The first speakers can be revealed for this year’s FPJ Live, which promises a fast-paced mix of interviews, debate, multimedia and interactivity.
The theme of this year’s event is A Healthy Future, and will discuss everything from the latest on Brexit to examples of innovative companies, new retail and wholesale developments, creative marketing and much more. The event takes place on 8 October at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
Taking place just a couple of weeks before the UK is due to depart the European Union, several heavy hitters will be on hand to discuss the big issues facing fresh produce businesses. NFU president Minette Batters, ADHB Horticulture chair Hayley Campbell-Gibbons, local Midlands MP and deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson and British Growers’ Association chief executive Jack Ward will all aim to bring clarity to what is an increasingly complex topic.
Switching the focus to production and trade, and senior figures from some of the most fast-evolving and innovative suppliers will also take to the stage. John Gray, commercial director at Angus Soft Fruits, will discuss the growth that has seen the company storm into the top 25 suppliers in the FPJ Big 50; Wealmoor chief executive Avnish Malde will talk about his firm’s rapid evolution; Mark Culley, boss of The Orchard Fruit Company, will talk about his business’s new look and future plans; and Hugh Pile, chief sales and marketing officer at Blue Skies, will share his wide experience of marketing and branding from companies such as L’Oréal and Diageo.
On the subject of the burgeoning wholesale and foodservice side, Spitalfields Market Tenants Association chair Paul Walker will bring delegates up to date on plans for a composite London market, while top chef Pierre Koffmann will outline his new branded fresh produce venture.
All of that takes place on the main stage, The Show, while a dedicated second stage, The Debate, allows delegates to hear panel debates on a range of topics of relevance to the modern industry. Nuffield scholar Barbara Bray will be among the panellists looking at how to add extra nutrition to fresh produce, while NextGen Fruit Group chair Ben Bardsley will be joining the debate looking at up-and-coming fresh produce professionals.
The subject of this year's popular FPJ Life Stories, sponsored by MorePeople, is Riverford founder Guy Singh-Watson. He will be discussing his career in fresh food supply, his passion for organics, hobbies, interests and views on the wider trade in a special in-depth interview.
Further speakers, including retail participants, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Delegates are urged to book up soon to take advantage of the early-bird rate and secure their seat at this festival of fresh produce excellence.
For more information and tickets, see www.fpjlive.com.