The Global Berry Congress, which brings together fruit producers from around the world, has been postponed due to the spread of coronavirus in Europe.

Originally due to be held in the Dutch city of Rotterdam from 30 March to 1 April, the event has now been put back to 22-24 June, with the rapid escalation of Covid-19 in Italy and the consequent shutdown of major cities by its government a key factor behind the decision.

“The ongoing spread of Covid-19 is now a major public health crisis for all of us who live and work in Europe,” a statement posted on the website noted. 
 
“The lockdown announced by the Government of Italy shows how serious this issue has become. The spread of the coronavirus across Europe in the last fortnight has been faster than any of us thought possible. And there is every likelihood that some or all of the measures now taken in Italy may be replicated in other parts of Europe in the coming weeks.”

The annual event is organised by Fruitnet Media International, which said its “primary concern must be for the health and well-being of everyone who attends”.

The Global Berry Congress is the latest public gathering in the food sector to be cancelled or postponed due to concerns about Covid-19. Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global in Brussels has been delayed from its original April schedule, while the same event in the US has also been postponed.

And Expo West due to be held in California was cancelled at short notice.