The aftermath of Brexit, Covid and the latest mini-budget is having a profound effect upon the industry and now, more than ever we need to source long-term effective solutions for the future.
“We can’t afford to be complacent and should grasp the opportunities presented to us through innovation and, in particular, agritech, to evolve and grow,” says Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the UK’s Fresh Produce Consortium.
“This is a fundamental challenge for the sector,” he continues “and it certainly must identify proactive solutions to several considerable and ongoing challenges.
“The FPC has worked with its members to develop innovative new solutions for the industry,” he explains.
There needs to be a fundamental shift in the perception and overall infrastructure of our food supply system.
“They lie in making agriculture ‘smarter’ by developing and adopting the new technologies and innovations that can dramatically enhance productivity and reduce its high labour demand and by making the various sectors more attractive to a new generation.”
“FPC has been pro-actively looking at new ways to bridge the disconnect between the next generation of agricultural and horticultural workers and the perception of the industry as a whole and we believe we’ve found some vital solutions” he explained.
“There needs to be a fundamental shift in the perception and overall infrastructure of our food supply system.
“We believe in educating the industry about how both agriculture and horticulture can be made smarter through the incorporation of technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics and automation, along with the development of new growing systems and practices, all designed to promote long term sustainability,” Jenney continued.
With this in mind, the consortium has developed two unique and ‘free to attend’ industry events which were launched last year and received both huge attendance and critical acclaim.
The new events will both be held at the East of England Arena and Events Centre in Peterborough on 16 March 2023 and each tackle different challenges faced by the industry in a unique way.
FPC Future has proven itself to be the agritech event for the fresh produce and flower industry and will house an exhibition, conferences, working displays and tours.
“This much-needed event will educate and showcase all that is new right now, as well as exploring what the future promises,” explains FPC’s Regulation and Communications Manager, Kelly Shields.
“Visitors will be able see how new technologies can help them become more efficient, increase productivity and help their workforce” she adds.
The conference programme is an extensive one, covering pre and post farm innovations to include robotics and automation, data driven technologies, supply chain waste, vertical farming and sustainability.
In short, there’s something for everyone!
“FPC Future is the perfect platform for companies wishing to showcase their next generation technology and product lines to the growers, packers, importers, exporters, retailers, wholesalers and service providers,” says FPC’s Business Development Manager Linda Bloomfield.
“Innovation will drive the future commercial success of the sector, and this is a great opportunity for those in agritech to take part as an exhibitor in order to showcase their solutions, forge new contacts and ultimately pick up new business,” she adds
FPC Careers has been developed to connect today’s up and coming talent with the food chains’ best employers.
Alongside the opportunity to meet face-to face-with representatives from major fresh produce companies and specialised recruitment agencies, industry experts will be available throughout the day to provide attendees with free advice, mentoring and guidance.
“Our industry desperately needs new blood, and this is a fantastic opportunity for companies to showcase their businesses and career possibilities to students and other young jobseekers at a time when they are considering the first or next steps that they wish to take with their careers,” explains Bloomfield.
“Exhibiting at a specialised event like this is a cost-effective and efficient way of engaging with younger jobseekers interested in joining our sector, as well as forging connections with the specialised recruitment agencies who will also be taking part,” she concludes.
To find out more and to register for free go to: https://www.fpcfuture.co.uk/