Fruit Focus returns to NIAB EMR at East Malling on 13 July, offering the usual exciting blend of tours and talks, networking opportunities, trade stands and the chance to meet and greet customers old and new.

After a challenging few years for events, the Fruit Focus team is pleased to be returning to its tried and tested format and is promising an extended event site. Visitors who pre-register can take advantage of everything on offer free of charge, while onsite registration costs £10.

The day’s highlights include NFU-led fruit forums, NIAB EMR research tours and a chance to learn about the new Growing Kent & Medway Sustainability Hub as well as live demonstrations and the usual range of trade stands. The event is also eligible for BASIS & NRoSO Knowledge Trail points.

The Growing Kent & Medway Sustainability Hub, a new feature at Fruit Focus 2022, will add a new networking and information-gathering opportunity to the show. 

The hub will reflect Growing Kent & Medway’s mission to help the food and drink industry continue to thrive by giving businesses of all sizes the opportunity to use the hub as an informal meeting space where they can connect with other businesses and research specialists. There will also be talks on sustainable innovation throughout the day.

 NIAB EMR will be running research tours throughout the day, including visits to the WET (water efficient technology) Centre, established at East Malling in 2016 with the aim of demonstrating water use efficiency and modern growing systems in strawberry and soft fruit production. 

Funded by technology companies including Netafim, Delta-T, Cocogreen, Stoller, Yara, Berry Gardens and Hutchinsons, the centre has evolved to investigate rainwater harvesting and re-use, substrate mixes and bag colour, crop microclimate, venting systems, nitrogen demand models and predictive models to improve crop forecasting.

Also on offer is a centre tour that will highlight the work of East Malling’s plum demonstration centre, now funded directly by the principal UK commercial plum growers and marketing groups. Delegates will be able to view the trees of the new early plum variety P7-38, which is being launched at Fruit Focus, and see the plum variety trial which is in its first full cropping season. 

 The research vineyard tour will look at NIAB EMR’s work in testing and demonstrating training systems, researching rootstocks and varieties, mechanical weed control, fertigation and frost mitigation systems. Visitors will also be able to see the new winery supported by Growing Kent & Medway funding and learn about recent research into weed control and a new project looking at crop covers and soil health.

 The entomology research tour will learn about new developments in capsid control using a pheromone ‘push-pull’ approach in soft fruit crops, resulting in a new commercial product which has been demonstrated to reduce capsid numbers and damage in crops.

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