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Fruit Focus 2019 Sessions Update

28-Jun-2019 by: Fruit Focus

Bristol, UK, 28 June 2019 – Fruit Focus 2019, hosted by Comexposium & Prysm Group on 17 July 2019 at the NIAB EMR Research Centre, will include content around several major themes that are of concern to the UK fruit farming industry including Setting the Ambition:  NFU Fruit Forums and Managing Innovation & Technology:  Insights from the cutting edge.  The Fruit Focus 2019 programme will also include new features and tours held on the scenic, educational and informative NIAB EMR event grounds.

The morning NFU Fruit Forums session is entitled “Setting the Ambition for a Productive and Profitable Horticulture Industry.” As we look beyond Brexit to the future of the industry, it is critically important to identify and capitalise on the opportunities for delivering growth for UK horticulture. Speakers include Lee Abbey, NFU Chief Horticulture Adviser; Ali Capper, NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board Chair; Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Debbie Wilson, AHDB Head of Horticulture Knowledge Exchange

Session Two of the NFU Fruit Forums will address the “Future Immigration Policy and What it Means for Horticulture.” Labour availability is never far from a grower’s mind, particularly as Government consults on the future of immigration post-Brexit.  This panel brings growers, labour providers and Defra together to discuss solutions.  Speakers include Ali Capper, NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board Chair; Stephanie Maurel, CEO Concordia; David Long, D. G. Long Owner and Farm Manager; Stephanie Sloan, Head of Seasonal Labour - Defra and Helen Whately MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fruit and Vegetable Farming, Member of Parliament for Faversham and Mid Kent.

Managing Innovation & Technology:  Insights from the cutting edge is the theme of the Fruit Focus Innovation & Technology Theatre.  Forming a key part of the Fruit Focus visitor experience and presented by some of the most forward-thinking farmers, suppliers and universities, the Innovation & Technology Theatre is an interactive area open to all visitors. Innovation & Tech Theatre, is sponsored by Chavereys and features the latest innovations, most recent product launches and newest technologies.  Agri-Tech is going to have a presence at Fruit Focus, hosting “Innovation Insights” which will showcase a number of exciting emerging and established technology-based solutions to industry challenges. 

Fruit Focus 2019 will also feature new tours, demos and event features including tours of the NIAB EMR R&D Vineyard, Strawberry & Raspberry WET Centres, Concept Pear Orchard, Floral Interventions and more.  New for 2019, the Strawberry WET Centre has been planted with ‘MallingTM Champion’ – a disease resistant, high quality ever-bearer strawberry from the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club which is set to see its commercial launch at Fruit Focus on 17 July. The performance of the rain water harvesting system and of a powdery mildew prediction model will also discussed on the day.  Visitors to Fruit Focus 2019 will also witness the progress being made towards the establishment of WET Centre Phase Two – raspberries. With this high-value crop increasing in area and production in the UK, supported by exciting new varieties from the East Malling Rubus Breeding Consortium, the need for precision irrigation technologies and tools is paramount.