Growing a great Show

The 2012 National Fruit Show is set to be one of the largest despite the difficult and subsequently late growing season. This year the decision has been made to make amendments to the show layout which means that more stand space has been made available. This has increased the number of companies able to have a formal presence at the principal event of the top fruit calendar.

The changes mean that the Trophy Stand, Soft Fruit and Nut competitions, Apple Juice and Tastiest Competitions are all moving to a new space. Speakers Corner has also been upgraded to a full Conference space in the Hendry building and allows the space formerly used for seminars, to provide a substantial exhibitor stand space.

Sarah Calcutt, Chair said: “the show team has worked very hard this year to improve the experience for visitors and stand holders alike. With a proper reception area at last, a front door near the parking and a larger area in which to display fruit and the specialist elements of the competition, I think it is all good.”

Competition entries are coming in although organisers anticipate delays due to the late start to the 2012 harvest. New varieties are expected for class 12, Any other Variety – Dessert Apple, with Amelia, sold in Marks and Spencer, Zari grown by AC Goatham & Son and Cheerful GoldTM a variety planted at the Huxley training orchards and supplied by JR Breach. The orchards designed by John Breach were planted this year at Pershore College and at Hadlow College.

The National Fruit Show hosts classes for Top Fruit, Soft Fruit, Nuts, Apple Juice and Blended Juice as well as Tastiest Apple, Tastiest Tomato, Heaviest Apple & Pear and the Bonanza Competition. The Bonanza Prize is drawn at the Show dinner and is open to all growers who enter three or more entries in classes 1-19; their name is entered in to the draw once for every three entries gaining a minimum of 85 points.

M3 Solar is the 2012 Bonanza Prize Sponsor and growers will get a choice of two prizes; either a domestic 4kw solar array 16 panel system for a residential dwelling, which normally retails at £10,000 or £10,000 towards the cost of a 50kw system. To date M3 Solar have installed over 10,000 individual panels for clients including JL Baxter & Sons, Bardsley & Sons, F Edmed & Sons and F W Mansfield & Sons. Thanks to the survey and design team, every system installed meets or surpasses projected performance by an average of 10%.

The 2012 National Fruit Show formally opens at 10am on Wednesday by Society President, the Rt. Hon. Michael Jack and Professor David Hughes, however there will be a 9.30am NRoSO points workshop run by Steve Norman of ADAS and Alan Dunn of NP Seymour. The 45 minute session will be talking through the ‘Say NO to DRIFT’ campaign, offering practical advice and guidance on the use of correct nozzles, accurate calibration and serving of sprayers and the correct management of buffer zones. The session will be worth 6 CPD points and a breakfast will be available for all attendees.

Soft Fruit Judging starts at 10.15 followed by Tastiest Tomato at 10.30am and the Tastiest Apple at 11am. The Inaugural National Fruit Show produce lecture will begin at 10.30am, chaired by Marsha Marriner from Conference sponsors, Whitehead Monckton. Professor David Hughes, Imperial College will tackle the subject of marketing to a modern audience. Adrian Barlow, Chief Executive, English Apples & Pears, will follow Professor Hughes. Adrian will speak about the challenges and expectations facing growers this season. Miranda Ballard, Muddy Boots Real Foods, will look to explain how to make better choices with an existing product followed by Nuffield Scholar, Andrew Gage. The morning session will end with Kim Farrington, Wilkins Kennedy.

The afternoon Conference session will start at 2pm with Nick Saunders from HSBC talking about auto enrolment pensions, followed at 2.10pm with Neil Emery form Whitehead Monckton unraveling the new agency worker regulations. Wayne Hodgson from Red Eagle Recruitment will explain the impact of these regulations for businesses at 2.20pm. The afternoon session will end with Nick Brandreth, Lambert & Foster and Vicky Stoodley, Whitehead Monckton reviewing a case study in respect of planning implications.

The Show Dinner at Turkey Mill was fully booked several months ago and highlights the popularity of an event that gathers growers and industry representatives together to discuss the sector. A Champagne reception is kindly sponsored by Orchard World, the dinner is supported by Hadlow College.

Day two opens at 10am and growers who missed the NRoSO workshop have a second opportunity to attend. Henk Nooteboom, Verbeek Boomkwekerijen B.V. will give a tree grafting master class at 10.45am. Storage will be high on the agenda with STS Refrigeration explaining energy cost savings through retrofit technology and Thibault Marconnet, Janny MT demonstrating storage innovation.

The prize giving will again feature on the second day of the Show at 12noon, with a reception for all prizewinners at 11.30am. The ceremony and trophy stand will be in the Hendry Pavilion to allow more space for the event.

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