Serious issues need serious solutions - and it all starts with innovation, says FPC Chief
The fresh produce industry has been in turmoil for several years now and recent industry data suggests that things are going from bad to worse, with major drought fall-out affecting fresh produce production around the globe.
All this means that the industry needs to take a fresh look at how to tackle the many challenges faced.
Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) believes the answer lies in the rapid adoption of agritech innovation across the supply chain.
“Through agritech, we can scaffold those areas of the industry that need the most assistance,” Jenney explained.
“The technology is there but currently there isn’t enough education about its use and there needs to be more financially viable routes available to support its adoption.
“That’s why FPC has developed a ground-breaking two in one event to both showcase the latest innovation and discover the next generation of talent to take the fresh produce and horticultural sectors confidently forward to the future.”
The exhibition and conference event, launched to great applaud last year, will return in 2023 to provide a vital insight into the future of agritech for the fresh produce and flower industries. It has been developed to lift the lid on the agricultural and horticultural innovations needed to safeguard the future of our food supply, such as vertical farming.
Visitors to FPC Future will experience a large exhibition of numerous international agritech companies along with their innovations, products and services – all of which can help food and produce businesses to become more efficient, increase productivity and assist their workforce.
Furthermore, a Big Tech area will bring agritech innovation to life with live robotics displays. A special area for Start-Up agritech companies will be on the floorplan too.
As part of the conference program, speaker sessions with inspiring and insightful talks from industry experts will run throughout the day.
“We desperately need this opportunity, not only to showcase innovation but to educate the industry into how it can be embraced and rapidly adopted in order to bridge the gaps we are currently facing and to provide a strong foundation for future growth,” Jenney continued.
Running alongside FPC Future is FPC Careers, which provides employers the unparalleled opportunity to secure the next generation of talent needed to drive forward the food, fresh produce and floral industries.
Exhibitors and sponsors will connect with the best and brightest jobseekers, forge important relationships with tutors from UK academic institutions, and meet with industry-specific recruitment agencies.
All food, fresh produce and cut flower growers, producers, logistics providers, foodservice operators, retailers, labour providers, hospitality operators and other related sectors are welcome.
Exhibitors can bring up to four team members on the day and can access sister event FPC Future free of charge.
This year’s edition of FPC Careers will recognise how the rapid adoption of technology is creating exciting new career opportunities such as data science, as well as prompting a reconsideration of how sector skills are developed within the fresh produce industry.
To attract the very best, skilled candidates, FPC is working in collaboration with colleges and universities across the UK to invite undergraduates and postgraduates from all academic disciplines.
Candidates attending FPC Careers will be aged 18-30 years old and eager to carve out a career in fresh produce and its many related industries, including: retail, foodservice, logistics, packaging, technology and wholesale, as well as the general food and drink sector.
Both events will take place at the East of England Arena, Peterborough on 16 March 2023.
Registrations are open now at https://www.fpcfuture.co.uk/