The International Blueberry Organization (IBO) has appointed Mario Steta, the EMEA Operations Director at Driscoll’s, as its new chairman.
The IBO consists of 14 member countries, which collectively account for over 90% of the world’s fresh blueberry production. Additionally, it encompasses 60 associated companies, including exporters and industry suppliers.
Steta’s wealth of experience and expertise makes him well-suited for the role. He eagerly anticipates advancing the prominent position of blueberries in the global fresh produce industry and supporting the member-producing countries of the IBO, as stated in the group’s release.
Steta expresses confidence in his readiness to take on the role, citing his experience with one of the premier berry companies as preparation for the significant opportunities and challenges ahead in the global blueberry industry.
Steta will take over from McPherson, who previously served as the general manager of Costa Group’s berry business in Australia and held the position of IBO President for eight years.
McPherson’s tenure saw notable achievements, including the successful hosting of the IBO Summit in Australia in 2015 and the expansion of the organization by welcoming new member countries such as Poland, South Africa, and Morocco.
McPherson expresses confidence in Steta’s leadership, stating, “I look forward to Mario’s leadership of the IBO and am sure he will do a great job. We are facing challenging times in the industry, including the impact of the El Niño phenomenon on production in Peru this season, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and rising transportation and input costs due to the global economic recession. However, there are also numerous opportunities for further growth, but the industry must prioritize quality – that is the key to future success.”