On 31 March 2021, the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) held its Annual General Meeting, which gathered online representatives of the key global apple and pear producing and exporting countries. The Association appointed Dominik Wozniak (Polish Society for Promotion of Dwarf Fruit Orchards) as its new President for the next two years, taking over from Nicholas Dicey of South Africa. The meeting also decided that given the on-going sanitary uncertainties, Prognosfruit 2021 will take place online on 5th August 2021, postponing the physical meeting in Serbia to 2022.
The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) held its Annual General Meeting online on 31 March 2021. Key global apple and pear producing and exporting countries from Europe, North America and Southern Hemisphere participated in the meeting. On this occasion, WAPA’s elected a new president and vice-president, marking the end of the two-year Presidency term of Nicholas Dicey (South African Apple and Pear Association – Hortgro). Dominik Wozniak’s (Polish Society for Promotion of Dwarf Fruit Orchards), who was until then the Vice-President of WAPA, was elected as the new President of the World Apples and Pears Association. Dominik will be seconded in this task by USA Pears’ Jeff Correa, director at the Pear Bureau Northwest.
Dominik Wozniak stated: “I am very honoured to take over the Presidency of WAPA on behalf of my country, which is one of the world-leading apple production countries. I look forward to teaming up with Jeff to drive further the apples and pears categories in the consumer’s diet. In these days of renewed interest among consumers for fruit and vegetables and in particular for apples and pears, we do have a very favourable momentum. Consumers are seeking to reinforce their health and immune system while consuming more sustainable products. We therefore need as WAPA to seize this opportunity and better communicate the numerous health and environmental benefits of apple and pears”. Dominik Wozniak takes for the next two years the lead of the association, which will celebrate 20 years of activities this August. The launch meeting of WAPA took place in Sint-Truiden (Belgium) on 2nd of August 2001, under the initial lead of France and New Zealand. The Association quickly became a valuable, reliable, representative, and respected structure for the apples and pears sector around the world. The WAPA annual meeting also decided that the upcoming Prognosfruit will take place online on Thursday 5th of August. Philippe Binard, Secretary General of WAPA explained: “There are still too many uncertainties about the sanitary and logistics conditions to organize in good conditions a physical meeting this summer”. This decision was not easy to take as the sector is eager to meet again in these successful and well attended Prognosfruit events. Serbia was first selected as the Prognosfruit destination for 2020 and then moved to 2021 due to the pandemic.He added: “With much regrets, this Prognosfruit visit to Belgrade and Novi Sad production region will not be possible again this year, but we will for sure meet all together in August 2022
The meeting also reviewed the lasted forecast of production for the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere market soft development. Overall, given moderate crops, the seasons are developing satisfactorily and with a good outlook for all varieties. COVID-19 is still driving the demand on the positive side. The sector enjoys this season good fruit quality and sizes in most of the production area. The sector is also very resilient to new market conditions and is adapting its marketing and promotion activities (such as tastings over social media) to the new purchase and consumption patterns resulting from the pandemic. Despite the positive outlook there are however some concerns that need to be addressed, such as negative consequences of COVID regarding access to seasonal workers and for international logistics access to containers. The recent difficulties of the Suez Canal blockage have temporarily not eased further the logistics challenges. WAPA members continue to follow other issues closely, such as India’s recent GMO-free certification requirement or the need for access to plant protection products for the sector in many regions given emerging pests and diseases that could endanger crops in particular due to climate change. All these matters will continue to be followed by WAPA, including also the possible coordination of a new project for a “World Apples Review” report.
WAPA was founded in August 2001 with the objectives of providing a forum for discussion on matters of interest to the apple and pear business and initiating recommendations to strengthen the sector. The current President of the Association is Nicholas Dicey from the South African Apple and Pear Association. Dominik Wozniak from Rajpol is Vice-President. WAPA membership includes the following countries and areas: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, the UK and the USA.