Hero Image

NFU Fruit Forums

Sponsored by the NFU and Co-sponsored by HOPS Labour Solutions 

NFU Fruit Forums 2019

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.

BASIS logoThis year you can earn up to 6 BASIS points at Fruit Focus 2018.  Two of the six points on offer can be obtained by heading to the BASIS stand and presenting a BASIS membership card to a member of the team. Those without a card can fill in a form with their details.