The new NextGen Fruit Group was officially launched today, with bold ambitions to raise the networks membership and take it global.
The group, which is a rebranding of the Under 40s Fruit Growers, announced its intention to increase numbers up to 350 people in the next two years, and have an international member base of 10 to 20 per cent.
First established in 1967, NextGen Fruit Group brings younger generations, generally between ages 20 to 40, of fruit growers together at events and meet-ups throughout the year, fostering community across the British horticulture industry, and culminating in a trip abroad every two years.
New chairman, Ben Bardsley, announced the next tour overseas would be to New Zealand in 2021, following on from the success of previous southern hemisphere trips to South Africa in 2017, and Chile in February this year.
“We’re making the group bigger, more meaningful and we’re making it global,” Bardsley said at the launch today.
“Our industry needs people like us to power it forward. We’re a group of like-minded individuals who all work in the fruit industry.”
Bardsley said the group has also been incorporated as a charity, adding “we want to give back to the industry,” as well as restructuring its sponsorship base.
He continued: “NextGen is about having fun, getting together and having a conversation over a beer. We’re passionate about the future of the fruit industry and bringing the industry together through the power of young people.
“Every business has got young people in common, and we want to grow the membership to 350 people with 10 to 20 per cent of that international.”