The 2023 edition of Macfrut, the international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector, to be held at the Rimini Expo Centre (Italy) from 3 to 5 May, will offer a comprehensive look at the blueberry sector. In fact, leading global experts in the field will give speeches at the International Blueberry Days, scheduled as part of the trade fair in Rimini and coordinated by Prof. Bruno Mezzetti of the Marche Polytechnic University in collaboration with Thomas Drahorad of NCX Drahorad, with focus sessions on several countries that are of key importance for this sector, such as Portugal and Australia.
A full-day symposium on blueberries is scheduled on Wednesday 3 May. On this occasion, Pedro Bràs de Oliveira of the Oeiras-based National Institute of Agricultural and Veterinary Research (INAIV) will provide an overview of the situation in Portugal, following a trade mission during which the Symposium was presented in Lisbon at the National Meeting of Blueberry Producers held a few weeks ago. He explains: ‘Diversifying production throughout the season is generally preferable as this can boost the profitability of commercial farms and allows them to supply the market for a longer period of time. The easiest way to achieve this goal is to use cultivars that can be grown at different times of the year, i.e. earlier or later in the year, or change the conditions to which the plants are exposed by using artificial coverings such as polyethylene coverings or shade nets.’
Costa Group, Australia’s largest blueberry producer, will also give a speech; specifically, Maurizio Rocchetti, the company’s senior horticulturist, will talk about how blueberries are grown in Australia. Mr Rocchetti explains: ‘Costa’s blueberries are grown in Australia in four different states and at five different latitudes on approximately 480 hectares. Having various farming regions enables Costa to meet demand all year round. In addition, several varieties of blueberries are grown, which allows us to adapt production to all kinds of environmental conditions, and most of the blueberries produced are of the premium “Arana” cultivar that was developed by Costa.’
On the day of the symposium, participants will also be able to learn about various experiences in the field of blueberry production to be shared by Chile, Italy, Poland, the UK, the USA and Turkey.
On Tuesday 2 May, a preview of the three-day International Blueberry Days event will be held at the Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona: the Blueberry School will be a full day dedicated to young researchers and technicians, with a focus on key scientific topics relating to blueberries, such as genetics, plant nurseries, nutrition, cultivation techniques, and nutritional and biomedical aspects. Such topics will be discussed by leading global experts in the field, with speakers from four continents. Moderated by Prof. Bruno Mezzetti from the Marche Polytechnic University, this event will be attended by various speakers, including Susan McCallum of The James Hutton Institute (Great Britain), Maurizio Rocchetti of Costa Group (Australia), Nesibe Ebru Kafkas from Çukurova University (Turkey), Pedro Brás de Oliveira of the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (Portugal), Stefano Predieri of CNR – IBE (Italy), Heng Liu of the Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences (China), Jorge Duarte o Hortitool Consulting Lda (Portugal), James Olmstead of Driscoll’s (USA), and Lara Giongo of Fondazione Edmund Mach (Italy).
Additional information is available at this link: www.macfrut.com/en/c/147/international_blueberry_days