Young fruit growers head to France for conference to encourage innovation

Fresca Group has been announced as the sponsor for the Under-40s Fruit Growers' Conference and will send the UK's younger generation of fruit producers away to France's Loire Valley for the event.

The fresh produce firm sponsored the biennial conference two years ago and was so impressed that it is doing the same again for this year's event, which is taking place on 23-26 February

The under-40s group will visit a top fruit grower who uses the fruit wall technique, a progressive blueberry grower, a stone fruit producer and a viticulturist.

Fresca Group technical director Andrew Sharp said: "It's really important to us that we're providing real, practical support for this event. We talk often about our innovation programme for retailers but that programme relies on our growers having an expert knowledge base. They need ambition and vision as well as technical ability to continue innovating in their orchards and on their farms."

He added: "It's no secret that the average age of a farmer is getting older. The industry has a responsibility to support its young people in a positive way, to show them there's a real career opportunity in fruit growing and that the rewards for ambitious, quality growers are very real.

"This conference is primarily concentrating on finding positive opportunity in climate change and on technical innovation to facilitate a move towards a more sustainable, more secure supply of British-grown fruit. By being a part of this event, we are enabling Fresca to stay at the heart of the debate alongside some of the most enthusiastic and talented young growers that the UK has to offer."

- For further details, see www.u40s.co.uk


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