Fruit focus 2018 preview

Climate change and new technologies mean the fruit sector is constantly evolving, and producers can get ahead of the curve at this year’s Fruit Focus which is being held on Wednesday 25 July at NIAB’s EMR facility in East Malling, Kent.

Tickets are now on sale for the key industry event. It is expected to attract more than 1,300 growers with over 120 exhibitors profiling the latest innovations and developments, helping growers to become more efficient and to push the boundary on both yields and quality.

With the ongoing interest from existing farmers and fruit growers, Fruit Focus will play host to an economic viability of viticulture forum, delivered by David Parkinson at Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) and James Dodson at VineWorks. The seminar will provide an overview of the critical points to be considered when establishing a vineyard and wine production business covering the options available for entering the sector, site selection and climate, budgets and costs, target yields and returns, business planning for vineyard establishment and some of the common mistakes made.

“There is a lot of interest in wine production and the sector is growing rapidly,” said Jo Cowderoy, general secretary at WineGB. “The seminar, for anyone interested in planting a vineyard, will cover key factors in planning and budgeting, as well as establishment and consideration of the product and sales.”

The ever-popular research tours will include the research vineyard, WET centre and concept pear orchard. Those touring the research vineyard, which was planted in 2015, will be able to see the new accessories to the trellis system, the frost protection system and the fertigation system.

As usual, the latest issues will be discussed at the NFU Forum, with practical advice to see growers through the changing political landscape. This year the topics include: building resilience before Brexit, and the robots are coming, or are they? The forums will update growers on changing agricultural policy and its likely impact, as well as offering ideas on how they can build resilience. Visitors can also explore how agri-tech could be the answer to protecting and growing fruit post-Brexit.

NIAB EMR is holding a forum which will look at the precision growing of soft fruit, encompassing new innovations and technologies to enhance crop productivity, resilience and quality.

“Fruit Focus is the premier event for the fruit industry,” said event director Jon Day. “It is a one-stop shop for any grower wanting to keep ahead of the game and learn about new exciting technologies. From machinery to the latest varieties it’s a wonderful showcase for the industry.”

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