Fruit Focus reinforces its position as the UK’s premier fruit event

Fruit Focus reinforces its position as the UK’s premier fruit event

Fruit Focus reinforces its position as the UK’s premier fruit event

Fruit Focus is underlining its position as the industry’s leading fruit event with a renewed emphasis on top fruit this year, adding to its detailed coverage of soft fruit, stone fruit, bush fruit and vines.

Promotional body English Apples and Pears is exhibiting and working with organiser Haymarket Exhibitions to deliver a comprehensive top fruit programme at Fruit Focus 2014, which returns to East Malling Research, Kent on 23 July.

This increased focus on top fruit will widen the event’s already broad appeal, says event director Jon Day of Haymarket Exhibitions.

So far 120 exhibitors have confirmed their attendance, covering all aspects of technology, agronomy, machinery and business information that helped to attract over 1200 visitors to last year’s event.

“Fruit Focus will become a key diary date for even more growers in 2014,” says Mr Day. “It will provide an excellent opportunity for growers to catch up on the latest developments across all sectors of fruit production.

“The industry continues to move on apace, and Fruit Focus will help provide the answers growers need to continue investing in production and technology to drive up yield and quality, helping to secure the place of UK-grown fruit in the nation’s shopping baskets.”

Adrian Barlow, EAP chief executive, says: “The continuing development of the English apple industry, combined with new varieties and advances in storage, is creating huge opportunities to increase sales, not least by extending the season.

Haymarket Exhibitions
Bragborough Farm, Welton Road, Braunston, Daventry, Northants, NN11 7JG

“Due to its timing, Fruit Focus will enable us to highlight the potential, particularly for increased sales in the summer.”

Mack, the specialist fruit supplier to multiple retailers, returns as Fruit Focus principal sponsor for the fourth consecutive year. Managing director Nigel Trood says: “Really useful opportunities for UK fruit growers to meet are few and far between. That’s why we see Fruit Focus as an unmissable event for Mack and as a core part of our calendar – and why I’d encourage growers across all UK fruit crops to make attendance a priority.”

Mack’s close involvement helps demonstrate to growers how Mack can offer a unique market opportunity with Britain’s best-known retailers, he adds. In addition, the Mack stand will highlight the company’s strawberry LED lighting project, offer tastings of a wide range of established and trial varieties of berries and stone fruit and will introduce several important new team members at Mack.

“The Haymarket team is committed to developing Fruit Focus, and I’m very pleased indeed that we can keep Mack as the core commercial partner in this exciting event,” says Mr Trood.

Familiar features that have helped underpin the event’s growth in recent years return. The Fruit Focus Forums, sponsored by NFU, are well known for attracting high-level speakers from across the fruit sector and beyond to explain and debate a wide range of topical issues.

Sessions this year include protecting crops and pollinators, with NFU horticulture adviser Dr. Chris Hartfield, and seasonal labour in a post-SAWS environment with Paul Broadbent, chief executive of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, and David Camp, chief executive of the Association of Labour Providers. Simon Hinks, product technical manager for Sainsbury’s will then talk about the retailer’s growers and its vision for UK fruit.

Fruit Focus has teamed up with the United Kingdom Vineyards Association to offer some technical workshops in the demonstration vineyard. The sessions on summer pruning/canopy management and disease monitoring/economic viability are designed to help new growers get the best from their vines.

Haymarket Exhibitions
Bragborough Farm, Welton Road, Braunston, Daventry, Northants, NN11 7JG

Fruit Focus host East Malling Research will again highlight some of its latest and most important trial work in the fruit research tours. Three guided tours take place, covering management of the pheromone trials, the concept pear orchard and the EMR Rhizolab, a unique facility that allows in situ observation and sampling of perennial crops, both above ground and below ground.

Peter Gregory, Chief Executive of East Malling Research says: “We are delighted to welcome Fruit Focus back to East Malling again, continuing our long association with this key technical event and providing a focal point for bringing the industry together.”

In the live Demonstration Arena, visitors can see and hear about some of the latest kit being put through its paces, which have recently included specialist fruit tractors, self-steering kits, novel anchoring systems and the latest top and soft fruit sprayers.

Vines to Wines, partnered by English Wine Producers and the UKVA, is now an established part of the event. Fruit Focus provides a great starting point for would-be growers who want to join the increasing success of this sector, with a wealth of expertise from existing growers, advisers and suppliers on tap.

Berry Gardens looks forward to welcoming growers, suppliers and visitors to their hospitality marquee, says Nicholas Marston, Managing Director. “As always, there will be a strong presence of grower directors, executives and staff available ready to discuss the challenges of the season as well as our new developments and the exciting new varieties being progressed.”

Tickets for Fruit Focus 2014 cost £10 and are available online or on the day. For more information about tickets and the event go to www.fruitfocus.co.uk

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