Growers’ Conference unearths future UK produce industry trends

Kettle Produce’s 2017 event looks at the commercial landscape and explores where the UK produce industry is headed 

Scottish growers have been given an insight into the coming season and developing trends thanks to Kettle Produce, which hosted its second Growers’ Conference last week at the Windlestrae Hotel in Kinross.
More than 80 delegates came together for the biennial event and to hear from 10 different guest speakers, including the Fife firm’s managing director, Susie McIntyre, and commercial director Chris Orr, who gave a business overview and some insights into the produce industry’s current commercial landscape and where the industry is going.
Kettle dead of field department Ian Morrison chaired the day, while other speakers included industry expert Adrian Fox of Fera Science, Steve Tones of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and grower Colin Mitchell.
Among the topics covered were:
·         AHDB’s horticultural  research and development strategies including the linking of growers with academics
·         Cover crops and how they improve soil and crop quality
·         Pest, weed and disease control strategies
·         An insight into potential viruses and aphid life cycles
Kettle agronomist and assistant field operations manager Euan Alexander said: “Kettle Produce has always valued working closely with our growers and we have a strong and fruitful relationship with them, often formed over many years.
“We regularly hold workshops for our growers, but we believe that the growers conference provides essential added-value and is a worthwhile addition to the calendar for all of us. It gives both us and our growers an informative broad overview of the industry and our own business, including both recent successes and forthcoming trends and developments. We can also hear directly from growers and they can share experiences with one another.
“It was an interesting day of discussion and insight for all of our growers and speakers and we look forward to the 2019 event.”