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22 May, 2020 Industry News

Meet the INC Webinar Chairs

Meet the INC Webinar Chairs

Starting June 1, 2020, the INC will begin a series of webinars, led by a panel of experts,  to talk about the latest updates within the sector, present the next crop forecasts and discuss the state of the industry. Read more about the chairs for each webinar below!

Almonds Webinar

Brian Ezell

Vice President, Almond Division of Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, USA
Brian Ezell is the Vice President of the Almond Division of Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, LLC. since 2001, and has been employed by the Wonderful Agribusiness Group for over 30 years.
Brian is responsible for the development and execution of the sales and marketing activities of the Almond Division in addition to the over-sight of Almond Processing Strategic Operations. He is also the main interface between Wonderful Orchards (Farming Division) and Plant Operations to ensure that the activities of these areas align with the sales objectives in terms of supply, product quality, and market conditions.

Brian currently serves as Chairman of the Global Marketing Committee of the Almond Board of California, is the Vice Chairman of the California Almond Export Association, and also represents Wonderful on the Board of the Peanut & Tree Nut Processors Association. 

Walnuts Webinar

Bill Carriere

President & CEO, Carriere Family Farms

Bill Carriere is a fourth-generation farmer who grew up on the family farm in Glenn, CA. After attending the University of California, Davis, and earning a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, Bill returned to work on the family farm. 

He started work as a farm laborer, ranch manager, controller, and now to President and CEO, Bill has been working to continue to grow and diversify the family-owned and run farming operation. Carriere Family Farms grows walnuts, almonds, rice, and oil olives as well as operating two walnut hulling and drying facilities, a custom farming operation, and a walnut processing plant which processes and markets walnuts for 85 local growers as well as their own.

Bill is a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program, a Glenn County Planning Commissioner, a member of the California Walnut Board and Commission, and Secretary of the Enloe Hospital Board of Trustees. 

Pistachios Webinar 

Behrooz Agah

Member of the Board of Trustees, Iran Pistachio Association, Iran 
Behrooz Agah is the grandson of the originator of the modern international pistachio industry. His family’s involvement with pistachios started about a century ago, when his late grandfather, Gholam Reza Agah, started the first mechanized pistachio farm in the early 1920s in Iran. Behrooz is a third generation pistachio farmer/trader.

He currently leads the Agah Group, which operates 4,000 hectares of family farms, as well as Arian Milan, an export company, Negin Sayareh Sabz, a pistachio processing company plus a GPPK (Green Peeled Pistachio Kernel) production operation. The Agah Group produces and exports low Aflatoxin risk and low pesticide residue risk pistachios to customers worldwide. Behrooz is a founding member of the Iran Pistachio Association (IPA). He has been a member of IPA’s Board of Trustees for 13 years. He is the permanent representative/speaker of IPA at the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC). 

Established in 2007, IPA is a non-profit private organization representing various sectors of the Iranian pistachio industry (growers, exporters, processors, and service providers). IPA has provided regular monthly information, data and statistics regarding Iran’s pistachio industry and has been a voice for this industry in many international venues since 2010.

Dried Cranberries, Raisins, & Prunes Webinar

Pedro Monti

Sales Manager, Prunesco, Chile

Pedro Monti has been part of Prunesco as Commercial Manager for 12 years. He oversees the sales to all the world and directly manages the markets of Northern & Central Europe. Prunesco was founded in 1941 by a group of prune growers seeking better conditions to export their fruits. Today, the company exports to over 50 countries around the world and includes 15 retail chains and some of the world's most important repackers and industries. Among the product portfolio, there are pitted & unpitted prunes, concentrated prune juice, unsorbated prunes for retail and wholesale, prune puree, and starting this season organic tenderized prunes.
Before joining Prunesco, Pedro worked in other industries such as Gaming & Lottery and Telecommunications applied to the traffic and parking control. He has an MBA Graduate from Universidad Catolica de Chile and a Commercial Engineer degree from Universidad de Los Andes in Santiago.

Macadamia Webinar

Jolyon Burnett

CEO, Australian Macadamia Society, Australia

Jolyon is the CEO of the Australian Macadamia Society, a role he has held since August 2008, and director of the Australian Nut Industry Council, which represents 7 tree nut crops grown in Australia.
The AMS provides leadership and advocacy for an industry worth $300 million at farm gate and $270 million in annual export earnings. The AMS manages the Australian macadamia industry global marketing program and supports industry development and growth.
Jolyon has worked in Australian horticulture for the last 40 years during which time he has been the CEO of Irrigation Australia Limited, the CEO of Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, a Director of the Horticulture Australia Council, a member of the Australian Government National Water Commission Advisory Council, a member of the National Working Party on Pesticide Application and a participant in the Tropical Horticulture working group.

Peanuts Webinar

Louise McKerchar

Vice-President & European Marketing Director, American Peanut Council, USA

Louise joined the American Peanut Council (APC) in 1986 and has been in the peanut industry for over 30 years. She has the responsibility of running the Council’s European office based in the UK and oversees the Council’s activities in Europe. During her time at APC, Louise has worked on public relations campaigns and marketing promotions as well as running exhibition booths at leading trade shows across Europe. Her attention is now mainly focused on technical issues and monitoring European regulatory changes. Louise also organises the biennial International Peanut Forum, an event for peanut suppliers, buyers, traders, manufacturers, and service providers from around the globe.
Louise currently sits on the Board of Directors of The Nut Association in the UK and participates in ESA working groups.

Dried Apricots, Figs, & Dates Webinar

Guillaume Pagy

General Manager, Pagysa, Turkey

Born in İzmir, Guillaume studied and worked in France, where he became a Business Graduate from ESC La Rochelle in 1991. He continued his studies and career in tandem in other European countries until 1994.
He returned to Turkey in 1995 after backpacking through South America for a year, joined the family company, and began his path to becoming Managing Director of Pagysa and Nova Fruits Int’l by working in the processing plant.
The experience he accumulated while overseas continues to be a key point in the companies’ success in their fields. Under his guidance as MD, both companies are leading processors, packers and exporters of dried fruits, supplying both the food industry and retailers, tactfully bridging the gap between producer and consumer.

Cashews Webinar 

Hari Nair

President, Western India Cashew Company (WIC), India

Hari Nair chaired the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (2011-2013) and contributed to the creation of the Global Cashew Council, of which he has recently become the Chairman.

He organized the CEPCI-funded study on the effect of cashews on diabetics by the Madras Diabetic Research Foundation, India along with scientists from Spain and Harvard, USA (Journal of Nutrition, 2018), and helped develop the UNECE Standard for Cashew Kernels as rapporteur.

Under his stewardship, WIC implemented the first validated microbiological pasteurization program for nuts in Asia in 2009, to supply safe nut-ingredients for chocolate, ice-cream, etc. WIC has won awards from the Ministry of Commerce for being India’s biggest exporter of cashews in consumer packs. WIC also developed the flexi-pouch bulk-pack in 1999, which is now the cashew industry standard.

Hari has also contributed to the African Cashew Alliance and USAID initiatives for the cashew sector in Africa.

Hazelnuts Webinar

Ufuk Özongun

Board Member, Istanbul Exporters' Association, Turkey

Ufuk Özongun is member of the Board of the Istanbul Hazelnut Exporters Association. He studied Business Administration at the Göttingen University in Germany and has been in the hazelnut business since 1986. In 1998 he was the co-founder of the Progida hazelnut processing company. In 2011 Progida was acquired from Olam International Ltd. He was Country Head for Turkey and with Olam the company has increased its hazelnut ingredients business significantly.


Pine Nuts Webinar

Wim Leeuwenburgh

Managing Director, Rhumveld Winter and Konijn BV, Netherlands

Wim Leeuwenburgh is Managing Director of Rhumveld Winter and Konijn BV. He studied business economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and worked for most of his career within the nuts and dried fruit industry.
He was employed by Rhumveld Winter and Konijn BV as a trader and now is responsible for all their commercial activities.
During his time in the industry, he has served for six years as a Board Member of the Dutch Dried Fruit Association and is currently the Chairman of the FRUCOM Pinenut Expert working group.


Brazil Nuts Webinar 

David Rosenblatt

President, The Richard Franco Agency, USA
David Rosenblatt has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where he was inducted into Civil Engineering honor society Chi Epsilon in 1971.
While working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, he studied at the Georgia Tech graduate school of Industrial Management and earned his MBA from Georgia State University in 1974. Upon graduation, he worked in the financial and business side of Law Engineering Testing Company before starting a property management company on his own in 1977.
After the untimely death of his father-in-law, Richard Franco, he moved to the New York area and began his now 40-year tenure at the Richard Franco Agency.

Pecans Webinar

Jeffrey Sanfilippo

Chairman & CEO, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., USA

Jeffrey Sanfilippo is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., an Elgin, IL USA based public company.
Mr. Sanfilippo has an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School and he completed his undergraduate work at the University of Southern California where he earned a BA in Economics & International Relations.  
John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. is a public company trading on NASDAQ with revenues of $880 million; employing 1,600 people across 5 manufacturing facilities in California, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Headquarters in Elgin, Illinois. Major snack and recipe nut brands include Fisher, Orchard Valley Harvest and Squirrel. Mr. Sanfilippo has been employed by JBSS since 1991 and in November 2006 was named Chief Executive Officer.   

Don't forget to Join Us for the INC Webinar Series on Nuts and Dried Fruits and register for the webinars!  
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