The 36th Edition of the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress provides global insights to shape the future of the Nut and Dried Fruit Industry

Congress News

May 21, 2017

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 nearly 1,000 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.


May 21, 2017

Chennai 2017 has been the 36th edition of the INC’s annual Congress, that in 2018 will take place in Sevilla (Spain), whereas the site for 2019 it will be hosted in Boca Raton, Florida which was announced during the Annual Report session in Chennai today.

The highlight for the final day of the INC Congress was the annual INC awards, recognizing the contribution of individuals and organizations to the progress of the nuts and dried fruits industry. 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 was presented with the Award for Excellence in Research. The Award for Excellence in Gastronomy was presented to Bukhara Restaurant, overseen by Chef JP Singh, for its contribution to the preservation, improvement and dissemination of Indian cuisine worldwide using Nuts and dried Fruits in its menus. The Innovation Award, whose winner was decided through a vote among the Congress participants, went to Mr. Bert Peelaers and Mr. Taf Peeters, founders of Qcify, Inc., a world leader in the field of automated quality control for the best solutions in the food industry. Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Bert said that “I am glad that there is a recognition in world for our product today. We see this as a thank you for all the nuts and dried fruits processing companies. We believe in the philosophy of developing an application that caters to the need of the industry and we are happy we started early in this process.”

The Golden Nut Award was delivered during the traditional Gala dinner to Mr. K. Ravindranathan Nair for his indefatigable dedication to the cashew business.

During the session, the INC also announced the Congress venue for the 2019 edition: it will take place in Boca Raton, Florida. Before that, next year’s edition will be in Sevilla from May 21 to 23 2018, as it had already been announced one year ago.


May 20, 2017

On the second day of the INC Congress, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Spiritual and Humanitarian leader spoke on ‘Mantra for success and happiness’, highlighting the need for balance between professional and personal life and self- meditation.

This was followed by a Scientific Seminar chaired by Mr. Pino Calcagni, Chairman of the INC Scientific and Government Affairs Committee, Italy who chaired the Scientific Seminar. The session focused on ‘Technological Advances in the Cashew Industry’. The seminar also had a guest speaker Mr. Prakash Kalbavi, Kalbavi Cashews, India, who participated in the session.

Sharing his thoughts on how the cashew industry has developed over the years, Mr. Kalbavi said, “Advances in technology over the years have helped the industry manage large volumes and improve the quality of the cashew produce. Moreover, these advancements have equipped the industry to overcome several challenges such as grading & sorting”.

The attendees also participated in roundtables focusing on almonds, walnuts and pistachios. The Almonds Round Table was chaired by Mr. Bill Morecraft, Blue Diamond Growers, USA which offered interesting insights on the almonds market in India. The Walnuts Round Table was chaired by Mr. Cheng Hung Kay, CHK Trading, China-Hong Kong which focused on the global walnuts market. The third roundtable lay emphasis on the global pistachios market which was chaired by Mr. Ramin Yousefi, Persian Dynasty Ltd, China-Hong Kong.


May 19, 2017

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”.

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.


About the INC

The International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) groups nearly 700 companies of the Nut and Dried Fruit sector from over 70 countries. INC is the international organization of reference as regards nuts and dried fruits, health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, international standards and regulations.



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