Fruit Focus 2024 – pre-register now for free entry

10 July 2024, 08:00 – 17:00

NIAB at East Malling, New Road, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ

An NFU-branded image promoting the 2024 Fruit Focus event in East Malling

We’ll be hosting two ‘NFU Fruit Forum’ sessions at Fruit Focus this year, where we’ll be discussing the challenges facing the industry. Pre-register today for free entry to the event.

Fruit Focus 2024 takes place at NIAB at East Malling in Kent on 10 July 2024.

There will be live demonstrations, guided tours of NIAB's research facilities, and the NFU Fruit Forums, where industry experts will be leading discussion of the pressing issues facing the sector.

NFU Fruit Forums

The NFU is hosting two live debates at the event. Speakers will include NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair Martin Emmett, as well as policy and external affair experts who will be debating the sector's top priorities as well as the regulatory future of crop protection. Get the details.

Meet the speakers

Find out more about the NFU representatives taking part:

Martin Emmett

NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair

Martin was elected chair of the NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board in 2022. 

He is a director of Tristram Plants, part of the Farplants co-operative which grows and markets over 2000 plant varieties and generates more than £50 million annual sales through retail.

Ali Capper

NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair (2016-2022)

Ali is a top fruit (including cider apples) and hops grower in Worcestershire.

She is also director of the British Hop Association, member of the Hop Industry Committee and chair of British Apples and Pears.

Ali was chair of the NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board from 2016 to 2022 and provided strong representation and leadership for the industry. She is regularly interviewed for national media (broadsheet, radio and TV) and has dealt with politicians at a senior level to harness support for the sector.

Chris Hartfield

NFU Senior Regulatory Affairs adviser

Chris’ career in the farming industry started in research, with six years spent working on the biocontrol of pest insects.

Chris four years working with farmers to deliver the UK government agri-environment schemes, before joining the National Farmers’ Union nearly eighteen years ago.

Most of his NFU career has been spent on horticultural policy, heading-up that team for two years. In 2017, Chris moved to join a new NFU plant health unit as Senior Regulatory Affairs Adviser and headed-up the NFU’s science and regulatory affairs team for a short while.

His work focuses on the regulatory process and its implications for availability and use of crop protection products as well as the relationship with UK regulatory authorities and international regimes. Chris is the NFU policy lead on the GB pesticides regime post EU-exit, bee health and pollinators.

He leads the NFU's work on the SFI IPM standard and is a driving force behind the NFU’s plant health strategy.

Emma Crosby

External Affairs Manager, National Farmers Union

As External Affairs Manager in the NFU's London team, Emma is responsible for delivering the external affairs strategy, building collaborative relationships with key external politicians, civil servants and stakeholders, and raising the NFU’s campaigning and lobbying profile in Westminster.

Thomas Price

NFU employment and skills adviser

Tom is the NFU’s employment and skills policy adviser.

He leads on:

  • Access to labour and the seasonal worker scheme.
  • National Living and other minimum wage rates.
  • Employment regulation.
  • Skills development representing the NFU on Agriculture Trailblazer groups and T Level consultative groups.

Christine McDowell

NFU horticulture and potatoes senior policy specialist

Christine is the NFU’s senior policy specialist, focused on delivering successful policy outcomes on behalf of horticulture and potato members.

Her role spans lobbying on various policy priority areas for the sector, from shaping legislation and securing a fair and functioning supply chain, to ensuring our border regime operates effectively for the needs of the sector.

She is the secretariate for the NFU national Horticulture & Potatoes Board and has been with the NFU for eight years. Previously, she worked in commercial, technical and supply chain roles within the fresh produce sector. Christine is an MDS alumni.

Rupert Weaver

NFU horticulture adviser

Rupert is an adviser in the NFU’s horticulture & potatoes team, and has been with the NFU for seven years covering a range of issues across different departments.

In addition to being the secretariat for the NFU Potato Policy Group, Rupert looks after farm assurance for the fresh produce sector, including representing the NFU on the Red Tractor Technical Advisory Committee. Rupert also covers a range of other areas such as water, planning, and net zero.

Event details
Start Date
10 July 2024 at 08:00
End Date
10 July 2024 at 17:00

NIAB at East Malling, New Road, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ

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