baerdemaeker graduated from the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of the KU Leuven, Belgium and  has  an MSc and PhD degree in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University. Improving technology in crop cultivation, harvesting and handling to minimize losses and optimize yield and income for farmers are all part of his activities in precision agriculture and post- harvest technology.  He was chairman of the board of Coöbra, a fruit and vegetable cooperative, now part of BelOrta. He also served on the board of GLOBALG.A.P.  At this moment he is Emeritus Professor at the KU Leuven and Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, Japan.

speaker David Simpson
Senior Strawberry Breeder, East Malling Research

David Simpson has a PhD in genetics from the University of Birmingham has led the strawberry breeding programme at East Malling Research since 1982. During this time over 30 cultivars have been released for growing in the United Kingdom and northern Europe. Recent releases include ‘Elegance’, ‘Fenella’, ‘Vibrant’ and ‘Malling Centenary’. David has published extensively on strawberry breeding and genetics and, in addition to breeding, he is currently involved in genetic research projects aiming to develop better strategies for improving resistance to diseases by using molecular markers.

speaker Linda Eatherton
Partner and Director of Global Food and Nutrition Practice at Ketchum

Linda Eatherton has 25+ years of food industry experience, leading marketing communications and reputation management programs. She leads Ketchum’s Global Food & Nutrition Practice representing hundreds of food clients globally.  Eatherton previously served as the vice president of public and industry communications for the US dairy industry and later joined Kraft Foods' corporate communications team where led communications for two divisions of the company. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism degree and is a member of PRSA.

 

speaker Nathalie Bekx
CEO of Trendhuis

Nathalie Bekx is founder and CEO of Trendhuis, an agency for trend research, media and company advice (www.trendhuis.be). She gives insights in the future perspectives of companies, federations and media, based on thorough market and trend research. Five  years ago, Nathalie started Time4Society, a succesful non-profit organization that makes corporate social responsibility tangible  for every company employee (www.time4society.com) in belgium and abroad. Recently she also founded Xenarjo cvba, in collaboration with partners such as KBC, Colruyt, etc... a learning environment that makes social media and tools more accessible for consumers (www.xenarjo.be). For more than ten years, Nathalie’s trend columns were published in the Belgian quality newspapers De Standaard, De Morgen and Vacature. She also wrote several books on trends. 

speaker Véronique Parmentier
Global Marketing Manager at Zespri

As Global Marketing Manager at Zespri®, Veronique Parmentier is responsible for the global implementation of the Zespri health strategy. She is the link point between science, innovation, research partners and in-market departments. She leads as well the development of global consumer insight on Health and Nutrition, and other consumer insight tools and research projects. ZESPRI International Limited is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, selling kiwifruit into more than 60 countries and managing 30% of the global volume.

Véronique graduated in 1994 as Bio engineer at the KULeuven and has a PhD degree in applied biological sciences.

speaker An Segers
Senior Director Global Research at MARKET PROBE AGRICULTURE AND ANIMAL HEALTH – A leader in Global Market Research with a specific focus on Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Health.

An Segers has more than 8 years of experience in marketing research in general, and more than 5 years of experience in market research specializing in the agricultural and horticultural sectors – for both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Her responsibilities cover both account and project management of global and local projects for international clients in crop protection, fertilizers, seeds and horticulture.

An holds a degree in business economics with a major in marketing and marketing research, from the University of Hasselt.

Before joining Market Probe, An held positions in market research for TNS Dimarso and in marketing development for the public transport company De Lijn.

 

speaker Ann De Craene
Staff member product-technical matters VBT

Ann De Craene graduated at Ghent University – in 1987 as Agricultural Engineer and in 1990 as Master in Marketing Management. She started her professional career as agricultural economics and marketing researcher – first at Ghent University, then in the European headquarters of the US-based seed company Pioneer Hi-Bred. In September 2006, she joined VBT – the Association of Belgian Horticultural Cooperatives – as staff member, being responsible in particular for technical dossiers related to among others food safety, quality, packaging and sustainability. She represents the interests of VBT and its members in several organizations and technical working groups – both nationally and internationally.

speaker Karel Bolckmans
Director Global R&D and Production of Koppert BV
Karel Bolckmans graduated in 1991 as an Agricultural Engineer from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. Since then, Karel has been working in the biological control industry. He started his career as Market Development Manager and later Business Development Manager at Biobest BV in Belgium until 1997. After a project at the Australian producer of biological control agents Bugs for Bugs Ltd. Pty. in Mundubbera, Queensland, Karel joined in 1998 Koppert Biological Systems in the Netherlands, where he is currently Director Global R&D and Production. Koppert is the world-wide market leader and largest producer of beneficial insects and mites for biological pest control and of bumblebees for pollination of high-value crops. Koppert is also very active in the market for microbial and natural biopesticides and biostimulants. Karel is a co-founder of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Assocation (IBMA) and served in several functions. He also serves at the scientific advisory board of 2 research stations and is one of the lead authors of the GlobalGAP IPM Toolbox, which is now part of the GlobalGAP guidelines. Karel is passionate about innovation for sustainable food production
speaker Carine De Clercq
General Manager of Fytolab

Carine De Clercq graduated as Chemical Engineer in 1983 at the University of Ghent (later on PhD Applied Biotechnological Sciences). From 1983 until 1985 Carine was scientific researcher at the UGent. In 1985 she became Professor at De Nayer Institute at St Katelijne Waver (Master Industrial Sciences) with specialisation in the field of organic chemistry. Since 2001 Carine De Clercq is General Manager of Fytolab at Zwijnaarde-Ghent, a specialized laboratory for residue and contaminant analysis in food and feed, and manager of the subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Colombia and France.

speaker Richard Beld
Managing Director at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

Richard Beld is a professional in the transport and logistics industry for many years and has among other things worked in management positions in both the Netherlands and abroad at Nedlloyd, Frans Maas Groip (Bleckmann B.V.) TNT Fashion Group and DHL (Trade Fairs _ Events). Since 2011, Richard is Managing Director at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics in The Netherlands .

speaker Bruno Mezzetti
Full Professor - Director of Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science, Università Politecnica delle Marche

Bruno Mezzetti has a PhD in Arboriculture from the University of Bologna. He is Full Professor in Fruit Crop Breeding and Biotechnology and Director of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (D3A) at Marche Polytechnic University (http://www.d3a.univpm.it/), Ancona IT. Bruno is responsible and coordinator of several breeding and biotech projects on berries, incling the EU COST836 and COST863 Actions and the running FP7 Euberry project. Bruno has been involved in many international scientific pubblications related to different aspects of strawberry and other berries; breeding, biotechnology, cultivation and fruit quality and health benefits for the consumer.

speaker Tom Zoellner
Senior Consultant for Market Development at UrbanFarmers Ltd.

Tom Zoellner is the Senior Consultant for Market Development at UrbanFarmers Ltd., a pioneering Clean Tech company developing rooftop farming systems. As a Spin-off company from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), UrbanFarmers Ltd. is a technology leader in Aquaponics, saving water, energy and nutrients to grow fish and plants in closed-loop. Prior to UrbanFarmers Tom has worked for 20 Years in the USA and the EU as an environmental consultant in agriculture. He has helped introduce an industry wide adoption for digital disease prediction application in vegetable- and fruit production with dacom.nl and the Wageningen University and has participated in den development of innovative farm products. He is a graduate of BCEP New York (MSc.) and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency-PPU.

speaker Olivier Dauvers
Editor at Editions Dauvers

Olivier Dauvers, 43 years, is looking at retail business in France for more than 20 years. In first time of his carreer, he successfully managed professionnals magazines dedicated to retail business such as Linéaires and Rayon Boissons. Since 2002, he is editor, owing Editions Dauvers, a publishing company 100 % retail oriented. He published many books, studies, magazines, etc. In France, he is known as one of the major analyst of the retail, working closely with all head-offices, specifically on drive business. As far as drive is concerned, Editions Dauvers publish DRIVE INSIGHTS (monthly study) and MAG DRIVE (monthly magazine).

speaker Peter Ragaert
Docent food packaging technology at Ghent University

Peter Ragaert obtained in 2001 the degree of bioscience engineer chemistry at Ghent University, Belgium. He holds a PhD in the field of microbiological degradation processes on packaged fruits and vegetables. Subsequently, he continued in 2005 in the packaging field as technological advisor of Pack4Food, a project funded by IWT in Flanders (Belgium). His function consists of supporting and informing companies in the food packaging sector towards new developments in food packaging technology. His main activities focus on bioplastics, active and intelligent packaging and barrier materials for food packaging. Besides, since 2010, he is docent food packaging technology at Ghent University, focusing on sustainable and functional food packaging.

speaker Daan Vetters
Just. Innovation Manager at Hessing

Daan Vetters is not “just” responsible for innovation, but he’s responsible for the innovation of Just. at Hessing. Just. is a brand new… brand. Soon to be launched with the noble ambition to do nothing but good around fruit & vegetables. Just. will bring products that are stripped down to the essence of what good fruit & vegetables should be for all: tasty, natural, convenient, democratic and desirable. Before this, Daan bent bananas for a banana company with a blue sticker and he milked cows for a large Dutch dairy cooperative. Even longer ago, he studied applied economics, which he still tries to apply daily.

speaker Bernard Lahousse
MSc, Science Director, Foodpairing.com

With a master’s degree in bio-engineering, Bernard Lahousse makes it his life’s work to ponder the intersections of food and science. He has worked as a research and development manager at various global enterprises. Lahousse’s passion for food and innovation has lead him to start the Belgian-based food research company Foodpairing.com in 2009. Foodpairing.com has clients in more than 50 countries, including some of the best chefs and bartenderss in the world and small to large enterprises.

speaker Roger Van Damme
Michelin-star chef of Het Gebaar in Antwerp

Roger van Damme (° Sluis, Holland, 1971) is one of the most experienced and innovating Belgian patissiers. In 2009 one of his desserts was elected THE greatest dessert in the World! One year later, Roger van Damme was elected Chef of the Year by GaultMillau. Roger van Damme fits perfectly in the club of greatest patissiers of the world and is also known as the godfather of molecular pastry.

Ever since he was a child, Roger had been fascinated by baking. His great grandfather was a baker and Roger often went to help him in his bakery. After finishing cooking school in Bruges, he fulfills his dream and starts to work for Huize van Wely, one of the most famous dessert makers in Holland.

A few years later, Roger and his wife Cindy move to Antwerp where he opens a first version of Het Gebaar: a tearoom. Later on, Roger and Cindy move their business to the beautiful historical botanical garden of Antwerp, and open Het Gebaar as it is known all over the world today.

Roger is inspired by his good friends Sergio Herman and Albert Adrià, who was the dessert specialist at El Bulli. From now on, Roger is known for his complex, intense, unforgettable desserts.

In 2010, Roger stars in his own tv show at Njam.tv and in 2011, he is rewarded with a Michelin star. More tv shows follow the first and his first book ‘Desserts’ reached number 2 in the bestseller list after just one week. In 2012 this book ends third in the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the category of dessert books. In the meantime, Roger has published two more books, one on baking ‘Bakken’ and one on easy cooking with the kids ‘Smossen mag’. Both based on successful tv-programs.

 

speaker Scientific Programme
Parallel sessions Research
The scientific programme will consist of keynote lectures by invited speakers (David Simpson and Bruno Mezzetti) and research papers by oral presentations (speakers will be announced in the Journal of Berry Research).