What a week!
The 2020 East Kent Fruit Society AGM Dinner and Orchard Competition Trophy Presentations, held at Boughton Golf Club (near Faversham )
The 2020 BIFGA Technical Day held at Dale Hill Golf Club & Hotel
Tuesday was a life changing day!
The English Apple Man has been the subject of hospital investigations over the last month and on Tuesday received good news!
On Tuesday evening The English Apple Man attended East Kent Fruit Society (EKFS) AGM, Dinner and presentation of The 2019 Orchard Competition Trophies.
The Society was formed in 1927 as The Ash and District Fruit Show. In 1937, the title was changed to the East Kent Show which was discontinued in 1969 when the East Kent Fruit Society was formed.
In her report - Chair Caroline Ashdown looked back over the last 50 years, noting many of the issues recorded in annual minutes, recurred frequently and some are still very relevant today.
In his President's address, John Guest highlighted the importance of People as the driving factor in the progress of our fruit industry over the decades. Behind every advance has been 'a person' who initiated and drove forward new systems, varieties, technology, marketing ideas etc.
EAST KENT FRUIT SOCIETY ORCHARD COMPETITION PRIZEWINNER PRESENTATION 2019
(January 2020 presentation for 2019 Competition)
Below: David Riccini receiving the Elgar Trophy from EKFS President John Guest
Orchard of the Year Elgar Memorial Bowl W and D Riccini
The highly prestigious Orchard of the Year award was won by Will & David Riccini with a stunning Breaburn orchard.
The orchard was featured in an EKFS Orchard walk in The English Apple Man Journal on 16th August 2019
The Riccini brothers also won Class C - Dessert Apples - Braeburn and received The Norman Collett trophy
Will & David won the Kent Fruit Services Tankard for 'Best Orchard under 1,000 trees per acre.
And came third in the Cherry Class.
Peter Foster - Mansfields Cherry Manager receiving the 'Stone Fruit Orchard of the Year' - The Nicholas Marston Trophy on behalf of F W Mansfield
Mansfields also won -
Dessert Apples - Other Varieties - Heath Engineering Plate
Plums - any variety Rohm and Haas Cup
Cherries - any variety - UAP Cup
B A Compliance Hygiene Award (Wine)
Dessert Apples - Braeburn 3rd place
Pears - 3rd place - Smart Cigarette Box
Click on EKFS Winning Cherry Orchard
Below: Peter Bukowski - AC Goatham Production Director receives the Gala Club Trophy
AC Goatham won several awards including a clean sweep of the Gala Dessert Apple Class.
Dessert Apples - Gala - the J R Breach Cup
Gala Club Trophy
Gala Class - Third place
Culinary Apples Class - PP Bowl
Most Commercial Orchard - Dennis and Cooper Cup
Pears - any variety - Winne - Vye Salver
Pears - any variety 2nd place - Arnold Bowl
Best Orchard over 1,000 trees/acre - John Foad Cup
Best Young Orchard in 3rd leaf - Mike Barnett trophy
Below: Aaron Rook from Figgis Farms receives the Most Meritorious Award' from the EKFS President
Left: Aaron Rook receives the Ernest Elgar Challenge Bowl - 'Most Meritorious Award' for Rockit Apples on behalf of Figgis Farms.
EKFS Chair Caroline Ashdown who acted as one of the judges, commented the Rockit apples grown by David Figgis carried an outstanding crop and accordingly the EKFS Judge awarded the entry: the 'Most Meritorious Award' - the Ernest Elgar Challenge Bowl.
DAVID HILTON MEMORIAL MEDAL
David Hilton was a well respected East Kent fruit grower, A tireless supporter of the UK fruit industry and of the East Kent Fruit Society. He gave a large amount of time and energy back to the industry and was one of Kent fruit growing's unsung heroes.
In his memory, The East Kent Fruit Society decided to create an award for services to the fruit industry in Kent and beyond. The intended recipients are those who have given something something back to the industry, who have not been and are unlikely to be recognised in other ways.
Recipients are typically approaching the end of a career or stepping down from a defining role. Previous recipients have been growers, managers, advisors, research scientists, technologists, lecturers and others from key industry roles.
It is not aimed at recognising commercial or business success as Society competitions reflect this.
Below: Jerry Cross receives The David Hilton Memorial Medal from EKFS President John Guest
The highly prestigious David Hilton Memorial Medal is presented each year to a member of the industry who, has made an outstanding contribution to the fruit industry. This year NIAB/EMR scientist Professor Jerry Cross was honoured by East Kent Fruit Society.
In an appraisal of Jerry Cross by Ross Newham a colleague at NIAB/EMR we learnt the history of his distinguished career, from the early days in the mid 1970's gaining experience and his journey to East Malling Research (now NIAB EMR) and his retirement late last year after 26 years of outstanding research.
Ross reminded EKFS members that Jerry led science aimed at developing biologically/biotechnologically-based IPM systems and safe and effective spray application methods for fruit crops.
Professor Cross authored over 280 papers and gave hundreds of talks to assorted industry groups - all aimed at ensuring the science was taken up by industry. In addition to his industry-facing activities, Jerry was also instrumental in organising international science conferences, editor of scientific papers and a Council Member of the International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC)
Jerry was appointed visiting Professor of Horticultural Entomology, by the University of Greenwich in 2008 and awarded the Jones-Bateman cup for his contribution to science in horticulture by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2012.
EKFS President John Guest comments: "The potential for fruit growers to make profit in any year is closely linked to their ability to control pests" The industry must be, and indeed are, extremely grateful for all the tireless efforts Professor Cross has contributed to fruit production.
"Jerry stands alongside many of the great recipients of the award including; growers, managers, advisors, research scientists, technologists, lecturers and others from key fruit industry roles"
Below: Jerry Cross (centre) with John Guest (left) and Ross Newham (right) at EKFS Dinner on Tuesday evening
To finish the EKFS AGM Dinner and Trophy Presentations, the society was delighted to have Ali Capper as our after dinner speaker
Ali Capper is the NFU's Horticulture and Potatoes Board Chair, producing apples and hops in partnership with her husband Richard on their farm in Worcestershire.
Ali is also Chair of British Apples and Pears
Ali covered a number of the concerns facing British Fruit Growers: The New Agriculture Bill - "It is encouraging to see that the Agriculture Bill now recognises that food production and caring for the environment go hand-in-hand.
Farmers are rightly proud of their environmental efforts and it is crucial this new policy recognises and rewards the environmental benefits they deliver, both now and in the future.
Ali explained the change from English Apples & Pears to British Apples & Pears as a logical step, since fruit/produce is labelled/identified with a Union Jack.
Labour availability: The NFU and BAP are very concerned about the uncertain position regarding harvest workers. The SAWS (trial) gave a licence for 2,500 - the Government has hinted at a licence for 10,000 - the industry needs a minimum of 70,000.
Concerns about any trade deals allowing inferior product safety were raised by members of the audience.
British fruit and potato producers are very fortunate to have Ali is our champion; her provenance as an active grower, her undoubted acumen and her ability to engage heartily with Government ministers and civil servants, and her determination mixed with her natural charm is an invaluable resource!
Finally The English Apple Man has raised the subject of receiving hospital investigative procedures over the last month; thankfully these procedures have shown no life threatening results.
BUT, I would stress how important it is to consult your Doctor if you have a suspicion of any life threatening scenarios - I have lost friends who tragically ignored the warning signs and are no longer here!!!!!!!!!
Next week The English Apple Man will be reporting elements of the 2020 BIFGA Technical Day
The English Apple Man