Growing Kent & Medway partners attended this year’s National Fruit Show, a major networking opportunity for the British top-fruit production and processing sector.

The National Fruit Show is a major event in the wider horticultural industry’s calendar attracting interest from industry leaders, technology providers and policy makers. With its strong focus on innovation and technology, partners from the Growing Kent & Medway cluster made the most of the opportunity to network with key players in the sector.

A ‘New Business Hub’ was introduced for this year’s show, dedicated to the burgeoning number of small businesses and start-ups in the sector. More established companies represented a range of supply chain services including automated grading and packing systems, controlled atmosphere storage, smart irrigation technologies, intelligent lighting systems and innovative plant breeding to name but a few. Key research and Knowledge Exchange organisations such as NIAB EMR and AHDB also exhibited. Growing Kent & Medway connects innovative growers, processors, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs with the aim of improving productivity and sustainability in the sector.

Boasting the best of British top-fruit produce and technology, 40% of attendees at the National Fruit Show are professionals. These are drawn from an increasingly broad base now extending to English wine producers, fruit processors and juicers. Needless to say, the heart of the show was the stunning competitive display of commercially grown fruit, which remains the largest in the UK.