Marden Fruit Society Chair Sarah Calcutt reported that there had been 140 entries in the stunning display of English fruit, from over 40 farms, at the Kent Event Centre at Detling, Kent. The ‘Best in Show’ award’ went to Newmafruit Ltd, for their entry of Cameo which scored 97%. 17 entries were placed in the draw for the Bonanza Prize of £1,000 sponsored by Vigo Ltd, Elverton Farm being declared the winner. The Show competitions included top fruit, soft fruit, cobnuts, apple juice and the Tastiest Apple Competition.
The much improved facilities enabled the fruit displays to be staged prominently , and the wide range of trade exhibitors to be placed in generous alleyways. Exhibitors included suppliers of machinery and storage technology, and the first robotic orchard tractors and spraying units were on display.
Tiverton and Honiton MP, Neil Parish, opened the Show. He sits on the Parliamentary Sub-Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and was well placed to hear of the political environment in which fruit growers operate their businesses.
After the Show the fruit displays were taken to the DEFRA offices in London and to various charitable causes. Fruit was also sent to Buckingham Palace and the Mayor of London’s office.