A full itinerary for the National Fruit Show

The National Fruit Show 2011 will take place on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 October and boasts a full itinerary to showcase the top fruit industry.

The Show opens at 10am on Wednesday 19th October, followed by the Soft Fruit Judging at 10.15am, Tastiest Tomato Judging at 10.30 and the Tastiest Apple Competition at 11.00am. The Top Fruit Judging takes place on Tuesday 18th October with a panel of thirty industry specialists conducting a series of tests and observations to establish the best apple or pear in each of 20 classes.

The National Fruit Show President, the Rt. Hon. Michael Jack will host a reception at midday before ‘The Great Debate’ starts at 3pm. Whitehead Monckton, based in Maidstone and Tenterden are one of the largest legal practices in the county and are sponsoring the President’s Reception and the Great Debate. Michael Jack is confident that consumers are beginning to demand more English product, this has seen growth in the market for English top fruit. “Growers are focusing on more sustainable forms of production which also deliver improved orchard biodiversity. Excellent as this is, English Apples and Pears data confirms that we still have some way to go to before the industry becomes the nation’s majority supplier of top fruit. With a market share of 40% there is still much to do.”

The Great Debate titled: “50% of the market share-how do we get there, what might stop us, and can we grow the marketplace as we go?” will be chaired by Michael Jack with a strong panel arguing the case. Hayley Campbell-Gibbons, NFU Chief Advisor for Horticulture and Potatoes; Nigel Jenney, CE, Fresh Produce Consortium; Adrian Barlow, CEO, English Apples and Pears Ltd; Helen Evans, Head of Communications, NCGMA; and Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Director of Finance, Hadlow College in Kent.

Throughout the first day there will be seminars to tackle other areas of fruit production including the ROI of Social Media by Carol Ford, Director, Growing Direct, an update on Purchaser Organisations, SAWS and Pesticide approval by Sarah Pettitt, NFU Chair for Horticulture. Robert Coombe, Partner, Whitehead Monckton will tackle the subject of the potential legal and financial implications of the Localism Bill and finally Steve Norman, Dow AgroSciences will give growers the latest news about the Chlorpyrifos: Say NO toDRIFT Campaign.

Sarah Calcutt, Chair of the Marden Fruit Show Society, organisers of The National Fruit Show, is delighted that the Show has fully sold out of trade stand space and the fruit entries look to be exceptional this year. As Chair, Sarah has made a number of changes to the format of the Show the biggest change for 2011 will be moving the Prize Giving Ceremony to the second day. She explained: “Prize giving is now on day two at lunchtime, allowing our more distant entrants plenty of time to make it to the Kent Showground at Detling to receive their awards from our President.”

Sarah continued: “The prizes and trophies for winning classes have always been well supported by an industry that recognises excellence is paramount. The Covent Garden Market Authority Prize for the Best all round exhibit in Show is our highest accolade, with judges awarding points totalling 100, the best exhibit of fruit often has points equalling 98 or above.”

The industry dinner will be held at Turkey Mill in Maidstone, Kent at 7.30pm on Wednesday evening. Orchard World will host the reception at 7pm followed by dinner, sponsored by Hadlow College. The menu will reflect local, sustainable and seasonal produce with Allan Wilkinson, Head of Agricultural Banking, HSBC as after dinner speaker.

Before the prize-giving at noon on Thursday 20th October visitors to the Show can hear David Macaulay, Eden Search and Select Ltd, speak about how to attract that vital member of staff. Steve Norman, Dow AgroSciences, then repeats his update on the Chlorpyrifos: Say NO to DRIFT Campaign before the seminar programme finishes with Zeenat Anjari from New Covent Garden Market discussing the wholesale markets need for more British Fruit.

###pEvent Information page of the National Fruit Show website.

Opening times day one, 10am – 5.30pm, day two 10am – 3pm.

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