A successful bet for the 31st edition of the International Horticultural Congress


2,500 participants, 88 nationalities, 1,500 speakers and no less than 12,000 hours of presentations… The 31st edition of the International Horticultural Congress, which took place for the first time in France from August 14 to 20, held its promises.

Organized every 4 years, under the aegis of the ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science), the event was held in Angers, this year the capital of the specialized plant sector. The Congress brought together scientists and professionals around four main themes: adaptation to climate change, agroecology and the sustainability of production systems, the competitiveness of sectors and finally, food, health and well-being.

Opening ceremony / © François Lehmann

Gala dinner / © François Lehmann

Head of communication for the international aspect of plant competitiveness, Vegepolys Valley, co-organizer of the event (with INRAE, Destination Angers, the University of Angers, CIRAD and the Agro Institute), Emmanuelle Rousseau returns to the event and its impact.

“The International Horticultural Congress is a highly anticipated international event that takes place every 4 years on a different continent for seven days. During this week, the researchers present their results through symposia (oral presentations of 15 or 30 min). This year, there were 25 symposia at the same time, which allowed for a transversal approach. For scientists, it was also a means of having their work and research results recognized.

But the International Horticultural Congress also included workshops, technical visits and plenary sessions with key speakers such as Jean Jouzel, climatologist and vice-president of the IPCC which allowed participants to visit research centres, technical institutes and companies. And the singularity of this 2022 edition was of course in the opening to the world of business and production in order to give professionals access to the results of scientific research for their own strategy and development.

© Francois Lehmann

Promote French know-how and gain visibility
Organizing and hosting such an event is, according to Emmanuelle Rousseau, a great way to promote French know-how and gain visibility. “Angers is the capital of the specialized plant sector, which includes ornamental plants, fruit and vegetables, vines, seeds, as well as aromatic and medicinal plants, the Anglo-Saxon horticultural model. However, all these sectors, from companies to training and research, are present in the Angevin territory. The 2022 International Horticultural Congress has therefore enabled us to gain visibility and notoriety, as well as to promote the work of our researchers. Ultimately, this could contribute to making the territory more attractive and pave the way for future collaborations with foreign partners.

Main axes of the 2022 edition
“We have been preparing for this edition for 8 years and we wanted to reach a very high scientific level for this event, explains Emmanuelle Rousseau. It was one of the three main axes of this 31st edition and it allowed France to stand out from the other candidates. The two other axes of the event were: the promotion of the business-research-training triptych and the development of the link between countries of the North and countries of the South.

“We wanted to organize a congress representing as faithfully as possible all agricultural practices, and not just Western countries.”

A rather successful edition
“We are extremely satisfied to have been able to host this event in very good conditions. This 2022 edition has been faithful to our image and has received very interesting feedback in France and Europe. The objectives were achieved in terms of quantity and quality. For us it has been a successful experience and the feedback received so far has been excellent.

The event also brought some hope and optimism in the context of increasingly frequent climatic phenomena. “Thanks to the studies presented during this week, we have been able to show that solutions exist all over the world, which must be adapted to each agriculture and each country.”

“Disseminating the knowledge produced in Congress”
What happens to the studies and research presented at the Congress? “A huge amount of content was produced during this week. Disseminating this knowledge to both professionals and the general public will be our task until the end of the year. This restitution and popularization work will begin in mid-September at the Salon du Végétal. “We will then present to the professionals present at the event the first feedback on the theme of urban vegetation (latest innovations, countries studying the subject, work in progress, etc.).

The next edition of the International Horticultural Congress will be held in Kyoto, Japan, from August 23 to 28, 2026, with the theme “Exploring the Diversity of Horticulture”.

For more information:
Emmanuelle Rousseau, communications manager
Plant House
26, rue Jean Dixmeras
49066 Angers Cedex 1
Telephone: + 33 (0)2 41 72 17 37

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