02.12.2023 | 3 min read

Highlights From The Morocco Berry Conference 2023

The WayBeyond team at the Morocco Berry Conference 2023 L-R: Global Sales Director, Lotte Bayly with Chief Marketing Officer, Christelle Blanchet-Aissaoui

On November 9, 2023, the Les Dunes d’Or congress hall in Agadir, Morocco, was transformed into the berry capital of the world for the Morocco Berry Conference, marking a significant milestone in the rapid evolution of berries in the region. The conference serves as a crucial platform for industry experts, growers, and stakeholders to convene and explore the latest developments in the berry sector.

The conference, which is in its fourth year, has established itself as the premier annual event for berries in the region. Drawing between 500 to 600 participants from 30 countries worldwide – spanning Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, and all five continents – the conference has evolved into a pivotal gathering for the berry industry in Africa and the Middle East. Its success stems from creating an invaluable learning environment that brings together global specialists and experts to provide their insights to stakeholders in the soft fruit sector.

This year, the Morocco Berry Conference actively engaged more than 200 foreign participants confirming the event as a globally recognized hub for meetings and exchanges. With over 40 companies from across the globe sponsoring (WayBeyond was a Bronze sponsor) and showcasing innovative products, the conference served as a platform to communicate the latest advancements in cultivation techniques and know-how. Moroccan operators in both the northern and southern regions demonstrated great receptiveness to upstream and downstream developments in the berry industry

According to a report from Rabobank Global Berry Congress: tough road ahead for berry suppliers

  • Morocco is now #3 worldwide exporter of raspberries and #4 of blueberries (source: IPBM)

  • Between 2017 and 2022, Morocco multiplied its volume of blueberry exports by 3.5x , exporting over 52,000 tons in 2022 (source: Rabobank)

  • 94% of Moroccan berry exports go to EU/UK (source: Morocco FOODEX)

The Morocco Berry Conference 2023 actively engaged more than 200 foreign participants

 WayBeyond’s Lotte Bayly and Christelle Blanchet were in attendance.

“There were way more exhibitors than expected,” explains Lotte “The berry market in Morocco is thriving and consequently there is a lot of investment being made in berry production.”

She notes: “Berry breeders and growers are now looking for ways of producing more with what they have while managing the pest threats of thrips, the brown marmorated stink bug and spotted wing drosophila.”

Christelle remarks: “Berry growers are very open to new technologies and embrace digital agronomy as a way to ensure they produce export-grade fruits and gain a competitive advantage.”

Additionally, WayBeyond invited local growers to a private seminar on ‘Optimizing Blueberry Crop Outcomes’ showcasing what is achievable for berry growers today using the latest digital agronomy technologies.

This technology was also featured in the November edition of the Agriculture du Maghreb magazine in an article detailing how African Blue (Morocco’s largest supplier of blueberries) were able to improve production and crop management using real-time climate and plant health visibility.

Agadir fast becoming a berry capital

Agadir itself has witnessed a rapid development of berries. In less than 10 years, raspberries and blueberries have exceeded an area of 4,500 hectares under greenhouse and out-of-soil cultivation. Agadir's remarkable progress has been fuelled not only by its favorable climate but also by technological advancements in protected cropping horticulture. These innovations facilitated a swift transition to soft fruit cultivation, highlighting the importance of technical expertise in achieving this successful shift.

To support this, the conference also included training from Green Smile, a local agricultural consulting and training agency, and Hortitool Consulting which provides technical support to berry growers. Training and talks included common growers' challenges and offered comprehensive solutions to enhance production quality, yield, and marketing strategies.

The Morocco Berry Conference was supported by the Moroccan Association of Berry Producers and the Chamber of Agriculture of the Souss Massa region.

Morocco Berry Conference presentation

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