The Next Gen Fruit Group is a community of young farmers specialising within the UK fruit industry. The group was formed to create a space to engage with likeminded people, participate in educational experiences and works to encourage the next generation of its industry leaders. Oxbury are proud to be supporting partners of the group, recognising that supporting the younger generation to gain knowledge, industry connections and experience will support the long-term prospects of the agricultural industry.
On 19th May, the group joined together for one of their quarterly action-packed interim trips. On this occasion, the group met and headed off onto a tour around Countrystyle Recycling’s flagship waste management site in Ridham. The group was taken for a tour of the site which included an insight into their plasterboard recycling facility- the largest in the UK and Europe. In the UK, plasterboard is banned from being dumped in general waste landfill sites as it contains gypsum which when mixed with general waste reacts to create a toxic hydrogen ide gas. Therefore, it must be recycled or disposed of responsibly. The facility produces the reprocessed gypsum which is then used within products such as plastic and paints.
The group then headed to Nyetimber Vineyards at one of their sites in Thurnham. The team offered a fascinating insight into this industry leading brand within the English viticulture space. The team discussed the challenges faced in creating a high-quality product in an environmentally friendly format. One highlight was the discussion on choosing where to place the vineyard, on a greensand or chalk soils base within a valley allows the vines to flourish while being somewhat protected from the worst of the weather elements. In addition to this, monitoring of soil nutrient levels, insects, pests, and the weather also allow them to reduce any impact on the environment.
The final visit of the day was to Clockhouse Farm in Maidstone, with the Managing Director Oli Pascall taking the lead. The farm is one of the UK’s leading retailers working to create the highest quality, most efficiently and sustainably grown top fruit. This rapidly growing business strives to research and use innovative methods of farming to continuously improve the development of fruit production, which includes having around 10 acres of headed production facilities and vertical farming inputs powered by renewable resources.
Oil Pascall commented ‘It’s fantastic to see a great turnout at this event, especially seeing so many new faces today. We work to show detailed insights into forward thinking businesses to allow group members to engage and discuss new ways of working.’
It was an excellent, enjoyable day to see exactly what our sponsorship goes towards. Thank you, Next Gen Fruit Group! If you would like to find out more about the Next Gen Fruit Group or any of the businesses mentioned, please see the links below: