International Blackcurrant Conference 2018: save the date
From 6th to 9th June 2018, Angers will welcome blackcurrant professionals from all over the world for the next International Blackcurrant Conference. The French call the Loire Valley the “Valley of kings” – or “the Garden of France”. The name already sounds promising: it must be the right place for the organization of the IBA Conference 2018!
The Loire Valley region (Pays de la Loire) is situated in Western France. It is 300 km southwest of Paris and 90 km east of Nantes (the closest airports). Tourism flourishes here: UNESCO has recognized it as a World Heritage Site in 2000. In its capital Angers – (pronounce it ɑ̃.ʒe, with a typically French nasal “an”) – an impressive castle stands guard over opulent timber houses and Gothic grandeur.
Interestingly, Angers is not only known for its history. It is also a centre for innovation and home to many prominent companies and their research teams. The surrounding countryside hosts the vineyards of the “Aubance”, the “Anjou” and “Saumur”. And along the banks of the giant Loire river, châteaux and abbeys pay homage to the history of the region.
From Orléans to Angers, the Kings of France frequented the Loire Valley in the Middle Ages. Impressive castles (“châteaux”) are all around. This whole region is the most important region of France for horticultural production. Horticulturalists, gardeners and nursery growers produce over 1000 different varieties of plants. Among apple, pear, peach, cherry and other fruit trees, we can also find berry fields. And among these: blackcurrants – of course!
The French Black-and Redcurrant Association (ANCG) will organize the IBA Conference 2018. It had already been the host of the last French IBA conference in 2010 in Beaune (in Burgundy, Eastern France). As blackcurrants are grown in different regions of France (as you can see from the map beside), it will be interesting to have another view of French blackcurrant growing. The organizing team will not be the same. This time, the blackcurrant growers from the Loire Valley, together with the “IDfel Val de Loire” (an association of all economic players in fruit and vegetable growing in the region), are in the driver’s seat.
Save the date
The IBA Conference 2018 will take place from Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th June.
On the very first day, there will be technical meetings in the framework of another (national) conference for “small fruits”. This conference is co-organized together with the CTIFL. CTIFL is a French experimentation and innovation center for professionals in fruit and vegetable growing. For attendees who also work with raspberries, strawberries or other berries, this day may be a wonderful occasion to take even more profit of the conference.
Or if you prefer, an exciting visit of the New Holland manufacturing unit in Coex will fill the day. The following three days will look like usual IBA conferences with the IBA Annual General Meeting. There will mainly be presentations from researchers in all kinds of fields: agronomy, health, marketing… Meetings, farm visits and visits of factories shall complete the programme. Finally, don’t miss the blackcurrant product contest – and maybe more…
No IBA conference in 2017?
As announced at the last IBA conference in Ashford, the International Blackcurrant Conferences will take place every second year only. Since 2008 and until 2015, four European countries had also organized smaller conferences. But due to high costs for those who participate, for those who organize, and for the IBA, we have decided to keep only bi-annual events on an international level. There will therefore be no conference in 2017.
But it will make the other conferences even more attractive: more to share, more to learn, and a wonderful time to be with “blackcurrant friends”.