Freshfel Europe elects wholesaler exec as new president

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Freshfel Europe elects wholesaler exec as new president

The European Fresh Produce Association (Freshfel) has elected the CEO of France's leading fruit and vegetable wholesaler Creno as its new president for the 2012-14 period.

Incoming president Phillipe Henri most recently served as vice-president of Freshfel Europe, while from 2002 to 2008 he was chairman of the Freshfel Wholesale and Distribution Division.

"I am honoured by the support and this is a strong encouragement to conduct my duty for the benefit of the sector as a whole," Henri said.

"I will do my utmost to coordinate Freshfel's structure to best collate industry opinions and secure that Freshfel is not only reactive but remains proactive on all policy issues but also on other industry collective topics where we should take the lead."

Henri was chosen for the role at the groups annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday, where members celebrated its 10 years of existence.

Zespri Europe director Luc Clerx was named as the new vice-president, while Compagnie Fruitière director Jérôme Fabre will stay on as treasurer.

Outgoing president Ramon Rey (ARC Eurobanan) said he was leaving behind a strong and professional organization that was well positioned to help the sector in coping with its "ever increasing challenges".

"Well equiped with the support of its members Freshfel will continue its efforts to build the most favourable environment for fresh produce in Europe."

Freshfel also released its Activity Report 2011-12, in which Rey highlighted the past 12 months as one of the most difficult years for the sector in Europe.

"The economic and financial uncertanties, the e-coli crisis, the production overlap in the market and the lack of consumer confidence have unfortunately been on the top of our day to day concerns throughout the year," he said.

"The severe difficulties were addressed within our companies to find the best ways to successfully mitigate the negative financial consequences of an unprecedented complex market situation.

"Freshfel Europe has also played its role, defending the interests of the sector, acting as a unique platform to join forces, foster renewed confidence and represent the sector interest with decision makers."

Rey emphasized with Freshfel Europe at the heart of the union in Brussels, next to the European Commission, Parliament and other institutions and associations, new opportunities would arise, networking opportunities would be strengthened and the association's current position reinforced.

In the 'Moving Ahead' section of the report, Henri said the key areas to focus on would be the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Market Organization (CMO) reforms, the school fruit scheme, the promotion of E.U. farm products reform, health claim regulations, food safety, sustainable food production, competition, trade, and research and innovation.

Click here to see the report in detail.

Photo: Creno

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