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British Growers News Update: Covid 19

By Company News, Industry News

Testing

Testing for COVID-19 is being extended to include additional frontline workers who are symptomatic, and members of their household who are symptomatic. This will allow frontline workers to return to work if they, or members of their household, test negative for coronavirus.

The definition of front-line workers includes the following

Critical personnel in the production and distribution of food, drink and essential goods, including those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and deliver.

There will be two testing options:

Testing at one of the national drive-through centres which are currently being expanded in capacity and location; and

Home testing kits for those employees unable to travel to testing centres which will be delivered via Amazon courier.

Please note that these arrangements currently only relate to testing in England and we are seeking clarity on Scotland and Wales. Follow the link for further information .

 

 

Pick for Britain

After the soft launch of the pick for Britain campaign, the Secretary of State has officially launched

the scheme. We have attached the official communication from George Eustice for information.

Further details about the scheme can be found at the site

 

 Industry guidance

AHDB have been working on several hubs, collating the relevant government guidance for growers to refer to:

Coronavirus: advice for farmers and growers (section on seasonal labour for horticulture)

Best practices to avoid the spread of coronavirus for seasonal workers on fruit and vegetable farms

 

PPE in the food sector

We are working closely with the Food and Drink Federation on a range of food industry related issues. One of these is the availability of PPE. The FDF has set up a small working group to look at PPE issues as they affect the food sector. This is a short summary of the position to date:

Maintaining food production needs PPE

During this crisis there has been a significant increase in demand for PPE that has led to availability issues in food sectors

Healthcare sectors must be the national priority for PPE provision, but there is a clear policy and political argument that food production, as an essential sector supporting the national effort, is worthy of PPE prioritisation

are asking government colleagues and politicians to prioritise availability of PPE for essential roles in the food sector

The food sectors listed below collectively need around 200,000 FFP2/FFP3 face masks every week for regular jobs within their supply chains

We are committed to working with and supporting the PPE manufacture and distribution supply chain and recognise their efforts to assist food production

Letter from M&S                                                      

We have received the attached letter from Stuart Machin M&S Managing Director for Food, addressed to Minette Batters President of the NFU and agreed to circulate it with this newsletter.

 

Stay safe in these difficult times.

 

British Growers Team

 

British Growers News Update: Pick For Britain

By Company News

Seasonal Workers ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign

Launch of new Pick for Britain Portal

 British Growers has been working with several industry stakeholders to ensure that growers have the seasonal workers they need to harvest fruit and vegetables over the coming months. We wanted to let you know that a new website was launched today to support this effort. This is a joint Defra and industry initiative to bring together those who are looking for work on UK farms over the harvest period with recruiters who have roles to fill. The website will act as a central hub to signpost people to the jobs available and to provide information about this type of work.

The website will have links to the government ‘Find A Job’ portal to enable individuals to search for jobs by type and location. The aim is also to provide links to a wide range of recruitment campaigns organised by labour providers. The website is hosted by AHDB and has been developed by AHDB, NFU, British Growers, ALP and Defra. More information will be added to the website over the coming weeks.

We’re recommending that growers post seasonal worker vacancies on to the DWP ‘Find A Job’ website, which will ensure a wide reach of potential applicants – including those people who are looking for work as a result of COVID-19 related redundancies or furloughing. The Find a Job website has more than 1.6 million registered users.

The launch of the hub is the first initiative Defra is launching to support growers in bringing home the harvest of 2020. The employment situation is likely to be very fluid and subject to considerable change as the season progresses. Defra is very keen to work with the industry to address the seasonal labour issues and will continue to monitor take up of seasonal roles and evaluate the success of the hub and other supporting initiatives.

Link to the hub: PICK FOR BRITAIN

 

 

British Growers News Update: Covid-19 Farm Safety Guidance

By Industry News

Latest guidance from PHE for on farm situations.

British Growers would like to make you aware that further guidance from Public Health England (PHE) has been released on the Government Website which provides more specific guidance for ‘on farm situations’. The following is a brief extract of the advice. Please refer to the links below for the full text.

The Government website states that

During this time of unprecedented disruption, the UK Government is not asking all businesses to shut – indeed it is important for business to carry on.

The main guidance from PHE continues to be that all employees should be encouraged to work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so. Not everyone can work from home: certain jobs require people to travel to, from and for their work.

The guidance released 08.04.2020 is specifically aimed at outdoor businesses, which include farms, and covers instances where social distancing cannot be achieved:

  • If a 2-metre distance cannot be maintained, staff should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible.
  • where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
  • If workers have to share enclosed spaces such as the cabs of vehicles, they should keep the window open for ventilation and they should be careful to avoid touching their face at all times. On leaving the enclosed space, they should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more or use hand sanitiser when they cannot wash their hands.
  • as much as possible, keep teams of workers together, “cohorting”, and keep teams as small as possible. Where possible, fixing these cohorts so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same individuals

 

A link to guidance can be found here.

 

Additional guidance available here, also released 08.04.2020 relates to food processing plants:

Food safety practices in food processing plants should continue to be delivered to the highest hygiene standards including the use of some personal protective equipment and frequent hand washing.

Food hygiene guidance: A Food Safety Management System (FSMS) that includes existing food hygiene guidance and HACCP processes should be followed.

All employers are expected to follow social distancing guidance, including food businesses, as far as is reasonably possible. Where the production environment makes it difficult to do so, employers should consider what measures may be put in place to protect employees. Once staff have left the food processing areas and removed protective clothing, social distancing and further hand washing guidance should be adhered to.

 

It is likely that as understanding of Covid-19 increase the guidance will continue to be updated. We will keep you informed of any additional information. Please not that this document is not advice given by British Growers Association Limited but comprises extracts of PHE guidance.

 

 

Stay safe in these difficult times.

 

British Growers Team

 

British Growers News Update: Message from George Eustice

By Company News

Message from George Eustice, Secretary of State Defra

 

“To those working hard to feed the nation,

In the face of what is perhaps the greatest health challenge this country has faced in our lifetime, I want to pay tribute to all those who are working around the clock to keep the nation fed – in our fields, processing plants, factories, wholesalers, stores and takeaways and all of those moving goods around the country and to our homes.”

The full text of the letter can be seen here

 

Furloughed workers

The government has updated the guidance on furloughed workers to allow them to take up other employment. This is the advice from the Job Centre Plus website.

If your contract allows, you may undertake other employment while your current employer has placed you on furlough, and this will not affect the grant that they can claim under the scheme. You will need to be able to return to work for the employer that has placed you on furlough if they decide to stop furloughing you, and you must be able to undertake any training they require while on furlough. If you take on new employment, you should make sure you complete the starter checklist form with your new employer correctly. If you are furloughed from another employment, you should complete Statement C. Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Full details including the link to the starter check list can be found here.

 

Operating Guidance for Social Distancing and Other Safety Measures Covering Farm Situations

We have had several calls from growers looking for guidance on how to manage social distancing and other measures designed to ensure the safety of their staff. We have been in touch with Defra about the need for guidance at this level and the issue is under consideration.

The PHE guidance for businesses is being continually updated so it worth checking the site for the latest updates. Here is the link to their site

 

Competition Legislation

On Friday 27 March the Government introduced a temporary relaxation to Competition Law to enable grocery retailers, their suppliers (directly or indirectly) and logistic services to work together for the sole purpose of feeding the nation during these unprecedented circumstances.

Businesses from other areas of food supply that would not normally supply to retailers but now wish to do so to support the coronavirus response may also seek to work together and with retailers to increase the supply of groceries to consumers. More information about the changes on Competition legislation can be found here.

 

Routes to Market

With the closure of the restaurant and hospitality trade, there is an amount of surplus product looking for a home. We have posted a list of box schemes and home delivery businesses on the British Growers website.

In addition, several national initiatives are underway to divert supplies which might have gone to the out-of-home food industry to alternative outlets.

Feeding the nation is one example. This is being led by John Vincent, co-founder of LEON. The plan is to divert food originally destined for the out-of-home market direct to the public, via a website which acts as an on-line marketplace where the public can buy from suppliers. There will be a 1-2% commission which will be used to fund and initiative involving LEON and NHS Workers. We expect more details to be made available shortly.

 

Fresh Produce Consortium – OnYourDoorstop/shop

 

In order to help keep the fresh produce supply chain moving the Fresh Produce Consortium has launched a new online platform which matches suppliers with consumers. OnYourDoorstep has been set up to provide a free of charge service for suppliers of fresh produce in a move to connect them with customers in their local area. “The FPC is encouraging local suppliers across the UK to sign up and take advantage of this valuable free service where we can connect them with local customers” said the Fresh Produce Consortium’s Chief Executive, Nigel Jenney.

For further details please go to the website.

 

British Summer Fruits Limited- Recruitment Campaign

The British Berry Industry have launched their own platform to publicise their members job opportunities, this is shown on an interactive map showing where work can be found across the UK, this is featured on their website here.

They have also diverted spend from their ongoing consumer led PR activity to their recruitment campaign. Follow their twitter campaign here.

Other crop associations have also taken a similar route, British Apples and Pears and the Asparagus Growers Association.

 

Stay safe in these difficult times.

 

British Growers Team

LSA Charitable Trust Fellowship Scheme- Meet the 2020 Fellows

By Industry News

2020 Fellows

“On behalf of the LSA Trustees I am pleased to welcome 6 impressive individuals to the Scheme. Going into it’s second year, the Fellowship is growing from strength to strength. Alongside the 2019 cohort, they will make a truly exciting group of horticultural advocates”

Martin Emmett, LSA Charitable Trust

The LSA Charitable Trust Fellowship Scheme is pleased to introduce the 2020 cohort:

Virginia Aurora Colquhoun Gonzalez

Grower Supervisor, Allensmore Nurseries.

Virginia studied horticulture and forestry in Spain where she grew up and has been involved in the industry for most of her working life, beginning with fighting fires in the Spanish forest. She finished her studies in 2011 and decided to move back to the UK in 2013 to work in commercial horticulture. Virginia recently joined Allensmore Nurseries in Hereford as a Supervisor. Prior to this she worked at Wyeplants, Lincolnshire for 3 years. Depending on the time of year she can be found putting together rotas for feeding, spraying, monitoring the health of the ornamental plants, and supervising staff.

“I hope the scheme lets me understand better how the industry works as a whole, to allow me to keep learning of new techniques and technologies. I wish to meet new people, but also to allow me to catch up with more familiar faces in the horticulture trade. My view long term is to be able to help the industry move forward, adapting to changes but also be the change when necessary. To help inspire young people to join us and make them see it can be a highly rewarding industry. All this while aiming for a personal successful career in which I am excited to see where it can take me!”

Follow her

 

Rebecca Smith

Technical Manager, Valley Produce.

Rebecca is currently Technical Manager at Valley Produce; a herb and Chinese brassica grower and packer in Berkshire. She has been with Valley Produce for 6 years, the first two as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with the University of Reading developing products from herb waste. Rebecca’s’ day to day responsibilities include: food safety, quality, legality, integrity and compliance with industry and retailer standards.

Prior to working at Valley Produce, Rebecca did a PhD at the University of Nottingham investigating genetic and biochemical traits associated with frozen fruit properties.

“The Fellowship will give me a wider view of the industry through interaction with other Fellows, businesses and organisations and widen the network of people I can call upon for discussion and advice on issues relevant to my company and career. I also hope to gain a better understanding of how the industry trade bodies function, and how each body communicates with each other, the growers and the Government to draw down funding and influence policy to help businesses in the sector”

 

 

George Boreham

Breeding Nursery Manager, Edward Vinson

George is the Breeding Nursery Manager at Edward Vinson, he has been in the role for 1 year and 6 months. He is responsible for managing the glasshouse: from seeds to seedlings, to ensuring the plants leave in a healthy condition

George studied Plant Science at Canterbury Christ Church University. During his studies he worked for Driscolls and FAST (Fruit Advisory Service Team), where he gained a valuable insight into the soft fruit industry, helping his passion for plants, develop. “There is huge potential to expand new varieties into foreign soils and I’d love to be at the forefront of this one day.”

“As a new manager at my company I believe the Fellowship would give me a boost of confidence alongside establishing valuable friendships and contacts in the industry. I believe my current knowledge, ideas on future policy and self-motivation would be an asset to the Fellowship scheme and the cohorts. There will be a vast number of people in the industry I can connect with and share ideas with. It will be a great chance to gain knowledge and by doing so an opportunity to then transfer that to my own place of work at Edward Vinson and my future career in horticulture.”

 

Vicky Smith

Technical Manager, Glinwell Plc

Vicky works as a Technical Manager at Glinwell plc, a growing and packing business, focusing on the production of both organic and conventional protected edibles. She has been in the role since September 2019 and her role centres around providing support and guidance to our growers on compliance and assurance.

Prior to working at Glinwell Vicky was a Technical Manager at Red Tractor Farm Assurance, responsible for managing both the Combinable Crops & Fresh Produce standards. Through this role she became interested in the horticulture sector.

“I believe that taking part in the Fellowship scheme will be beneficial for a number of reasons but fundamentally I believe that it will widen my understanding of the sector, enable me to meet and make useful contacts and help to equip me with the skills needed for a future in the industry. Having the opportunity to gain knowledge from industry leaders and organisations will be of great benefit and enable me to gain understanding of current and future research and challenges within both the protected edible sector and the horticulture industry as a whole.”

 

Richard Nuttall

Crop Protection Manager, Viking Nurseries

Richard studied Countryside Management at Easton College in 2003. After which he worked as a greenkeeper for 4 years, increasing his skills by studying an NVQ 2 in Turf Management, PA1 & PA6A.

He began working for Viking Nurseries in 2009 initially to assist dispatch, then as a General Manager. In 2013 he completed the RHS Level 2 in Horticulture and an NVQ 3 in Production Horticulture. Richard moved to Norway to work for Viking’s parent company Fritzøe Planteskole, learning about the production of roses and outdoor shrubs, controlling pests and diseases. In July 2018 Richard moved back to the UK and became the Crop Protection Manager for Viking Nurseries. His day to day tasks include: irrigation and nutritional crop assessment and R&D.

“I think the Fellowship scheme will help me understand my interests at a higher level, develop my knowledge regarding the leadership of the industry, how trade bodies work together and current research. It will also give me the opportunity to share my knowledge with other likeminded people and in turn, learn from them. “

Follow Richard @RichardNuttal17

 

Valeria Kiss

Trainee Growing Manager, APS Produce Ltd

Valeria has been a trainee Growing Manager at APS Produce Ltd for 3 years. She originally started in the company as crop worker, pest and disease scout and grower’s assistant.

Her current role is to deliver top quality tomatoes to all of her customers throughout the season. Her responsibilities include: looking after glasshouse heating and ventilation strategies, watering strategies, monitoring the climate day to day, and pest and disease limitation.

“With the Fellowship Scheme I would like to take the opportunity to learn, also meet other people within horticulture industry to share our experience and knowledge. The chance to attend on conferences and to meet well experienced seniors could only improve my knowledge and future career…The Fellowship Scheme I think is a right direction towards this and hopefully the program will bring enthusiastic young growers together to maintain a competitive future for British horticulture.”

Follow Valeria @ValeriaKiss5

 

For more information visit the website 

The LSA CT Fellowship Scheme is kindly supported by:

Chartered Institute of Horticulture, Nation Farmers Unions, British Growers, Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, Horticultural Trades Association

 

Brassica Growers Association- The Challenges for 2020

By Industry News

6th January 2020

 

The challenges for 2020

Step out into the high street at the start of 2020 and almost every shop front is emblazoned with sale details offering consumers ever more tempting discounts. But contrast this with the growing number of high streets where empty shop fronts and ‘to let’ signs are increasingly becoming the norm, and this might suggest that the continuous use of sales and price promotion is not a route to salvation.

From time to time we need to pause and reflect on how this relentless driving down of price is achieved. The margins for many commodity food suppliers are notoriously slim and yet year after year production costs continue to rise. The recent increase in the minimum wage is a good case in point. In their manifesto the Conservatives pledged to address the problem of low wages. No one would argue against the opportunity to earn enough to afford a decent standard of living. In April the living wage increases by 6.2%. For many fresh produces businesses where employment costs represent 30% or more of total production costs, finding this extra cash represents a big challenge.

One of the serious shortcomings of our current political system – and not just here in the UK, is the increasing trend of not explaining that for every upside there is usually a downside. Spending commitments must be paid for either through higher taxation or in the case of businesses through the increased costs of goods. Yes, improvements in productivity and efficiency have a part to play in mitigating increased costs, but that argument cannot be applied all the time

Loveyourgreeens.co.uk

 

 

Onion & Carrot Conference 2019 Press Release

By Industry News

      PRESS RELEASE: December 2019

The Biennial UK Onion & Carrot Conference and Trade Exhibition opened its doors to delegates, exhibitors and speakers at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in the historic city of Cambridge on Wednesday 20 November 2019.

Tim Elcombe, Chairman of British Onion Producer Organisation, welcomed guests and introduced this year’s Main Sponsors, Bayer, Elsoms Seeds & Bejo who generously supported the conference.

Allan Wilkinson, Head of Agrifoods HSBC, took the space of the opening speaker with a presentation on “Excelling in a period of change, the UK food supply chain”. The presentation, which covered current talking points such as consumer trends, producer trends, drivers and solutions, was well received and started the conference off with great success.

Andrea Graham, Head of Policy Services for the NFU discussed “The Future of Food 2040” which gave a fantastic insight into the changes happening within the industry from food production, changes in diets and how this affects UK farming. Andrea then went onto discuss the opportunities the changes will provide and how this will influence productivity in British food and farming manufacturing.

       


The conference moved onto its Technical Session chaired by Chris Bettinson, Elsoms Seeds. The first speaker, Joseph Peller from Wageningen University Netherlands, presented their work on “Innovation in Disease Detection” and explained to the audience how spectral imaging works and how it can be applied. Joseph’s talk was kindly funded by AHDB. Joe Martin, AHDB, then took to the stage to update on the SCEPTREplus Project works on sustainable plant protection products.

Within the Technical session Stephen Jelley, Rootwave, presented their “Alternative Weed Control Methods” using their innovative electricity technique.

The conference delegates were then split into two groups for separate Carrot & Onion Technical Sessions. The onions session, chaired by Sam Rix, R&D Chair from the British Onion Producer Organisation, received updates from Angela Huckle, ADAS on the SCEPTREplus herbicide screens in bulb and salad onions; along with the latest news on the INNOVEG Project from Lizzie Sagoo, ADAS, and updates on Fusarium & White Rot from John Clarkson, Warwick University .

The carrots session which ran parallel to the Onion session was chaired by Ian Holmes, R&D Chair of the British Carrot Growers Association. The discussion was held in the Guildhall Council Chamber and opened by Lizzie Sagoo, ADAS, sharing the results from Year 1 of the INNOVEG Project. Hannah McGrath, a PhD Student from Rothamsted working in partnership with Huntapac, gave an overview of her project looking at conservation biological in carrots. The session was closed by Jack Hill from Bayer who gave some practical advice on Emerger, a new herbicide for Carrots.

The delegates then regrouped in the Corn Exchange for joint sessions chaired by Rodger Hobson, Chairman of British Carrot Growers Association. The Chairman introduced Anna Jones to the stage who spoke about her project Just Farmers, aiming to create more spokespeople to represent the industry. Dan Parker, Veg Power, then presented on the “Eat Them To Defeat Them” campaign proving that the media is having a positive impact on how eating vegetables is perceived by the influential audience and discussed future opportunities to get families to eat more vegetables.

Michael Barker from Fresh Produce Journal chaired the “Markets of the Future” panel session. The discussion involved Simon Pearce of Alfred G Pearce, Mark Tate of George Perry and Joe Shaw Roberts of Kantar, and covered how the future consumer will buy their fresh produce, how will they be influenced and how will the supply base react to market changes. The panel then took questions from the audience, concluding a successful session, one of the highlights of the conference.

Closing remarks were given by the British Carrot Growers Association Chairman, Rodger Hobson, who welcomed the delegates to celebrate the close of the 2019 conference with onion bhajis and beers.

The Dinner was then held at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, which was transformed into an elegant dining room. Guests were served a delicious three course meal and were entertained by a Magician who stumped a few delegates after he made their money and wine disappear. The evening was closed by an after dinner talk from John Bentley, a former International Rugby Player.

Without the support of the sponsors the event would not be possible. Thank you to Bayer, Elsoms Seeds & Bejo for their overall sponsorship. Interveg for sponsoring the Lunch, Bedfordshire Growers for the Post Conference Drinks Reception, Hazera for the Pre-Dinner Drinks sponsorship, Stourgarden for sponsoring the evening’s Dinner and Moulton Bulb Company for the Wine Sponsor.

 

Both associations would like to thank all those who attended and supported the event and made it a truly memorable day.

 

NIAB – Advances in grow lighting – Thursday 17th Oct 2019

By Industry News

Advances in Grow Lighting: Industry Workshop. Thursday 17th October 2019.

NIAB working in conjunction with the AHDB, is hosting a unique one-day horticulture lighting workshop that will take place at its award-winning conference Centre on the outskirts of Cambridge. This grower-focused event offers a platform for growers of all protected crops to engage and discuss the latest lighting related products and innovations in horticulture lighting. The day will be a combination of product demonstrations from the following confirmed exhibitors:

  • Signify
  • Heliospectra
  • Valoya
  • KropTek
  • GNUK
  • Ceravision
  • INDO lighting
  • Tungsram

and the following leading industry speakers.

  • Erik Runkle of Michigan State University – “Considerations and U.S. perspectives when selecting an LED fixture for greenhouse applications”
  • Stuart Mucklejohn of Ceravision – “All light is not the same”
  • Dirk Ludolph of LWK Niedersachsen – “LED light for ornamentals – more than fairy lights”
  • Dr Gareth John of LIA – “Lighting systems and operator safety”

Neil Bragg, the chair of the event, says, “Innovations in lighting for glasshouse crops are moving at pace. The meeting on the 17th Oct is designed to impart factual information on what others are doing such as Erik from the States and Dirk from Germany. Also, there are basic issues still to be covered such as what exactly a system may be outputting and additionally what health and safety concerns are raised. In the afternoon we have deliberately gathered various companies together so specific setup can be demonstrated and we will have mobile measuring equipment available such that specific light spectra outputs can be seen from different units at bench height.”

Many thanks for your support

 

2019 Onion and Carrot Conference

By Industry News

The Biennial UK Onion & Carrot Conference will take place on Wednesday 20th November 2019 at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

The iconic Cambridge venue will host the well-established conference and trade show catering for all those involved in production or allied to these significant industries from home and abroad.  The main sponsors for the 2019 event are Bayer and Elsoms/ Bejo.

There will be a series of technical and marketing talks relevant to both crop sectors crop sectors, with a break out session in the afternoon where crop specific agronomy presentations will be given.

Opening the conference will be Allan Wilkinson, Head of Agrifoods, HSBC presenting “Financing the Fresh Produce Industry”. The conference programme will also feature Andrea Graham, the author of the NFU Future of Food report Dan Parker, who has spearheaded the Veg Power Campaign will be updating the audience on the success and the future of fresh produce advertising and Anna Jones, founder of Just Farmers and former presenter on BBC 4’s farming today will be presenting

The programme of technical presentations will include talks on the future of weed control; herbicides and alternative control measures.  An update on the AHDB Horticulture project looking at the impact white rot and fusarium has on Carrots will be given by Jon Clarkson, Warwick University. These will be accompanied by talks on Emerger, the INNOVEG project and SCEPTREplus.

The Celebratory Conference Dinner will be held on the evening of 20th November at the Corn Exchange.  John Bentley, former English International Rugby player, will entertain guests following a drinks reception and three course meal with wine.

To register for your delegate tickets, evening ticket or trade stand please visit www.onionandcarrotconference.co.uk/registration-form/

 

This event is generously being sponsored by Bayer and Elsoms Seeds/ Bejo, other category sponsors are as follows; Post Conference Drinks Reception- Bedfordshire Growers, Evening Drinks Reception- Hazera and Evening Wine Sponsorship- Moulton Bulb Co.

There are still opportunities to sponsor parts of this event, if you would like further information please contact admin@britishgrowers.org  

 

 

FPJ LIVE – The UK Fruit & Vegetable Conference and Awards

By Industry News

One event, two days, three great stages

FPJ Live is taking the traditional conference format to the next level with a content-packed showcase of fresh produce innovation

There are less than four weeks to go to FPJ Live 2019, so now is the time to secure your place at this showcase of fresh produce excellence.

FPJ Live is returning with its popular TV show-style format, combined with an all-new multi-stage offer giving something for everyone in an exciting, fast-moving programme.

Tickets include free entry to the UK Fruit & Vegetable Awards Social on 7 October, where food, drink and entertainment are provided as the backdrop to the revealing of this year’s winners. Voted for across 12 categories by FPJ readers, awards are presented to companies and individuals who have done outstanding work over the past year.

Packed programme

On 8 October, FPJ Live kicks off with a session looking at politics and trade. Trade body leaders including British Growers CEO Jack Ward and AHDB Horticulture chair Hayley Campbell-Gibbons will discuss the big issues facing the industry, before bosses from Wealmoor, The Orchard Fruit Company and Angus Soft Fruits talk about new developments at their businesses.

Following a networking break, the focus turns to marketing and retail. Former L’Oréal and Diageo marketing chief Hugh Pile, now of Blue Skies, will give his expert analysis of branding in fresh produce, while Veg Power’s Dan Parker will unveil exclusive results of the phenomenally successful fresh produce campaign.

Kantar’s consumer insight director Joe Shaw Roberts will present the latest trends affecting the retail sector, before IPL managing director Mike Snell takes to the stage to discuss the Asda buying arm’s work in fresh produce, giving his view of the evolution of retail and the current trends facing the market.

At midday, the pace switches with an in-depth personal and professional interview with Riverford founder and organic pioneer Guy Watson in FPJ Life Stories, sponsored by MorePeople.

After lunch, wholesale and foodservice will be up for discussion with top guests including Paul Walker of Spitalfields Market Tenants Association, Simon Martin of The Food Heroes, top chef Pierre Koffmann, healthy eating campainer Melissa Hemsley, Natures Choice’s Vernon Mascarenhas and Jess Latchford from Waste Knot.

Fruity endurance athlete Sally Orange will outline her remarkable and unique story, before the event concludes with an in-depth interview with NFU president Minette Batters.

Delegates have the chance to choose from a range of content, all within the same room. Throughout the day a second stage, The Big Debate, will put the spotlight on topics including Adding Nutrition To Fresh Produce, The Consumer View and The Next Generation, with speakers including Nuffield scholar Barbara Bray, NFU chief horticulture adviser Lee Abbey, NextGen Fruit Group chair Ben Bardsley and LEAF chief executive Caroline Drummond.

During networking breaks, Fruitnet’s video series #freshtalks will record live interviews, which delegates can watch first hand on a third stage.

Fast-paced and interactive

The fast-paced event, supported by headline sponsor NFU, will feature a mixture of chat, debate, multimedia and presentations, and new this year, the opportunity to supply live comments to be read out as the day progresses.

FPJ editor Michael Barker said: “This year’s event is the most ambitious we’ve ever attempted, offering multiple streams of fantastic content in a fast-paced format we hope people will love. We want this to become a central meeting point for the industry and an unmissable part of the fresh produce calendar, so I would urge everyone to sign up and be a part of the conversation.”

Tickets to FPJ Live and the Awards Social are some of the most affordable across the UK conference calendar, offering incredible value for money and unrivalled networking opportunities. The event attracts senior executives, managing directors and buyers from across the supply chain, from producers and growers to retailers, wholesalers and associated industries.

This year’s event takes place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 7-8 October, and discounts are available for groups of two or more delegates. For more information and to book, see www.fpjlive.com