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Who’s Speaking

Dr.Hamid AshrafiAssistant Professor at NC State University - USA

Hamid has a BS in Agronomy and Plant Breeding as well as an MS degree in Plant Breeding. He received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 2007 in Plant Breeding and Genetics. He moved to UC Davis as a postdoc scholar in 2008, and a few years later he worked at UC Davis as a senior scientist in bioinformatics. Hamid joined the department of horticultural science at NC State University as an assistant professor in April 2015. NC State has a great reputation of being one the lead institutes in the U.S. in plant breeding. NC State has provided him a great opportunity to realize his dreams. At NC State there is a wealth of blueberry germplasm, and the blueberry program at NC State dates back to 1950s. At blueberry genomics lab at NC State, Hamid is incorporating genomics and bioinformatics tools to the traditional blueberry and muscadine breeding programs. His lab is using genome and transcriptome sequencing to study genes involved in different biological processes including flowering, fruit ripening biotic and abiotic stresses. He is teaching an undergraduate course in small fruit production and as well as a graduate-level course in breeding with genomics.

Dr.Hamid AshrafiAssistant Professor at NC State University - USA

Hamid has a BS in Agronomy and Plant Breeding as well as an MS degree in Plant Breeding. He received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 2007 in Plant Breeding and Genetics. He moved to UC Davis as a postdoc scholar in 2008, and a few years later he worked at UC Davis as a senior scientist in bioinformatics. Hamid joined the department of horticultural science at NC State University as an assistant professor in April 2015. NC State has a great reputation of being one the lead institutes in the U.S. in plant breeding. NC State has provided him a great opportunity to realize his dreams. At NC State there is a wealth of blueberry germplasm, and the blueberry program at NC State dates back to 1950s. At blueberry genomics lab at NC State, Hamid is incorporating genomics and bioinformatics tools to the traditional blueberry and muscadine breeding programs. His lab is using genome and transcriptome sequencing to study genes involved in different biological processes including flowering, fruit ripening biotic and abiotic stresses. He is teaching an undergraduate course in small fruit production and as well as a graduate-level course in breeding with genomics.

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Hans LiekensCommercial Manager EMEA

Hans Liekens joined Fall Creek as Commercial Manager EMEA in September 2017.
Graduated as Commercial Engineer from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, he has a track record of over 25 years of experience with various multinationals such as Tropicana-PepsiCo, Campina and Chiquita as sales and marketing manager, with a clear focus on the consumer and customer.
As newcomer to the blueberry industry, he now applies his knowledge and experiences to drive innovation and new ways of thinking within the business and the industry.

Hans LiekensCommercial Manager EMEA

Hans Liekens joined Fall Creek as Commercial Manager EMEA in September 2017.
Graduated as Commercial Engineer from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, he has a track record of over 25 years of experience with various multinationals such as Tropicana-PepsiCo, Campina and Chiquita as sales and marketing manager, with a clear focus on the consumer and customer.
As newcomer to the blueberry industry, he now applies his knowledge and experiences to drive innovation and new ways of thinking within the business and the industry.

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Javier Arizmendi Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at ZERYA Producciones sin Residuos S.L. SPAIN

● 8 years as COO of ZERYA, specializing in sustainable agriculture, reduction of the use of pesticides in conventional agriculture, mitigation of the environmental impact and optimization of resources.
● Long 10+ year experience in food safety & quality areas, certification schemes, post-harvest technology, international food trade and supply chain.
● Constantly seeking to build bridges between scientific research and real food production to disseminate and transmit knowledge to farmers as well as consumers and everyone in between.
● Always trying to keep a comprehensive view of agriculture as a bound-to-nature industry with deep social interactions

Javier Arizmendi Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at ZERYA Producciones sin Residuos S.L. SPAIN

● 8 years as COO of ZERYA, specializing in sustainable agriculture, reduction of the use of pesticides in conventional agriculture, mitigation of the environmental impact and optimization of resources.
● Long 10+ year experience in food safety & quality areas, certification schemes, post-harvest technology, international food trade and supply chain.
● Constantly seeking to build bridges between scientific research and real food production to disseminate and transmit knowledge to farmers as well as consumers and everyone in between.
● Always trying to keep a comprehensive view of agriculture as a bound-to-nature industry with deep social interactions

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Lukas SeehausenResearch Scientist at CABI - Switzerland (Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International)

I am an entomologist with a particular interest in invasive species and biological control of pest insects. I completed a MSc and PhD in forest entomology in Canada and a postdoc at the University of Toronto in weed biocontrol. I joined CABI Switzerland in 2018 as Research Scientist in Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology. My current research foci are on the classical biological control of the invasive fruit fly Drosophila suzukii and monitoring of the Asian box tree moth as well as the Asian hornet in Switzerland. Additionally, I am participating in the European project on the HOlistic Management of Emerging Pests and Diseases (HOMED).

Lukas SeehausenResearch Scientist at CABI - Switzerland (Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International)

I am an entomologist with a particular interest in invasive species and biological control of pest insects. I completed a MSc and PhD in forest entomology in Canada and a postdoc at the University of Toronto in weed biocontrol. I joined CABI Switzerland in 2018 as Research Scientist in Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology. My current research foci are on the classical biological control of the invasive fruit fly Drosophila suzukii and monitoring of the Asian box tree moth as well as the Asian hornet in Switzerland. Additionally, I am participating in the European project on the HOlistic Management of Emerging Pests and Diseases (HOMED).

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Marcel de JongAgronome at NAPAGRO - Belgium

Starting as a teacher and lecturer in farm economics, I demonstrated skills in the transfer of knowledge and skills in a wide range of fruit and vegetables. With more than 20 years of experience in organic farming as consultant, farmer, policy advisor and trainer I help farmers to improve the yield of their crops by using natural resources. It’s a passion to bring nature into farm systems and to convey that to growers in an understandable way.

Marcel de JongAgronome at NAPAGRO - Belgium

Starting as a teacher and lecturer in farm economics, I demonstrated skills in the transfer of knowledge and skills in a wide range of fruit and vegetables. With more than 20 years of experience in organic farming as consultant, farmer, policy advisor and trainer I help farmers to improve the yield of their crops by using natural resources. It’s a passion to bring nature into farm systems and to convey that to growers in an understandable way.

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Mark van der WerfCrop Consultant Natugro

As a greenhouse grower’s son, it is no surprise I have a passion for horticulture. Studied at the University of Horticulture in Den Bosch and after that growing cucumbers and (snack) tomatoes for almost 20 years.
During this period focused more and more on new growing developments: The Next Generation Growing, nutrition based on plant sap analyses and using microbes and bio stimulants for a stronger and healthier (more resilient) crop.
Since 2016 switched to crop consulting to help growers worldwide to make their crop more productive and tolerant to pests and diseases.
This new way of growing will eventually lead to a more sustainable way of producing food. At the moment fully focusing with this new concept on soft fruits (mainly strawberries and raspberries)

Mark van der WerfCrop Consultant Natugro

As a greenhouse grower’s son, it is no surprise I have a passion for horticulture. Studied at the University of Horticulture in Den Bosch and after that growing cucumbers and (snack) tomatoes for almost 20 years.
During this period focused more and more on new growing developments: The Next Generation Growing, nutrition based on plant sap analyses and using microbes and bio stimulants for a stronger and healthier (more resilient) crop.
Since 2016 switched to crop consulting to help growers worldwide to make their crop more productive and tolerant to pests and diseases.
This new way of growing will eventually lead to a more sustainable way of producing food. At the moment fully focusing with this new concept on soft fruits (mainly strawberries and raspberries)

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Michiel MinnaarEntrepreneur

Im a young entrepreneur, born and raised in the port city of Rotterdam.
For more the 15 years I have been operating in the logistics and commodity business.
I like innovation and the challenges/adventures that come along with it.

Experienced Sales and Logistics Manager with a demonstrated history of +10 years working in several commodity branches (Metals/Soft/Fruit/and more).
Skilled in Sales, Operations, Warehousing, Logistics, Freight Forwarding and Management.

Michiel MinnaarEntrepreneur

Im a young entrepreneur, born and raised in the port city of Rotterdam.
For more the 15 years I have been operating in the logistics and commodity business.
I like innovation and the challenges/adventures that come along with it.

Experienced Sales and Logistics Manager with a demonstrated history of +10 years working in several commodity branches (Metals/Soft/Fruit/and more).
Skilled in Sales, Operations, Warehousing, Logistics, Freight Forwarding and Management.

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Miguel Hermes Ahumada

I have been working in horticultural production and apply research for more than two decades, focusing consistently on the interaction between cultural practices, and phenotype interaction with the purpose of insurance quality of soft fruit. I have been working in Mexico for the past 12 years, and I have a good understanding in production issues in development countries. Postharvest issues started at the fields levels, so practical solutions has been my approached to these issues. My love crops are blackberries and raspberries.

Abstract: Blackberries are one of the most sensitive crop to physiological disorder know as reversition. Reversion or also call red cels, has puzzel growers and packers for a long time. The ruption of the cells during handing and postharvest storage is express in color change. Studies has shown that several factors are contributing in the development of this red cell problem; some of them are rought handing, high tremperature at harvest, force air cooling, high nitrogen in soil, and genetics. I will present industry approch to amilorate this red cells problem in Mexico and USA.
5. Im participating in the Conference as private consultant, I m not representing the company that I work.

Miguel Hermes Ahumada

I have been working in horticultural production and apply research for more than two decades, focusing consistently on the interaction between cultural practices, and phenotype interaction with the purpose of insurance quality of soft fruit. I have been working in Mexico for the past 12 years, and I have a good understanding in production issues in development countries. Postharvest issues started at the fields levels, so practical solutions has been my approached to these issues. My love crops are blackberries and raspberries.

Abstract: Blackberries are one of the most sensitive crop to physiological disorder know as reversition. Reversion or also call red cels, has puzzel growers and packers for a long time. The ruption of the cells during handing and postharvest storage is express in color change. Studies has shown that several factors are contributing in the development of this red cell problem; some of them are rought handing, high tremperature at harvest, force air cooling, high nitrogen in soil, and genetics. I will present industry approch to amilorate this red cells problem in Mexico and USA.
5. Im participating in the Conference as private consultant, I m not representing the company that I work.

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Olivier CostePh.D. Product & Grower Support

Today with a Ph.D. in Sciences, Olivier studied biology at the university of Liege in his native Belgium. He moved to France where he pursued a Project Management Master of Science in Aquaculture Production. He was then offered to start a PhD on algae extracts and algae growing and a Master of Science of chemical sciences and technologies in a public research center in Cadix, Andalucía. He finished his PhD with the highest distinction “Cum Laude”. After a brief experience in a security company as Project Manager and Administrative, he finally joined Fall Creek in 2016 as Grower Support and Product Representative for Europe and North Africa.

Olivier CostePh.D. Product & Grower Support

Today with a Ph.D. in Sciences, Olivier studied biology at the university of Liege in his native Belgium. He moved to France where he pursued a Project Management Master of Science in Aquaculture Production. He was then offered to start a PhD on algae extracts and algae growing and a Master of Science of chemical sciences and technologies in a public research center in Cadix, Andalucía. He finished his PhD with the highest distinction “Cum Laude”. After a brief experience in a security company as Project Manager and Administrative, he finally joined Fall Creek in 2016 as Grower Support and Product Representative for Europe and North Africa.

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Pedro Bràs de OliveiraSoft fruit Specialist

Pedro Bràs de Oliveira is a soft fruit specialist in Portugal. He joined the department of horticulture and floriculture of what is today the National Institute of Agricultural and Veterinary Research (INIAV) in 1989 through a scholarship and contributed directly to a project related to soft fruits. He then developed his journey, first with a master in crop production, then a Phd in Agronomic engineering. Specialized in Crop physiology and soft fruit production (Raspberry, blackberry and blueberry), his work work on production technologies in protected agriculture (and open air culture) made the Institute a pioneer worldwide and brought it to the four corners of the world, where he contacted the largest multinationals in the sector, and some of them eventually settled in Portugal years later. He is currently the Chair of the ISHS Working Group on Rubus and Ribes Species. He is also an important contributor in several international journals in the area of soft fruits.

Pedro Bràs de OliveiraSoft fruit Specialist

Pedro Bràs de Oliveira is a soft fruit specialist in Portugal. He joined the department of horticulture and floriculture of what is today the National Institute of Agricultural and Veterinary Research (INIAV) in 1989 through a scholarship and contributed directly to a project related to soft fruits. He then developed his journey, first with a master in crop production, then a Phd in Agronomic engineering. Specialized in Crop physiology and soft fruit production (Raspberry, blackberry and blueberry), his work work on production technologies in protected agriculture (and open air culture) made the Institute a pioneer worldwide and brought it to the four corners of the world, where he contacted the largest multinationals in the sector, and some of them eventually settled in Portugal years later. He is currently the Chair of the ISHS Working Group on Rubus and Ribes Species. He is also an important contributor in several international journals in the area of soft fruits.

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Pierre EscodoEditor at Eurofresh Distribution magazine - SPAIN

Pierre Escodo has 27 years experience as consultant and publisher specialized in the global trade & marketing of fresh produce.
He graduated as an agriculture engineer at ESAP Purpan University (Toulouse) and with a Master in Agriculture Economics at Kansas State University (US).
Eurofresh Distribution is a leading international publication on fresh produce trade and supply chains, published for more than 20 years and now regularly covering over 80 countries. It is circulated globally with a print run of 10,000 paper copies, 21,000 online subscribers, and covering 25 partner events events worldwide.
Eurofresh Distribution also organizes international conferences, Biofruit Congress, Tropical Fruit Congress and FHC China Fresh Produce conference.
Follow us on @EUROFRESHD.
Eurofresh Distribution is also circulated in China via ASIAFRESH DISTRIBUTION we chat account

Pierre EscodoEditor at Eurofresh Distribution magazine - SPAIN

Pierre Escodo has 27 years experience as consultant and publisher specialized in the global trade & marketing of fresh produce.
He graduated as an agriculture engineer at ESAP Purpan University (Toulouse) and with a Master in Agriculture Economics at Kansas State University (US).
Eurofresh Distribution is a leading international publication on fresh produce trade and supply chains, published for more than 20 years and now regularly covering over 80 countries. It is circulated globally with a print run of 10,000 paper copies, 21,000 online subscribers, and covering 25 partner events events worldwide.
Eurofresh Distribution also organizes international conferences, Biofruit Congress, Tropical Fruit Congress and FHC China Fresh Produce conference.
Follow us on @EUROFRESHD.
Eurofresh Distribution is also circulated in China via ASIAFRESH DISTRIBUTION we chat account

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Ahlam HamimChercheur à l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)-Maroc

Ahlam Hamim is researcher in Horticulture at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (Tangier-Morocco). She has got her PhD on the Blueberry soil microflora; in Ecology and Environment Laboratory at Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakesh-Morocco) on July 2017.
Since 2005, her research program have been focused on improving the production of potato in the area of Loukkos through the introduction of new varieties of potatoes and improving the crop management (fertilization and mineral nutrition) of potato.
Since 2009, Ahlam was working with many varieties of blueberry, to develop new cultivars and evaluate their horticultural potential in Moroccan conditions. She had the opportunity to work in management practices for this crop, from the tissue culture, to trials in the field in order to improve the management of soil microorganisms of (bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi).
Besides, she participate on the development of blueberry research projects, organizing and preparation of research proposals, and organization of and presentation of berry conferences and field days in Morocco and abroad. She has worked on research-developpement activities with farmers to disseminate the research results on blueberry crop.

Ahlam HamimChercheur à l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)-Maroc

Ahlam Hamim is researcher in Horticulture at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (Tangier-Morocco). She has got her PhD on the Blueberry soil microflora; in Ecology and Environment Laboratory at Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakesh-Morocco) on July 2017.
Since 2005, her research program have been focused on improving the production of potato in the area of Loukkos through the introduction of new varieties of potatoes and improving the crop management (fertilization and mineral nutrition) of potato.
Since 2009, Ahlam was working with many varieties of blueberry, to develop new cultivars and evaluate their horticultural potential in Moroccan conditions. She had the opportunity to work in management practices for this crop, from the tissue culture, to trials in the field in order to improve the management of soil microorganisms of (bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi).
Besides, she participate on the development of blueberry research projects, organizing and preparation of research proposals, and organization of and presentation of berry conferences and field days in Morocco and abroad. She has worked on research-developpement activities with farmers to disseminate the research results on blueberry crop.

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Pascal BriandIPS (IPM & Pollination Specialist) Biobest Group NV, secteurs : France, Afrique du Nord, Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale

CV/Biographie
1985-1990 : entreprise familiale production concombres/tomates en serre verre – autodidacte
1990-1991 : Technico-commercial semences potagères Enza Zaden
1991-2001 : Agent commercial pour Biobest Belgique pour la partie Ouest-France
2001-2012 : Technico-commercial Biobest France
Depuis 2012 : IPS (IPM & Pollination Specialist) Biobest Group NV, secteurs : France, Afrique du Nord, Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale

Abstract de votre présentation :
Ci-dessous, les principaux points qui seront abordés :
« Mieux connaître pour mieux contrôler »
La problématique Dasineura oxycoccana en cultures de myrtilles
Etendue de la problématique et impact économique
Biologie, développement et comportement de l’insecte
Dégâts sur les plantes
Les alternatives possibles : celles déjà testées et celles à tester

Pascal BriandIPS (IPM & Pollination Specialist) Biobest Group NV, secteurs : France, Afrique du Nord, Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale

CV/Biographie
1985-1990 : entreprise familiale production concombres/tomates en serre verre – autodidacte
1990-1991 : Technico-commercial semences potagères Enza Zaden
1991-2001 : Agent commercial pour Biobest Belgique pour la partie Ouest-France
2001-2012 : Technico-commercial Biobest France
Depuis 2012 : IPS (IPM & Pollination Specialist) Biobest Group NV, secteurs : France, Afrique du Nord, Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale

Abstract de votre présentation :
Ci-dessous, les principaux points qui seront abordés :
« Mieux connaître pour mieux contrôler »
La problématique Dasineura oxycoccana en cultures de myrtilles
Etendue de la problématique et impact économique
Biologie, développement et comportement de l’insecte
Dégâts sur les plantes
Les alternatives possibles : celles déjà testées et celles à tester

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Pieter ZietsmanConsultant at Top Fruit

Pieter Zietsman studied Agronomy and Agricultural Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He has been active in the horticultural sector for the past 30 years mainly in the stone fruit industry, but the last seven years as a blueberry consultant. He has previously been part of the Oz Blue group but joined Topfruit three years ago as Berry Manager. He has travelled the world extensively and is familiar with most of the blueberry growing regions and practices worldwide. Substrate farming of blueberries is one of his key interests as about 60% of all berry plantings in South Africa are in containers with substrate.

Pieter ZietsmanConsultant at Top Fruit

Pieter Zietsman studied Agronomy and Agricultural Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He has been active in the horticultural sector for the past 30 years mainly in the stone fruit industry, but the last seven years as a blueberry consultant. He has previously been part of the Oz Blue group but joined Topfruit three years ago as Berry Manager. He has travelled the world extensively and is familiar with most of the blueberry growing regions and practices worldwide. Substrate farming of blueberries is one of his key interests as about 60% of all berry plantings in South Africa are in containers with substrate.

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