Society president Michael Jack MP, who was introduced to the society by Vale, said: "Ray Vale has been one of the National Fruit Show's best friends.
"His journalistic skills have been put to best effect in helping to develop an ever-wider awareness of the importance of the top fruit industry. We are all going to miss his enthusiasm and commitment. I send him my very best wishes."
Alan Todd, who was MFSS chairman from 1993 through to 2001, said: "Growers especially should be hugely appreciative for his consistent work and endeavours for the whole of the fruit industry across many areas of research, education, production and marketing."
Press enquiries are being handled by newly-appointed MFSS chair Sarah Calcutt and the show's office secretary Maria Clarke until a replacement is found for Vale.
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