This is arguably the show's most important competition as it reflects growers' ability to produce and store fruit of high commercial quality without any special preparation or selection. It also has classes for Bramley's Seedling, Cox and any other dessert apple.
As the top entry, Scripps' Conference, awarded 99.5 per cent points, won the Ron Tassell Trophy for its store operator Ashley Bournes. The trophy was presented to Bournes by Marden Fruit Show Society's chairman Jeremy Scott at its AGM at East Malling Research on 24 March.
The entry came from a 20ha orchard on Quince A rootstock at Hononton Farm, Brenchley, Kent, planted in the early 1990s. The orchard's average yield is around 35 tonnes/hectare but it produced only about 70 per cent of that last year due to three bad frosts in April towards the end of flowering. The entry's storage regime was -1 degsC at 2.5 per cent oxygen and under 0.8 per cent carbon dioxide.
F W Mansfield & Son, based at Chartham, created a record by winning the Bramley class for the second year running and the Cox class, and being awarded third prizes in the other dessert apple class with Jazz and the pear class with Conference.
The winning Cox came from an orchard at Rainham, Kent. Its Bramley entry was produced by a 20ha orchard at Swanton near Sittingbourne in Kent.