Cider fruit growers will have the opportunity later this month to hear the latest in developments from industry leaders and researchers at the inaugural growers conference.
Organised by the Cider & Perry Orchards Network of Excellence (ONE) and the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) the event will host around 150 growers on Tuesday 24 February at Kingsholm, home of Gloucester Rugby Club.
With the considerable increase in the quantity of apples grown in the UK to supply the cider industry, and with a continual drive for quality and greater sustainability, the event will inform and engage those involved in the management of around 18,000 acres of orchards in England and Wales.
Helen Thomas, chair of the NACM’s Pomology Group said: “The partnership between growers and cidermakers is both vital and mutually dependent. To have the opportunity to host so many growers and share with them the latest research, and our future research plans, strengthens that relationship and will also see further improvements in sustainability, yields and orchard management.” The UK cider industry uses over 250,000 tonnes of UK-grown apples, representing nearly 60 per cent of all apples grown around the country.
Among the speakers will be leading academics in tree health, soil nutrition and organic agriculture, including the Soil Association.
Gilly Pollock, orchard network manager for ONE and organiser of the event, said: “Farmers and growers attending will benefit from expert advice as well as hearing first-hand some of the latest scientific research into the cultivation of apples and orchard management. They will also gain enormously from talking with one another to understand the best practice of others. This sharing of knowledge is one of the benefits of the network which now has well over 100 commercial growers from across the main orcharding areas of Herefordshire and Somerset as well as further afield.”
For tickets and more information about the event or the Orchard Network of Excellence, email email@example.com or call 07768 950 249.