The annual general meeting of English Apples and Pears Ltd took place on 28 March and was well attended by growers, marketing agents and industry representatives. The AGM, led by the Chairman Phil Acock, saw the approval of the 2016/17 report and accounts, and the re-election of the current board with the addition of three new directors, namely Chris Browning, Philip Hermon and James Simpson.
Steven Munday, Chief Executive Officer, provided a season review and an update on sales in the year-to-date compared to the previous year, showing sales of dessert apples to be up by 3.58%, Bramley sales up by 10.92% and pears up by 0.79%, based on a crop that was about 5% lower than in the 2015/16 season.
Steven commented: “It was important to use the AGM to update all of our stakeholders about the work that has been going on behind the scenes as part of our ongoing programme of change. This includes the tightening of governance, the strengthening of the board, the outsourcing of the ‘back office’ systems to British Growers Association, the introduction of the new ‘Great British Apples’ brand and the appointment of a new sole promotional agency, Richmond Towers. There are exciting times ahead for EAP”.
The meeting was closed with a very informative and timely presentation by Hayley Campbell Gibbons, the NFU’s Chief Horticulture Advisor around the challenges and opportunities that Brexit brings to top fruit, horticulture and the wider agricultural sector.