On the 6th June the committee headed to the London Produce Show to launch the re-brand of the Under 40 Fruit Growers to NextGen Fruit Group, to the industry. It was a great day, meeting lots of international fresh produce businesses while making some very exciting connections.

The following day, we were invited to Bardlsey England and Biddenden Vineyard. Despite the rain, we had over 70 delegates representing a large proportion of the UK fruit industry attend.

Starting at Bardsley England’s state of the art packing facility with a throughput of over 25,000tns of fruit, delegates were split into 3 groups touring the pack house and orchards while Chairman, Ben Bardsley, presented the re-brand of the Under 40’s to NextGen Fruit Group. He also revealed where NextGen will be heading in 2021…New Zealand!

The group stopped for lunch at the Milk House in Sissinghurst before heading to Biddenden Vineyards.

Celebrating their 50th year of growing vines, the Barnes family gave a detailed guided tour of their estate, where they grow 11 varieties over 25 acres, producing award-winning white, rose, red and sparkling English wines. Tom Barnes, vineyard manager, then explained the wine making and bottles process before the group enjoyed a number of Biddenden’s wines.

The day was finished off with a great BBQ and competitive game of rounders before some of the group headed into town for a few more drinks.

We would like to say a huge thank you to both Bardsley England and Biddenden Vineyard for showing us their businesses, fascinating day had by all.

And finally there was a great write up from the Vineyard Magazine.

Alex Myatt