Industry News

Labour & Immigration 2020

By Industry News, Uncategorized

Labour and Immigration


On 19 February 2020, the Government announced that from 1 January 2021, the free movement of labour will end and be replaced with the UK’s new points-based immigration system. The new system is designed to provide access to the UK for the most highly skilled workers, skilled workers, students and a range of other specialist work routes. All migrants looking to enter the UK to work or study will need to apply for permission in advance, irrespective of whether they are within the EU or outside the EU.

The mandate

In making the announcement, the Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Today is a historic moment for the whole country.

We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system, which will bring overall migration numbers down.

We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boosting the economy and our communities, and unleash this country’s full potential.

Future requirements

Under the new points threshold system, workers wanting to enter the UK will need to meet several key criteria, including specific skills and the ability to speak English. All applicants will need to have a job offer and a minimum salary of £25,600 (the figure recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee in its recent report.)

Workers looking to live and work in the UK will need to be qualified up to A level or equivalent. This is a step down from an earlier requirement for applicants to hold a degree.

The seasonal workers pilot scheme

Also contained in the announcement is an update to the Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme. This will also be expanded in time for the 2020 harvest from 2,500 to 10,000 places, to meet the specific temporary requirements of the agricultural sector.

Where does this leave the fresh produce sector

In 2016 shortly after the referendum, British Growers conducted a survey which indicated that the requirement for seasonal labour was in the region of 70,000 workers. As things stand following this announcement, we face going into the 2021 season with just 10,000 permits for non-UK workers, a shortfall of around 60,000.

I am working closely with the NFU on the case for increasing the number of permits to a more realistic level and will report on this as things develop over the next few weeks.

We will also need growers to contact their MPs to highlight the impact of this decision on their businesses, other local businesses and the local economy. It is important to highlight that most people coming to the UK for seasonal employment are not looking for residency status and are therefore not adding to the migration statistics.

Settled and pre -settled status

The options of settled and pre-settled status may not be the answer to every situation, but these options provide a route for workers who are currently working in the UK to remain here once the new rules come into force.

Settled and pre settled status applies to EU, EAA and Swiss citizens. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021

Settled status will normally be granted to those who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years. The requirement on continuous is that people have been living in the UK for at lease 6 months in any 12-month period. If settled status is granted, people will be eligible to stay in the UK for as long as they like.

People with less that 5 years continuous residency will only be eligible for pre-settled status. To qualify for pre-settled status, an applicant must have started living in the UK before December 2020. After 5 years a person with pre-settled status can apply for settled status.

The rights associated with pre and settled status are the ability to

  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS for free as you do now
  • enrol in education or continue studying
  • access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
  • travel in and out of the UK


We will continue to keep you updated once we have a better idea of the strategy for increasing the numbers of seasonal workers. This issue is of critical importance to the sector and will be a key priority for British Growers in the weeks and months ahead.


Jack Ward

CEO British Growers

February 2020




Grower confidence is reaching rock bottom

By Industry News

Grower confidence is reaching rock bottom

Brassica growers in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Cornwall and Scotland are assessing the impact of record volumes of winter rainfall on winter crops. Parts of Lincolnshire experienced half their annual average rainfall in the last three months of 2019 and the start of 2020 has been no better.

We may be in the depths of winter explained Jack Ward of British Growers, but brassica production should be in full swing. This is prime season for cauliflowers, savoy cabbages, kale, spring greens and Brussel sprouts. These are classic winter crops providing our staple vegetables during the winter months.

At a recent meeting, UK Brassica growers compared notes on the impact of the weather on their crops and the toll which 2019 and the first half of 2020 has and is likely to continue having on production. In the short-term crops like cauliflower, kale and Savoy cabbage are in reasonable supply but poor growing conditions in the autumn mean that these crops will start to run short in February and March. Excessive rain has depressed yield and increased disease levels and across the board and production levels are down dramatically.

And the bad news continues. Late cauliflowers due for harvest in April and May will be affected and are likely to be in short supply. And a similar picture is emerging for spring greens which fill the traditional hungry gap from April through to June. Some fields in Lincolnshire have wet patches where crops have died out as they struggle to survive, this will continue to affect crop yields up until the new season starts in June.

Grower confidence and a willingness to continue investing has been badly hit by two consecutive seasons of difficult conditions. Production costs have continuously outstripped returns and loss-making brassica crops are forcing growers to ask difficult questions about the future. Brassicas areas are declining with growers looking to lower risk cereal crops as a safer and more profitable alternative. There needs to be an urgent review around the sustainability of grower returns and the level of return required to invest effectively for the future. Lines, likes broccoli which demand high levels of labour input in the packaging process are especially vulnerable to increasing costs and in adequate returns.

There is a cruel irony here explained Jack Ward. As we embrace the importance of vegetables in the diet and recognise the need to increase our consumption of vegetables and fruit, our brassica growers are contemplating exit strategies rather than increased future investment.

We need to rethink the supply model for vegetables. While cheap vegetables may look like an attractive proposition, some of the current pricing models fall well short of allowing growers to meet the true costs of production. Ultimately this is eroding our supply based and productive capacity. This is not where we want or need to be as we move into a brave new post Brexit economy.



Love Your Greens, Brassica Growers’ Association

BGA House, Nottingham Road, Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 0WB

telephone:   01507 353791 fax: 01507 600689


Covent Garden Market Authority Team – DEFRA

By Industry News

Non-Executive Board Members Application

Covent Garden Market Authority Team (CGMA) at DEFRA are currently recruiting non-executive board members. The CGMA is a public statutory corporation that runs the UK’s largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and cut flower market in the UK. Located at Nine Elms in Vauxhall, the market is currently being rebuilt to create a brand new world class facility that will be at the heart of a vibrant new Food Quarter for London.

The CGMA Board provides leadership and strategic vision as the organisation focusses on the successful delivery of this exciting redevelopment project.

The campaign is now open with a closing date of 10th February 2020 at 12:00. Applications are to be made through the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website:

Covent Garden Market Authority -Non-Executive Directors




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



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.


BCGA Press Release – Flooding 2019

By Industry News

17th December 2019


UK at risk of running low on carrot supplies after heavy flooding


  • More than half of UK carrot growers have been hit by recent flooding.
  • Producers in the main carrot growing regions in the North of England and the Midlands have been unable to lay down straw to protect crop from frost.
  • Growers say now real risk of the UK running low on domestic carrot supplies next Spring.

British-grown supplies of carrots – the UK’s favourite vegetable – are at risk of running low next Spring after the recent heavy floods, growers warned this week.

More than half of the UK’s carrot-growing areas have been hit by the recent flooding, which continues to prevent them from being able to put straw down to protect the crop from potential frost damage.

Commercial carrot growers across the North of England and the Midlands including Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Shropshire and Lancashire, have all been affected.

The harvesting of carrots is continuing, but flooded land has prevented growers from using the machinery and equipment necessary to spread straw. Growers are warning more wet weather or a frost could wipe out large amounts of the UK’s carrot harvest.

Coral Russell, from the British Carrot Growers Association, said:

“The flooding has caught a lot of growers out. It has stopped them spreading straw as they usually do at this time of year. They [the growers] are sitting on a wing and a pray and hoping that we get a dry weather spell to be able to put down straw to protect the crop.


“More than 50% of the carrot growing area in the UK has been affected. The only exception being those grown in East Anglia and Scotland. If we have a frost now or more wet weather then all the carrots that are not covered with straw will get damaged and be unsuited for the market. They’ll be rotten.”


Mark Strawson, from Nottinghamshire, and one of the UK’s biggest carrot growers, said:


“Unlike 2018, this year has generally proved to be an excellent growing season for carrots with both quality and yields above average. However, since mid-September unprecedented levels of rainfall have made field operation extremely difficult with very few entirely dry days recorded over an 8-week period. The worst affected areas are the East and West Midlands and Yorkshire where soils have been at field capacity for several weeks.

“This protracted wet period has not allowed growers to cover crops with straw which is vital to protect them from frost over the winter. With such a small area protected to date and field conditions remaining poor there is a very high risk of crop loss should the weather now turn cold. Such a situation would severely disrupt supplies to retail customers.”

For further information or to arrange an interview with Coral Russell at The British Carrot Growers Association, please contact Tom Levitt at Jane Craigie Marketing on or 07815 904 253.

Notes to Editor

Carrots are the nation’s favourite vegetable with 75% of Britons saying they regularly eat carrots and more than 10 billion carrots eaten every year. British-grown carrots are available all-year-round, with 93% of the ones we consume currently grown in the UK.

The British Carrot Growers Association ( represents producers across the UK’s commercial growing counties of: Suffolk, Lancashire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Shropshire, Yorkshire and Scotland.





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


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  



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