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McCain Foods boss and Asda category director to speak at East Midlands Potato Day

27 July 2011

McCain Foods Regional CEO Nick Vermont and Asda category director Rick Bourne will be speaking at this year’s East Midlands Potato Day, offering industry delegates a unique opportunity to hear about recent developments in the processing and fresh sectors.

At the event to be held at QV Foods, Holbeach Hurn, Lincolnshire, on July 5, Mr Vermont will pinpoint opportunities and challenges for the market and discuss potential responses for the potato grower. In addition, he will be examining consumer demand and trends, so growers can clearly see the direction of the sector.

He will also give his views on the way forward for external issues such as the sustainability agenda, including the environment, energy and water.

Asda’s Rick Bourne will discuss growth areas within the retailer’s fresh produce business and the effects of the recent acquisition of Netto. He will also examine how Asda expects suppliers to act in terms of protocols, quality and costs in addition to external issues such as the environment, energy and water.  

AHDB Potatoes Gary Collins, one of the organisers of the event, says: “At this year’s event we have speakers from major players in the industry and their views as customers in the fresh and processed sectors will be invaluable.”

Growers will also have the opportunity to meet the new AHDB Potatoes head of communications, Dr Sharon Hall, who will update on AHDB Potatoes communications.

The afternoon workshops will include important results of studies undertaken by Scottish Agronomy’s Eric Anderson, who will be running a workshop about water usage and the impact of soil structure damage on water uptake. Peter White of Soil Moisture Sense will also be on hand to answer questions on monitoring equipment.

 Reuben Morris from Frontier Agriculture will examine various control programmes that help keep Alternaria at bay. In addition, Frontier’s Stuart Maltby will discuss available defoliation options.
Andy Barker from Barworth Agriculture will be demonstrating results from his work on biofumigation and John Keer from Richard Austin Agriculture will offer his latest thoughts on herbicides that will include a visual display of variety post-emergence sensitivity.

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