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Minister Opens NFS 2011

The National Fruit Show 2011 will take place on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 October. Now in its 78th year the annual event is the industry showcase; a two-day trade show with the added attraction of fruit competitions including dessert apples and pears, culinary varieties, apple juice, soft fruit and nuts. This year, for the first time, members of the public will help decide the Country’s tastiest apple.

Jim Paice, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food will visit the Show on Wednesday. The MP for South East Cambridgeshire, attended Writtle Agricultural College after which he started a career in farm management. The Marden Fruit Show Society, organisers of the National Fruit Show are delighted to welcome such a prominent and relevant DEFRA Minister to the event.

On Wednesday 19th October, Marden Fruit Show Society President, the Rt. Hon Michael Jack MP will chair an industry debate. The topics for discussion will be as fair reaching as ‘sustainability’ and ‘food security as the industry target a 50% market share’. The speakers will ask participants whether the industry is geared to reach this target and whether there is Government will for food security. Other vital questions during the debate will be addressed by scientists and industry specialists to establish whether there is the technology, innovation and varieties available to move towards UK self sufficiency.

Michael Jack said “This Show, with its stunning displays of top quality fruit, will play its part in demonstrating to both retailers and the food service sector that the industry will be able to deliver a sustainable future with fruit that the consumer will really enjoy”.

Sarah Calcutt, Chair of the Society added “this is an exciting opportunity for growers to openly discuss the current political climate and the financial constraints placed upon the industry as a whole. We hope to generate a strong message about what is required in the future to ensure a vibrant, profitable source of safe produce for UK consumers”.

The Show Dinner will be held at Turkey Mill in Maidstone with a drinks reception sponsored by OrchardWorld prior to the dinner kindly 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. Allan, a farmer’s son was born and raised in the North East and has been involved with farming throughout his career.  Having obtained a degree in Agriculture from Aberystwyth University, he worked as a farm management consultant in Leicestershire for 3 years before joining HSBC Bank in 1988, as an Agriculture Banking Manager in Shropshire and Herefordshire.

The Show closes on Thursday 20 October when a large proportion of the fruit displays will be taken to Countryside Live at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate
on Saturday and Sunday 22 and 23 October.

Full details of the 2011 National Fruit Show; www.nationalfruitshow.org.uk

For more information please contact:
Sarah Calcutt, MFSS Chair Calcutt.Sarah@yahoo.com/07767783891

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