The 36th Edition of the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress

The 36th Edition of the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress
  • Revealed Industry Forecasts for 2017-18 Set the Roadmap for the Sector
  • INC Awards Recognized the Exemplary Contribution of Individuals and Organizations to the Industry
  • Sevilla, Spain, will Host the Event in 2018

The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) celebrated the 36th Edition of the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress for the first time in India between May 19 and 21 at the ITC Grand Chola in Chennai. The INC Congress witnessed the largest international gathering of food professionals, suppliers, traders and buyers from the nut and dried fruit business with over 900 attendees from across 60 countries.

The three-day conference was a global platform to exchange knowledge and ideas in market development, supply chain, consumption, product innovation, food safety, nutrition and research through a variety of monographic round tables, seminars, working group meetings, stand-alone sessions and keynote speakers.

The Indian nut and dried fruit industry is currently growing at a rapid rate and this growth is expected to increase twofold in the years to come. The industry is being driven by a combination of factors such as growing disposable income levels, better availability, right packaging, consistent quality, adequate product communication (labelling) and the entry of new products such as hazelnuts and pecan nuts. An increasing awareness on the health benefits of various nuts and dried fruits and their nutrient content has been playing a major role in shaping the industry both in India and worldwide.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 36th Edition of the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, Mr. Pratap Nair, the event’s Chairman and INC Ambassador for India, said: ‘’We are extremely proud and honored to be hosting the most prestigious event of the global nut and dried fruit industry. The combined presence of professionals involved in or related to the sector from around the world including producers, manufacturers, traders, suppliers and buyers, undoubtedly shapes it as the largest and the only worldwide event of the nut and dried fruit industry. This congress brings together top players in the nut industry globally and scientists from all over the world are participating in it. While the monographic round tables will reveal latest statistics and new crop forecasts, the esteemed keynote speakers will offer a different perspective”.

Chennai 2017 is the 36th edition of the INC’s annual Congress, that in 2018 will take place in Sevilla (Spain), whereas the site for 2019.

INC Awards

  • The INC Congress recognized the role of those individuals and organizations who have contributed to the progress of the nuts and dried fruits industry through the INC Awards.
  • The Golden Nut Award was given to Mr. K. Ravindranathan Nair for his indefatigable dedication to the cashew business
  • The Award for Excellence in Research was granted to Dr. Richard D. Mattes, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science and Director of the Public Health Graduate Program at Purdue University (USA), who has been an active researcher in the area of nuts and health for over 20 years
  • The Award for Excellence in Gastronomy went to Bukhara Restaurant, for its contribution to the preservation, improvement and dissemination of Indian cuisine worldwide using Nuts and dried Fruits in its menus.

The Congress commenced with the opening speech by Mr. Mark Mariani, INC Chairman followed by Mr. Pratap Nair, Congress Chairman, who welcomed participants to “three exciting days of sessions” focused on the nuts and dried fruits industry.

The first day of the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress featured Mr. Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing at Google, as a keynote speaker who spoke on the “9 principles of innovation at Google’’. He outlined what is considered to be vital for customers today and how innovation helps in running business. Among these points, Kallayil mentioned about how important it is to understand the consumer behavior and trends. He also threw some light on how technology has made life so easy as everything is available within a touch of a button. Our phones have become a remote control to our lives.

There were three round tables centered on cashews, peanuts and dried fruits. Led by industry experts, these round tables provided participants with relevant and updated information about crop forecasts for 2017. Mr. Hari Nair, Western India Cashews, India, who chaired the cashews’ round table spoke on the industry developments in the cashew market for the year. “Cashews have a huge consumer market in India as well as around the world. The nutritional benefits of cashews are long lasting and incorporation of these can make a huge difference to one’s health and diet”.

In addition, Mr. Wim Schipper, Intersnack Procurement B.V., Netherlands, Chair of the peanuts’ round table, spoke on the current industry consumption trends while Mr. Riccardo Calcagni, Besana, Italy, spoke about the potential of the dried fruit market across the globe.

Day one of the Congress also featured a Nutrition Research Update with the latest scientific findings related to health and nutrition chaired by Professor Jordi Salas-Salvadó who presented the “New Findings on Nuts and Health”. Guest speakers Dr. Richard D. Mattes delivered a lecture on “The Role of Nuts and Dried Fruit in Healthful Snacking”, and Dr. V. Mohan discussed on the benefits of cashew consumption.