Fruitnet Forum South-East Europe brings you leading industry experts who will offer information and insight, highlighting international trends, identifying areas where demand is increasing and offering fresh ideas that might boost sales at home and abroad.

To propose a conference topic or to take part in Fruitnet Forum 2018 as a speaker or expert panelist please contact:

Mike Knowles –


Wednesday 21 November 2018


09:00–09:15 welcome to fruitnet forum south-east europe

Aleksandar Pavlovic, USAID (Serbia)

09:15–10:30 THE future of fresh

As consumers place new demands on retailers to improve their offer and present it through new and more innovative channels, the fresh produce business is under increasing pressure to deliver greater value in areas such as convenience, organics, variety and taste. Fruitnet Forum South-East Europe begins by analysing the latest retail market trends and export data for South-East Europe.

Francisco Borrás, Anecoop (Spain)
Wayne Prowse, Fresh Intelligence Consulting (Australia)


11:15–12:00 fresh ideas for success

Starting our second session of the day, we will look more closely at some of the key ways in which suppliers and marketers can boost demand for their products and provide customers and consumers with a better overall experience.

Sanja Larsson, Pureberry Fruits Rouges (France)
Dominika Kozarzewska, Polskie Jagody (Poland)

12:00–12:30 category focus: cherries

The first half of our conference closes with a look at the international fresh cherry business, followed by an in-depth interview with one of the category's leading players.

Matt Hancock, Norton Folgate (UK)



The first afternoon session of Fruitnet Forum South-East Europe takes a closer look at how fruit and vegetable producers in south-east Europe are meeting the increasingly demanding requirements of customers in retail, wholesale and foodservice.

Marko Begenišič, Popovo Polje (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Gojko Zagorac, Verda Vivo (Serbia)



Leading industry service providers explain how they are helping to strengthen different links in the fresh produce supply chain.

Ben Horsbrugh, GlobalGAP (Germany)
Lidija Djerić, Popovic Popovic & Partners (Serbia)

15:30–16:00 THE FINAL WORD

Fruitnet Forum South-East Europe concludes with a panel discussion involving leading players from the international fresh produce business, who will offer their own concluding remarks on topics discussed during the course of the day.

Nemanja Ćurguz, Al Dahra Rudnap (Serbia)
Julka Toskić, Agrobrand (Serbia)
Hugo Vermeulen, Cool Fresh International (Netherlands)

Neven Kurtovic, Greenyard (Croatia)

Thursday 22 November 2018

08:00–16:00 Delegate tour

Guided tour to regional points of interest. You will be asked to sign up for the tour upon completing your registration for the conference. Spaces are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Fruitnet Forum South-East Europe


Mike Knowles is editorial director of Eurofruit, the leading magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe, and managing editor of trade publisher and event organiser Fruitnet Media International. Having started his career with The Times and Haymarket Media Group, Mike joined Eurofruit 15 years ago and has built up an in-depth knowledge of the international fresh produce sector, visiting markets across Europe as well as producers and suppliers worldwide, and chairing a number of industry events.

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Wayne Prowse is a market analyst and principal of Fresh Intelligence Consulting. He helps clients understand global fresh produce trends that are critical for strategic decision-making. Wayne works closely with Fruitnet Media International in the Asian market, producing seven editions of the Asiafruit Congress Statistics Handbook and writing regularly for Fruitnet publications.

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Matt started his produce career in 1991 exporting salads and melons from France. Returning to the UK, he worked in berries, stonefruit, exotics and grapes for Redbridge, where he eventually became trading director. In 2001, he joined Norton Folgate as a cherry and stonefruit specialist, and was promoted to managing director six years later. Born and raised in Belgium and Italy until his late teens, followed by a gap year in Argentina and the US, Matt returned to the UK to study languages at university. Cherries have been his specialist topic for over 20 years, with Norton Folgate playing a significant part in his career journey.

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Julka Toskic is the founder of AgroBrand, an agency that helps develop marketing projects and offer strategic consultancy to brands in the business. Toskic has been closely involved in the development of export industry campaign Serbia Does Fruit – drawing on more than 15 years’ industry experience working for one of Serbia’s largest horticultural companies.

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Aleksandar Pavlović oversees the strategy and project management for the USAID Serbia Competitive Systems Strengthening (CSS) project. A three-time chief-of-party and emerging markets specialist, Aleksandar has directly contributed to the successes of a number of USAID and World Bank projects. He brings 12 years’ experience of international best practice in trade, private sector development and access to finance. He holds an MA in International Affairs from La Salle University, Philadelphia.

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Sanja Larsson is the founder and chief executive of Pureberry Fruits Rouges – a pan-European company focused on growing, packaging, exporting, distributing and marketing fresh berries – as well as its two subsidiaries, Pureberry and Pure Logistics. Sanja is an entrepreneur with a comprehensive understanding of companies and global strategy, shaped by her international work experience. She is also a member of the women’s executive leadership organisation Femmes Capitales and winner of the Miša Anastasijević award in Serbia for Business Vision of the year.

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Lidija Djeric has been an attorney at law since 1997 and is associate attorney with the law firm Popovic, Popovic & Partners in Belgrade. As a registered intellectual property agent with the European Patent Office and the Serbian IP Office, Lidija's practice includes protection and enforcement of IP rights in general as well as plant variety protection.

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Francisco Borrás is the former commercial director of Anecoop, which brings together 69 Spanish fruit, vegetable and wine cooperatives with an annual production volume of 812,000 tonnes. He is a visiting professor at Spanish, Portuguese and Italian Universities, a member of the board of Fruit Logistica and president of the Export Group of Freshfel Europe.

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Dominika Kozarzewska comes from a family of blueberry growers. She is the CEO of the Polskie Jagody (Polish Berries) Producers Organization, a member of Polish Berry Cooperative (PBC). PBC is in turn one of the founders of European Berry Growers, a marketing alliance of berry producers from Spain, Portugal and Poland.

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Gojko Zagorac joined Verda Vivo in 2014 as director for development where he was in charge of a 120ha apple orchard as well as the construction of their cold storage facility. Today Gojko oversees their production and supply to domestic and foreign markets, including club apple variety Crimson Snow in Serbia.

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Ben Horsbrugh is Team Leader Key Account & Membership Management at GlobalGAP and works with retailers, brand manufacturers and producers around the world. Ben has a wide experience of the fresh produce industry at an international level with a strong focus on food safety and sustainability. He has also worked in the organic food sector. GlobalGAP is an internationally recognised standard with the mission of bringing together farmers and retailers in the production and marketing of safe food, protecting scarce resources, and laying the foundations for a sustainable future.