The IIRB has its beginnings at the CIBE Congress (Confédération Internationale des Betteraviers Européens – International Confederation of European Beet Growers) held in Prague in 1931. Upon the initiative of M. Berger, Director of the Society of the Sugar Refineries of Tienen, Belgium, and Professor van Ginneken, Director of the Dutch Beet Institute, the IIRB was founded as an international organisation to establish close collaboration between the different European specialists in beet growing techniques. The foundation of the IIRB was set up on 6th October 1931 by representatives from seven countries: Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Czechoslovakia.
The first IIRB Congress took place in Brussels in January 1932. After the end of world war II, IIRB activities continued and a congress was held in Brussels in February 1947. In the same year, the Administrative Council was established. In 1952, the IIRB was legally constituted as a non-profit organisation.