Jens Holme Pedersen new IBA president
At the 6th International Blackcurrant Conference in Angers in June 2018, Jens Holme Pedersen from Denmark has been chosen to be the new president of the IBA for the next two years.
I feel honoured and am pleased to take over the role of President of the IBA from Anthony Snell. After a very successful conference in France in June, we now look forward to new challenges.
Main challenges for the next 2 years
My task will not be easy. Above all, the current situation for blackcurrants worldwide is not perfect. We all know that there are too much blackcurrants in the market. Presently, there are contracts only for a small share of all blackcurrants. Most of them go into the free market, for the production of concentrates. There are not yet enough other products than juices – or not enough countries consuming blackcurrant juices and blackcurrant based products.
My first goal will therefore be to increase awareness of blackcurrants through promotion and communication. We will also work on the relationship between growers and processors or transformers. The more contracts there are, the better the situation will be for everyone.
Secondly, our association is small. We have few members only, compared to the number of blackcurrant growers and blackcurrant product manufacturers all over the world. My second task will thus go into the direction of increasing our “family”, with more and more growers and transformers. I believe that our work is beneficial and attractive to all.
Working as a team
I am particularly happy to be seconded in this work by four experts who complete our Executive. There is, of course, our outgoing president Anthony Snell with his experience from a well-organized blackcurrant sector in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the two vice-presidents Florent Baillard and Piotr Baryla. Both will have complementary views and be helpful for the whole industry with their expertise. Piotr comes from the biggest blackcurrant producing and consuming country: Poland. Florent is from a country with several niche markets, much more protected from price fluctuations, and with well working contracts – but huge horticultural challenges: France. I myself represent a small country for the blackcurrant industry and with a dying growing activity: Denmark. Stefanie Sharma, our General Manager, completes the team. She will lead our activities in a reasonable way and help us to understand each other’s views and needs.
IBA conference 2020
Finally, we still have to decide where our conference in 2020 will take place. My promise is to announce the place of the next conference before Christmas this year. This will allow us all to plan our next meeting in the most positive way.
Our members gave me their trust by electing me as their new president – my aim is to give them satisfaction with their choice!