The Marden Fruit Show Society (MFSS) has appointed Sally Flanagan, a long-standing committee member and former Executive Director of the East Malling Trust as its new Chief Executive Officer. Sally takes over the reins from Sarah Calcutt, who has stepped down as the Executive Chair and now becomes the Honorary Chair. Sally, who has been involved as a committee member for several years, takes over all day-to-day responsibilities of running the Society, which includes the annual National Fruit Show, education programme for the industry and schools, and competitions for growers and producers throughout the year.
Sally comments: “It’s an absolute honour to be appointed CEO. The work of the MFSS is essential in promoting access to knowledge and best practice relating to agriculture and horticulture here in the UK as well as information and best practice for the storage, packing, and marketing of fruit. We also have a team who provide a successful and growing outreach programme of science, nutrition, and careers education to schools and with additional sponsorship funding we can expand this across the UK. This year is also the 90th year of the National Fruit Show and following the success of the 2022 Show, opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex, we are looking to build on that with an exciting event to showcase the talents of British fruit growers, the best of British fruit, and the wider industry, along with access to the latest technology that innovates and supports it.”
Sarah Calcutt, Honorary Chair of the National Fruit Show comments. “After two years as the Executive Chair and due to my broader work commitments, I’m delighted to hand the baton over to Sally and I’m looking forward to working with her and the team to continue to support the work of MFSS. We have worked hard over the last 14 years to build the Society to the point where we could recruit its first CEO. I could not be happier that we could secure someone of Sally’s calibre and experience; the Show and the broader work of the Society could not be in better hands.”
Andrew Tinsley, Chair of the MFSS Trustees, comments: “I would like to thank Sarah for her terrific contribution over the last 16 years, and we are grateful to have her ongoing support as she reverts to the role that her predecessors took. We are very pleased that Sally has accepted the challenge to take on the role of CEO. As we look ahead to the future and developing our support for fruit growers and the wider industry in our 90th year, the MFSS seeks to work with and bring together more growers, the wider industry, schools, and colleges to help identify and find solutions to some of the challenges that they face. Whether that is from the latest scientific research and thinking on all aspects of growing fruit in our ever-changing climate, using the latest technology to better manage production, storage, and sales of fruit, to help provide the workforce of the future.”
The 90th National Fruit Show will take place on 1st and 2nd November 2023 at the Kent County Showground, Detling. Further information can be found at www.nationalfruitshow.org.uk