INTERIM TRIP May 2014

The new under 40s committee were joined at East Malling research  by over 30 new and old faces for a fascinating day learning all about EMR; its history, its current research and its plans for the future. 

This interim trip was an opportunity to get together between conferences, learn about fruit research in the UK, attract new people to the group and launch the date and location of the next conference.  We were welcomed to EMR by Ross Newman who gave a great introduction to the research centre, where it started and where it is going.

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We were then taken on a really varied tour demonstrating the breadth of research being carried out, kicking off with a tour of the Concept pear orchard, by EMR farm Manager Graham Caspell, and a discussion of the pros and cons of the various systems for pear production in the UK. 

We then headed to one of EMRs glasshouses to learn about strawberry breeding from Abi Johnson and Adam Whitehouse which included a demo of emasculating strawberry flowers and a viewing of potentially the next big UK strawberry variety!  This was followed by a tour of the produce quality centre where we learned about extreme low O2 storage of bramley  and ethylene manipulation for fruit quality and storage from Emma Skipper. 

We ended the tour with a look at the refurbished Rhizolab, a rather spooky underground layer where historically researchers studied apple tree roots.  The refurbished lab will be re planted and utilised by a new PhD student top learn more about what happens underground. The dates of the next conference were announced as the 25th to the 28th of February and a provisional itinerary was detailed. 

We are incredibly grateful to EMR and the researchers who gave up their valuable time to show us the highly relevant research being undertaken.  We hope some of the new researchers will be able to join us in Benelux in 2015.

Alex Myatt