10:00 Building resilience before Brexit
Chair: Lee Abbey, NFU Horticulture Adviser
Speakers: Ali Capper, NFU Horticulture Board Chair
Nick von Westenholz, NFU Director of EU Exit and International Trade
An update on agricultural policy and its likely impact on horticultural businesses post-Brexit, including labour strategy, POs and ideas for how growers can build resilience into their businesses to mitigate the effect on production and profitability.
11:00 The robots are coming, or are they?
Sponsored by NFU
Chair: Ali Capper, NFU Horticulture Board Chair
Speakers: Dr Debbie Wilson, AHDB Horticulture Head of Horticulture Knowledge Exchange
Ed Herbert, Founder of Dogtooth Technologies
Simon Barnes, Industry Strategy, Kent University
Grace Emeny, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager
Could agritech be the answer to protecting and growing fruit production post-Brexit? A discussion around industry need and funding for agritech in horticulture and how it could help growers cope with future market volatility and the impact of Brexit.
12:00 Are you the employer of choice for workers post Brexit? Recruitment and Retention 2019
Sponsored by HOPS
Chair: John Hardman, Director, HOPS Labour Solutions
Speakers: Dave Back, DB Compliance
Claire Houchin MRICS FAAV, Director (Rural), BTF Partnership
A discussion on how we can attract and recruit seasonal workforce to the fruit industry with the right incentives, and avoid modern slavery.
13:00 Precision growing of soft fruit: new innovations and technologies to enhance crop productivity, resilience and quality.
Sponsored by NIAB EMR
Speaker: Dr Mark Else, Head, Crop Science and Production Systems, NIAB EMR
Key to continued expansion in the berry sector is the consistent production of high quality, flavoursome fruit that are easy to pick. Innovative precision growing, imaging and harvesting systems informed by new mathematical models are needed that optimise yields and quality of soft fruit grown in an environmentally and socially acceptable way. Dr Mark Else will summarise NIAB EMR’s on-going work on developing precision growing systems and explain how we are stimulating, facilitating and delivering impact to the soft fruit industry.
14:00 Economic viability of viticulture
Speakers: David Parkinson, WineGB
James Dodson, Vine-Works Ltd
With the ongoing growth of viticulture and wine production in the UK and interest from existing farmers and fruit growers, this seminar, delivered by Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) and VineWorks, will provide an overview of the critical points to be considered when establishing a vineyard and wine production business. The seminar will cover options available for entering the sector, site selection and climate, budgets and costs, target yields and returns, and where to find out more.