The 82nd National Fruit Show will take place on 21 and 22 October 2015 in the Maidstone Exhibition Hall and John Hendry Pavilion at the Kent Event Centre.
Sarah Calcutt, Chairman of the Show’s organisers, the Marden Fruit Show Society said, “Following the success of last year’s Show, we are looking forward to an even larger event. The fantastic new building allows us to place the competition fruit at the heart of the action and gives great space to our exhibitors”.
All four of the major sponsors will continue to support the 2015 Show, with Produce Packaging Ltd providing the competition packaging. Norman Collett Ltd is now part of the new marketing venture Avalon Produce Ltd, made up of Norman Collett, FGA (Fruit Growers Alliance) and SGT that have merged to form a fully integrated marketing and growing group. The Marden Fruit Show Society is delighted to welcome Avalon Produce Ltd as the fourth major sponsor for 2015.
The popular National Fruit Show Dinner will remain at the Kent Event Centre but will take place in the John Hendry Pavilion. Hadlow College will sponsor the dinner, and OrchardWorld the pre-dinner drinks reception. Maria Clarke, Show Organiser said, “The Show Dinner being hosted at the Kent Event Centre site has worked exceptionally well for the past two years. Due to the demand for tickets, other Kent venues were unable to seat the number of guests wanting to attend, so we have dedicated an area of the John Hendry Pavilion to hold the dinner. The space will also be available during part of the Show, giving additional recreational area and seating”.
This year the Bonanza Prize, which was first announced at the Marden Fruit Show Society AGM, will be provided by Vigo Ltd. Vigo supplies equipment, consumables and services for drink producers. Their range extends from apple juice and cider-making equipment, winery equipment, brewery equipment, and equipment for the processing and bottling of many other drinks.
Vigo has exhibited at the Show for over ten years and has supported the Apple Juice Competition since it started nearly 30 years ago. They are offering fruit growers a cash prize of £1,000 to be spent on a specific project to develop their business.
Chairman of Judges, Brian Tompsett, in consultation with committee members, has made a couple of changes to the competition schedule. This year there will be a compulsory one point deduction for fruit not displayed properly. Apples need to be displayed with eyes to the top of the tray or alternatively on their side with eyes to the right. The Produce Packaging logo needs to be displayed the correct way up. Competition pears can be packed in a number of ways and the schedule shows a number of images to help growers display their entries correctly.
Class 20, Under 26 Dessert Apples, has been amended to include exhibitors under 40 years of age and a new Class 21, Bramley, has been introduced for under 40s. The Class 21 Trophy, the Arthur Goatham Memorial Trophy along with the prize and prize money has been sponsored by A.C. Goatham and Son.
Fruit for Class 20 must be within the size for the variety as listed for Classes 3 to 12 and fruit for Class 21 must be within the size as listed for Classes 1 and 2. Entrants do not have to grow the fruit to enter these classes. They may seek advice but must pick, select and pack the fruit themselves. The name and date of birth of the individual entrant must be completed on the entry form.
Sarah Calcutt said, “The decision to change Class 20 and the addition of Class 21 will see more entries in these competitions, which in turn is good news for the industry. We have also looked to enhance the rules for the nut competitions, which will now be displayed, together with the soft fruit, on staging newly commissioned for 2015”.
The National Fruit Show total prize money stands at over £10,000 with 21 top fruit competitions, four soft fruit classes and three nut classes. There are special competitions which include The Tastiest Apple, Five Heaviest Apples, Five Heaviest Pears and prizes for the single heaviest fruit from each.
As always, stand space is booked on a first come, first served basis. There is no space available in the Maidstone Exhibition Hall but a few spaces are available in the John Hendry Pavilion. Businesses or organisations interested in attending can fill in an online application form on the Show’s website at www.nationalfruitshow.org.uk/booking