With the media focus on Egypt, and specifically Cairo and Alexandria, our thoughts are with our members at the Egyptian Agricultural Export Council. We hope that stability returns swiftly and that we continue to enjoy good trading relations in the coming weeks and months.

I am delighted that we have a capacity crowd attending our 65th Annual Dinner at the Savoy, with Morocco as the guest nation. We have a great evening planned with a troupe of musicians flying in from Rabat to add a truly authentic dimension to the evening - add to this outstanding floral/produce displays by the talented Sophie Hanna of New Covent Garden Market, and a five course menu especially designed by Savoy chefs with a subtle Moroccan influence, and we have the makings of a spectacular evening. I look forward to seeing so many of you at this event and we are privileged to host HH Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui, Ambassador of the King of Morocco to the Court of St James as our guest of honour, along with members of Maroc Export and friends from key exporting companies such as Delassus and Geda. The evening will be a true celebration of our trading relations, showcasing the culture and vibrancy of this great nation.

Congratulations to Bradford St James Wholesale Market for winning the Best Wholesale Market in the UK at the NABMA KPR Midlink Market of the Year Awardsin Birmingham. The award is recognition for the work of the tenants’ association, headed by Simon and Noel Kershaw, and the award is especially dedicated to the late Donald Grimshaw, whose energy and commitmentensured thatthe market has received national recognition.Don’t forget the Re:fresh Awards - the entry deadline is 18 March, so there is plenty of time to enter your category.

Plans for Re:fresh are well underway, both for the conference in the afternoon and the great awards dinner - we are back at the Intercontinental Park Lane and our compere this year is popular comedian Hugh Dennis. You can find out more, download an award entry form and book your tickets on the new website www.refresh.uk.com.

We are currently working with Fera on the next phase of implementation of Plant Health rules, which will see greater levels of physical inspection, initially at airports.

The recently formed industry HR Forum met last week at our office - HR is a key driver in any business, providing a crucial link between departments, supporting best practice and steering a steady path through the minefield of employment law. The group is run by HR director Tricia McCarron of Worldwide Fruit in conjunction with FPC, and the focus of this group is to provide information specific to our industry - make sure you sign up for the next meeting, as it could bring meaningful benefit to your company.