The Marden Fruit Show Society is gearing up for its 85th National Fruit Show on 24th and 25th October 2018 at the Kent Event Centre in Detling.
Set up after the demise of the 41 year old Marden, Staplehurst and Collier Street Agriculture Association, Lord Cornwallis, its first President, is quoted as saying he was sure the new Society would be of great benefit to fruit growers in the district.
He had hoped it would last as long as the old one and maybe even longer, with 74 shows under its belt, 10 being cancelled due to the war and one due to frost, the Society has certainly matched and exceeded its first President’s aspirations.
The Show has gone from strength to strength, symbolised by its move from Marden to the County Showground during the eighties and is now one of the most respected and well-attended fruit commercial trade shows in the country.
At the heart of this successful show is the competition fruit display 70m of triple stacked trays of the best of British top fruit, picked and packed by growers whose long-standing commitment to the show has been at the forefront of its success.
The number of show classes has doubled since the show’s humble beginnings and now include soft fruit, nuts, juice and a new cider competition as well as the traditional apple and pear.
Sarah Calcutt Chair of the Show Society said: “The National Fruit Show is where industry gathers to showcase growing techniques, innovation, transport, storage and the marketing of English fruit. The Show ensures that communication within the sector has a platform and the growers who visit are kept up to date with developments and innovations in the industry.”
Maria Clarke, Show Secretary added: “The Show has become ever more professional over the years, reflecting the standard within the industry and the importance to the horticultural sector.
“This year we have a number of new trade stands including Citrax Tractors, Strik Fruit Services, Mobitech, Besseling Group BV, AS Buildings/Torran Construction, Soil Moisture Sense. The Show now spreads over both the large Maidstone Exhibition Hall and the John Hendry Pavillion and many of our exhibitors come to the Show from all across Europe.”
There are a few Trade Stand spaces available and companies within the fruit industry are invited to contact the Show organiser or register their interest online using the website booking system.
To accommodate the demand for show dinner tickets, the 85th celebration dinner will be hosted on site in the Clive Emson Conference Centre.
Launched this year is the National Fruit Show Cider & Perry Competition. Members of the public have been encouraged to vote for their favourite cider, perry or mixed blend in three classes.
Sponsored by crop nutrition company Engage Agro Europe Ltd, the winning cider in each of the classes will receive £100 and the Engage Agro Europe Ltd Trophy, as well as a prestigious winners’ logo to use on their website, label or packaging. The new competition will feature the following: Class 44, Traditional Cider, Class 45, Pear/Perry and Class 46, Mixed blend (apple or pear plus any other ingredient).