On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the 89th National Fruit Show took place at the Kent Event Centre at Detling.
AND 'WHAT A SHOW'
Praise goes to our Executive Chair Sarah Calcutt who since she took on the role 13 years ago, has, with the support of her team transformed the show from a 'wonderful but slightly rustic' event into a modern very professional show. matching any on a global scale for quality and content.
This season has presented many challenges and The English Apple Man has highlighted many of the issues over the last few weeks, but while those challenges remain, this season has produced the most wonderful crop of British apples due to the summer sunshine which has produced brilliant red colour and sweeter than usual apples.
SO, CONSUMERS: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, BUY BRITISH APPLES AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS TOO
The National Fruit Show opened with the warning that more needs to be done to support the industry and British growers.
Whilst many British growers have grown a well coloured, sized and excellent tasting crop, they are facing higher input costs of around 20-25% due to the combination of higher wages, energy and fertiliser costs.
Sarah Calcutt, Executive Chair of The National Fruit Show, organised by Marden Fruit Show Society CIO comments: "The quality of the fruit on display here at the show is fantastic this year and it tastes incredible thanks to the growing season, but many growers are struggling."
"Growers urgently need more support from supermarkets and we need them to understand the financial pressures growers are facing and to pay a fair price for the crops they grow. It is disappointing that we are currently seeing a large volume of imported fruit on supermarket shelves at a time when they should be packed with British apples and pears. This is the best possible time to buy British fruit with the maximum number of varieties available and straight off the trees. We need the British public to support British growers and to buy British fruit at a really critical time to help the industry."
The highlight of the 89th Show was the attendance by HRH Countess of Wessex who opened the show at 10am before spending four hours touring the show and sitting in on items of particular importance.
HRH Countess of Wessex opens the 2022 National Fruit Show.
HRH The Countess of Wessex, opening the National Fruit Show at The Kent County Showground, Maidstone. The competition is for commercial growers who produce for UK supermarkets, greengrocers and farm shops.
One apple from each tray is also entered into Britain's Tastiest Apple competition. There are 13,080 apples displayed on the centrepiece of the show which runs until Thursday. Today is also Back British Farming Day.
The National Fruit Show Education programme teaches young people about the range of careers in the sector.
Below: Judge Colin Bird inspects exhibits for freedom from pest or disease and right. HRH The Countess of Wessex presents Richard Edmed with the trophy for 'best exhibit' in the show.
Below: left; Richard Edmed's 'Best in Show' exhibit of Bramley which gained a remarkable mark of 98.5% and right; on Thursday, at Trophy Winners presentation; Show President Theresa Wickham and Exec. Chair Sarah Calcutt pose with Richard Edmed in his Trophy
Below: The English Apple Man receives The Jon Jones Award from HRH The Countess of Wessex
That is all for this week. I am struggling at this moment, very tired from a busy and emotional week, and to cap it all now gone down with a cold!
The emotion is driven by a totally unexpected presentation at The Presidents Reception of The Jon Jones Award for Service to the Fruit Industry by HRH The Countess of Wessex
So sorry this week's Journal is brief, there is so much more to report about this truly brilliant National Fruit Show which will be covered in the next few weeks!
The English Apple Man