Our speakers 2018

For the „3rd International Stone Fruit Conference” we have engaged a number of national and international accredited speakers, who will, in our program of presentations, relate the theoretical content of their special knowledge in a practical manner.


We would like to introduce our speakers, so you can get an overview of the person and their area of expertise.


Managing Director

Fruit Growers Alianza Ltd. – A San Clemente & Gesex Chile Partnership

Chatteris / United Kingdom


Jon Clark has been involved in the fruit industry for 29 years, being involved with the marketing of cherries for the last 16 years. His early career working for a greengrocer gave him insight to all types of produce, the wholesale network and how to work with customers. This followed in to working for a few imported fruit companies and in 2009 he created the Total Cherry division within Total Produce, combining UK & worldwide production and soon held a 25% share of the total UK cherry market through understanding grower and customer needs. In 2016 Jon left Total Produce and in January 2017 joined two of Chiles most respected grower exporters (San Clemente & Gesex) to market their cherries, stone fruit, apples and grapes to customers in across the UK & Europe in the most direct way possible. The growers own the Fruit Growers Alianza (F.G.A) to help facilitate the requirements of some customers.


President Jealous Fruits Ltd. / Coral Beach Farms Ltd.

Vice President British Columbia Cherry Association

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia / Canada


David Geen is a cherry grower from the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. He is fourth generation grower, and the first generation of his family to become a specialist cherry grower. David was one of the early pioneers planting high density axe cherry orchards, growing self fertile Canadian varieties on vigorous rootstocks. David and his wife Laura operate 280 hectares of sweet cherries, planted at 50 degrees north, at elevations ranging from 300 to 600 meters. 2017 production was 3.700 tons, with growth expected to 7.000 tons within 5 years. The operation is vertically integrated with production, packing and sales all controlled internally. Production is mostly from the Canadian breeding program, although now also diversified with Regina and Kordia. Harvest season runs mid July through until early September, and the company specializes in high quality late season cherries for worldwide export markets.



Professor at Department of Agro-Food Technology

University Miguel Hernández

Orihuela (Alicante), Spain


Fabian Guillen is currently Professor at the Department of Agro-Food Technology at the University Miguel Hernández (UMH), Spain, where he graduates as PhD in Food Technology. Before that he joined different research groups for almost 2 years: the Plant & Food Research (New Zealand) in 2009, the Agricultural Research Organisation A.R.O / Volcani Center (Israel) in 2011 and the University of Hawaii (EEUU) in 2016. At his present position he is engaged in teaching, conducting research, and supervising graduate and PhD students in Postharvest Technology. Dr. Guillén has a broad research background with 60 peer-reviewed papers in the last 15 years as a specialist in Postharvest Technology. He also serves as a reviewer for several International Journals within the areas of Agriculture, Plant Biology and Food Science of the JCR. His group is interested in the evaluation of pre- and post-harvest technologies based within the application of natural compounds to extend shelf life of stone fruits, and other Mediterranean fruits.



Graduate Engineer in Horticulture

Chairman working group Pomiculture

LVG State Education and Research Institute of Horticulture Erfurt


Monika Möhler is leading the working group Pomiculture at the State Education and Research Institute of Horticulture Erfurt (provincial capital of Thuringia) since 25 years. She is responsible scientist for Thuringia Fruit Growers with focus on stone fruits. Especially for sweet cherries she’s realizing substantial variety and rootstock testing. Under her direction trials for modern growing systems as well as trials for irrigation control and fertigation in sweet cherries are undertaken. Beside of that she received acknowledged reputation with growing of hazel bushes in Thuringia. In the same time Ms Möhler is working as a teacher for the subject of Pomiculture at the professional school of the LVG Erfurt (advanced- and technician training). On behalf of Thuringia she’s managing the cooperation with fruit growers of the federal states Saxon and Saxony-Anhalt and is member of the work group “pomiculture performance test” at federal level. Monika Möhler is active as speaker of the expert commission stone fruit breeding in the federal expert group of Pomiculture.



License and Development Manager

CEP Innovation

Lyon, France


Pierre Rochepau is currently working as License and Development Manager for CEP Innovation (what is the world exclusive distribution partner for varieties and rootstocks of INRA) and is responsible for organizing the multi-site experimentation (for example in EU Countries, USA, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa) of most advanced selections that are not yet commercialized. For commercial varieties, he is in charge of the propagation licenses and follow-up with nurseries.

Originally, Pierre Rochepeau comes from the Rhone Valley which is one of the most important regions in France in terms of stone fruit production and apricots in particular. That’s why he has been naturally attracted by the thrill of fruit production.

During his agricultural studies in the Higher National School of Agriculture at Purpan Toulouse, he had a deep interest in variety breeding and more broadly in innovations in the Agricultural Sector. Before starting to work in the fruit business, Pierre Rochepeau used to work for rose breeders. In the fruit business, he is currently working for Cep Innovation, managing pip and stone fruits as well as rootstocks bred by the INRA. The programs are mainly focused on resistance to pests. This is implemented in the ARAMIS® apricot range resistant to “plum pox virus”.


Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture



After completing his studies in the field of horticulture at the University for Applied Science Weihenstephan, he graduated as a degreed engineer for Horticulture. Hubert Siegler started his professional career in 1986 in the purchasing of a seed company. In 1989, he began as a teacher on probation in the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry and completed his traineeship with state exams. From 1992 to September 2016, Hubert Siegler is responsible for trials in the field of fruit growing, tree nurseries and private gardening at the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture (LWG) Veitshöchheim. His main focus is on testing of varieties, rootstocks, and cultivation methods in stone fruit and berries with resulting recommendations for both professional fruit growing and private gardening. Traditionally, cherries and plums are of particular importance in his work. The important topics are dwarfing rootstocks, high density planting, training systems and rain protection / covering. Part of his work area was also focused on apricots and special fruit varieties such as quince, mini-kiwis and “wild fruits”.



RVFC Fruit Consultancy

Technical Horticultural Consulting Services

Deil / Netherlands


Ronald Vermeulen is a private fruit consultant in cherries, working frequently in Argentina and Chile. Beside he is working at the testing station of Fruitmasters in The Netherlands to test and evaluate new apple, cherry and pear varieties. On behalf of the European Fruit Cooperation EFC he is consulting outside of Europe at licensee of Kanzi® apple worldwide. He is responsible for consultancy of the new pear variety Cepuna (Migo®) at test stations in Europe.

His link to fruit growing started in 1978 with Secondary School for Agriculture and was completed with Higher Professional Education in Fruits in 1986. After an assignment abroad in an Australian Fruit Farm Ronald Vermeulen worked for the Plant Health Service before starting his career as Fruit Consultant on research stations and in agricultural practice with stops at DLV (Agricultural Extension Service) and PPO (Applied Plant Praktijk en Omgeving. Randwijk). Before focusing on private fruit consulting in South America Ronald Vermeulen worked for the “Sweet Sensation” Pear Program of the Greenery, The Netherlands.



Director Experimental Garden for Pome and Stone Fruit

Proefcentrum Fruitteelt VZW

Sint Truiden, Belgium


After his studies Jef Vercammen worked as a researcher at the University of Louvain (15 months) and as a teacher in an agricultural college (2 months).

On September 2nd 1985 he started as researcher in “Proeftuin pit- en steenfruit” (Experimental garden for pome and stone fruits) in Sint-Truiden (Belgium). On September 2nd 1993 he became director.  Since January 1st 2006 the Experimental Garden for pome and stone fruits is a department of “Proefcentrum Fruitteelt” (Research station for fruit growing). Jef Vercammen is member of the Board of directors.

It is the task of “Proeftuin pit- en steenfruit” (Experimental garden for pome and stone fruits) to test and demonstrate new developments of the scientific research (practical research and demonstration trials.) “Proeftuin pit- en steenfruit” mainly works on apples, pears and sweet cherries. The main topics are: variety testing, growth control and rootstocks, crop regulation (fruit set and fruit thinning), planting and training systems, fertilisation and replant problems. Since March 2015 Jef Vercammen is the chair of the EUFRIN Working Group “Apple & Pear Variety & Rootstock Testing”.


Associate Scientist / Associate Professor / Extension Specialist

Washington State University. College of Agricultural Sciences

Prosser, WA / United States of America


Matt has been leading an applied tree fruit physiology research and extension program at Washington State University since 2002. His team investigates the factors that limit consistent, efficient, and sustainable production of superlative fruit. In particular he is most interested in whole tree physiology, orchard architecture, automation in fruit production systems, environmental control of fruit quality, and pollination biology. Matt Whiting gained his educational background at the University of Guelph Ontario / Canada where he studied Horticultural Science and Business. Later in his studies he focused on Postharvest Physiology and completed with a Master of Science degree. At Washington State University he realized his doctoral dissertation and graduated as Ph.D. in the special field of whole-tree physiology. Matt Whiting is a much valued contact person for fruit growers all over the world and travels extensively to speak on cherry production practices, and exchange ideas and experiences, with growers and scientists.