Conferences and round-tables

The value proposition offered by medFEL also lies in series of talks and discussions on the sector’s challenges. Over the space of two days, medFEL offers a programme dealing with the commitment of the fruit and vegetable sector to sustainable development goals.


Guest Speakers for medFEL 2024


They will convey the medFEL commitment and offer their perspective on the main challenges facing the profession. At the 2024 show, Isabelle Autissier and Tomás García Azcárate will join us to offer top quality content.


While she had an academic background in agronomic engineering, Isabelle Autissier became the first woman to sail around the world single handed in 1991. After a succession of ocean-bound adventures, she became president of WWF France in 2009. She has been Chairwoman of the Board of French Southern and Antarctic Territories since 2021.
Isabelle Autissier will be honouring us with her presence as Special Guest Speaker at medFEL 2024 and will deliver an exceptional talk on the theme of “How do you navigate through a world in crisis?” in the exhibition’s Agora on 24 April, hosted by Florence Rabut, editor-in-chief of the magazine Végétable.


A doctor in agricultural engineering and an agricultural economist, Tomás García Azcárate is the former head of the Fruit and Vegetable bureau at the European Commission’s DG Agri. He was behind the creation of the Producers’ Organisations and today is a member of the French Society of Agriculture and a writer for the magazine Végétable.
We are privileged to welcome Tomás García Azcárate as Special Guest Speaker at medFEL 2024. He will answer questions from Olivier Masbou, associate journalist at Socopag, at a talk on the subject of “What European agricultural policy for fresh fruit and vegetables?” on 25 April in the medFEL Agora.



Conference programme

The contributions from our Special Guest speakers will be rounded out by a programme of talks and round tables to discuss the main topical issues for the industry. Among them, find out now about the first talks scheduled.




10.30am – European apricot harvest forecasts

Hosted by Eric Hostalnou – Chambre d’Agriculture des Pyrénées Orientales
With Bruno Darnaud, AOP pêches et abricots de France, Elisa Macchi, Centro Servizio Ortofruticolo de Ferrara (Italia), Javier Basols, Coopérativas Agroalimentarias (Spain), and Georges Kantzios Asepop (Greece)
>> Discover the summary of the forecasts here <<

Followed by an anticipation of the plum harvest

Hosted by Olivier Masbou, associate journalist at Socopag
With Joël Boyer, presidente of the AOPn Prune and André Graglia, director of the AOPn Prune


11.30am –  Inauguration of medFEL 2024


2.00pm –  Is the increasing amount of plant-based food in collective catering to the benefit of fruit and vegetables?

Hosted by Olivier Masbou, associate journalist at Socopag. 
With Marie-Cécile Rollin (Restau’Co), Sylvie Rondole (Restaurant Universitaire, Cafétérias et Crous) and Pierre-Yves ROMMELAERE (Collège Joseph Anglade)

The Egalim Act requires school catering to offer one vegetarian menu per week since 2019. This measure is part of the National Food Programme, one of whose objectives is to promote plant-based proteins in mass catering. It applies from 1 January 2023 in all canteens run by the French state and national public companies. But in practical terms, how is this provision being implemented? Has it helped to increase the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in mass catering?


3.30pm – How to navigate through a world in crisis ? 

Hosted by Florence Rabut, editor-in-chief of the magazine Végétable
With Isabelle Autissier, agronomic engineering and navigator

At a time like no other, marked in the short term by an Olympic year in France, and in the longer term by a growing awareness of the planet’s limits, it was fitting to hear the views of a top-level scientist and yachtswoman. How can a leader navigate in a world of permanent crises, compounding and succeeding one another? How can we have a more inclusive relationship with nature and the environment, while developing models for growth and performance?

“If you take the experience of a sailor, they don’t choose the wind and the waves, they are part of them. If you try to go against the elements, you break your boat”, Isabelle Autissier reminds us. The question is therefore how we are going to transform our models to limit the risks and suffering of a warming world, with less water and less biodiversity. What new avenues for development are possible? This is what Isabelle Autissier will tell us, with her experience as an agronomic engineer, an ocean racing sailor, the first woman to complete a solo round-the-world voyage, a radio presenter, writer, storyteller, and the Honorary President of WWF France.


4.45pm – Organic: how to reinvent oneself. Conquering without going astray

Hosted by Dany La Noë, Interbio Occitanie, and Olivier Masbou, associate journalist Socopag press agency
With Rémy FRISSANT, Co-founder of AMANDERA

Following years of growth, and despite a slight recent upturn, the consumption of organically farmed products is at best dwindling, if not declining. The French seem less willing to make the necessary effort to ‘green’ their diet. And the return of inflation is exacerbating pressure on household budgets.

How can the organic sector initially consolidate its position and then bounce back in a context where national and European objectives still call for the development of organic farming?

We are witnessing the emergence of initiatives aimed at reinventing the sector, whether in terms of new collaborative sales outlets, marketing strategies or a global vision of organic issues and the need to adapt them to consumers.





10.00am – Can artificial intelligence revolutionise our meals?

Hosted by Florence Rabut, editor-in-chief of Végétable
With Franck Berthu, digital transformation expert, AD’OCC, Gildas Guibert, technical expert and consultant, Mouneyrac, Anicet Prod’homme, cyber defence engineer and Mathieu Gazeau, associate producer, Vergers Gazeau, and Antonin Douillet, co-founder, DAC ADN

The arrival on the market of large-scale and universally accessible artificial intelligence is a major turning point for society. Some are predicting that it will be revolutionary, and that it will be implemented faster than digital technology. The French Ministry of the Economy and Finance sees it as a “tool for innovation and competitiveness” for businesses. We are already seeing it in action: AI is influencing both our lives and the way we work. Yet the majority of businesses are still far from familiar with this technology, or even from knowing how to exploit its potential. A number of questions need to be asked: how can we move from exploratory or isolated activities to collective performance? What are the tangible benefits of AI? Can this technology help us to solve certain major challenges more quickly, such as increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables, collecting essential data at the point of sale, streamlining transactions and relations within the sector, increasing the competitiveness and profitability of models, enhancing precision farming, etc.? What are the risks and constraints in terms of data ownership and traceability? All these questions will be explored and discussed at this talk, aimed specifically at our sector!


11.00am – Anticipations for melon plantations 

Hosted by Olivier Masbou, associate journalist at press agency Socopag
With Myriam Martineau, president of the Association interprofessionnelle melon, Jerome Jausseran, vice-president of the Association interprofessionnelle melon, Rémi Javernaud, animator of the Association interprofessionnelle melon

2.30pm – What European policy for fresh fruit and vegetables ?

Hosted by Olivier Masbou, associate journalist at press agency Socopag
With Tomás García Azcárate, agricultural engineering PhD and an agricultural economist, former head of the fruit and vegetable bureau at the European Commission’s DG Agri (and behind the creation of the Producers’ Organisations), today a member of the French Society of Agriculture and a writer for the magazine Végétable

On the eve of the European Parliament elections, agricultural matters feature among the most sensitive. Many decisions are mired in controversy: the continued authorisation of glyphosate, the European Parliament’s rejection of the SUR regulation on pesticides, the Green Deal, Farm to Fork, the debate around new genome editing techniques, etc. During this time, the 2023-2027 CAP has come into application with a reinforced role for each Member State (with a national strategic plan) and regions (through FEADER). How do all these policies impact the production and commerce of fresh fruit and vegetables? Is there still a role for the fruit and vegetable CMO?


4.00pm – How can we diversify in the face of climate change?

Hosted by Florence Rabut, editor-in-chief of Végétable
With Yannick Chevrier, director, coop La Tour, Benoît DUFAY, mission manager at France Pistache, Tristan Margalet, CEO of Greype France, Mathieu DONATI, associate producer of Agrucorse, and Stéphane Durand, Director of the fruit and vegetable sector at Biocoop

In the face of climate upheaval, our agriculture is under pressure to change course. It is already a matter of urgency, but our sectors are taking the long view. François Gemenne, one of the co-authors of the IPCC’s 6th report, urges the farming community “not to treat climate change as a crisis”, since it is “going to be with us for the rest of the century”. “It is urgent to think about the future climate of one’s region, and adapt certain agricultural models and crop types that will save water and guarantee sustainable production,” he concludes. Our sectors have already begun this transition. It is becoming increasingly apparent, particularly in the south of France, where new plantations – sometimes of new species – are being tested or introduced. Beyond the opportunistic effects, are we capable of building profitable, high-performance sectors? Do we have enough experience of agronomy and cultivation techniques for diversification crops? What knowledge do we still need to acquire? Is it possible to map out possible changes over the next ten, twenty or even thirty years?


The traditional presentation of summer fruit harvest forecasts

But that’s not all! Another key highlight of the medFEL calendar each year is the traditional presentation of summer fruit harvest forecasts, which will come in addition to the talks programme. The anticipations for melon plantations and European apricot harvests will be unveiled live at the show, then those for peaches and nectarines will be presented during a webinar as part of the “medFEL’s Tuesday” on 21 May 2024.


The full programme for 2024 will be available soon. In the meantime, rediscover the 2023 edition.