The Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC), in conjunction with the University of Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT), will present two exciting, new events for the fresh produce, flower and plant industry on 4 November 2021 at the Lincolnshire Showground in Lincoln, the UK.
FPC Future is the inaugural agritech innovation exhibition and conference for the fresh produce, flower and plant industry, which will co-locate with FPC Careers, a specialist careers fair for the fresh produce, cut flower and related sectors, including food service, import, retail, logistics, distribution and wholesale.
These co-located events feature two expos, a conference, working displays and tours of the University of Lincoln’s specialist agritech facilities at its Riseholme Campus. The events are open to participants from both the UK and abroad.
Nigel Jenney, CEO at FPC explains: “The UK horticultural industry is a sector hungry to fast track agritech adoption. The sector is rapidly evolving, making FPC Future a fantastic opportunity for suppliers to showcase their world-leading innovations to a diverse and progressive industry. At the same time, FPC Careers will showcase the huge benefits and opportunities that the sector can offer talented, young people who may not have considered a career in fresh produce, flowers and its many related sectors.”
FPC Future 2021
The UK food supply chain faces challenges across the board, prompting the industry to push forward with ambitious developments to guarantee its competitiveness and longevity for customers and consumers.
Innovations such as artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, vertical farming and other ground-breaking technologies have the potential to propel the industry to greatness and thrive like never before.
Jenney comments: “FPC Future will showcase all that is new in the development of agritech, as well as what the future promises. Exhibitors include organizations who supply the industry with technologies to help businesses keep up to date with this fast-developing sector. Visitors will be able to see how new technologies can help them become more efficient, increase productivity and support their workforce.”
Sponsored by PML and Morgan Cargo, FPC Future features the participation of exhibiting companies including: Affinitus, Agri-EPI Centre, BeBa Energy, B-Hive Innovations, CHAP, FruPro, Graphic Packaging International, GrowPura, IDS Imaging, Keltie, Lettus Grow, Lincs County Council/Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Scorpion Vision, and Syngenta, among many, many more leading agritech providers, produce suppliers and importers from the UK and overseas.
There will be a special shared area for start-up companies, and the Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK is hosting a Dutch Pavilion to showcase the very best in innovation and agritech from the Netherlands. Participants include: Certhon, Crux Agribotics, Hagelunie; Bosman Van Zaal/CMW Horticulture, SmartWash Solutions, Horconex, Grodan/Rockwool, and Ludwig Svensson. Dutch greenhouse specialist Bom Group is exhibiting with an individual stand too.
The conference program is extensive, with eight conference sessions covering pre- and post-farm robotics and automation, data-driven technologies, plastics and packaging, supply chain waste, carbon supply chains, vertical farming and sustainability.
Likewise, there is an Exhibitor Presentation Theatre where exhibitors can present their latest offerings to a captive audience. This, coupled with the facility for working displays, presents a unique opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their products and services.
Tours of the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme Campus will provide a fantastic opportunity to witness first-hand the technological developments that this institution is carrying out. Visitors will have the chance to view robotic harvesting of strawberries, a state-of-the-art refrigeration unit, along with other facilities supporting projects in artificial intelligence, robotics and engineering.
FPC Careers 2021
To drive forward these ambitious agritech developments, the UK fresh produce industry will need to hire the best young talent. FPC Careers 2021 will connect the food chain’s leading employers with today’s up-and-coming talent. Undergraduates, postgraduates and jobseekers aged 18-30 will meet face to face with exhibiting fresh produce and flower companies looking for fresh, talented, young people to work in the UK and abroad.
Sponsored by PML, Morgan Cargo, MDS and Worldwide Fruit, this unique careers fair will promote a diverse range of careers and opportunities to jobseekers, university and college students across all academic disciplines, from horticulture and agriculture through to business studies, economics, technology, marketing and languages.
Exhibitors in the dedicated FPC Careers expo area will gain early access to talent; meeting more candidates in one day than in weeks of interviewing. The event also provides a platform for employers to meet and develop relationships with important educational providers attending with their students.
Exhibitors already confirmed include: ALP (Association of Labour Providers), AM Fresh UK, Ambitions Personnel, BerryWorld, Branston, G’s Fresh, Henderson Brown, Karsten UK, MDS, MorePeople, Worldwide Fruit, and the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
A host of fun and productive activities are planned, such as a 'Mentor Me’ area, sponsored by MDS, where youngsters will meet a number of industry experts to receive the best advice to launch their career in the produce industry. Names confirmed so far, include: Jacqui Green (Viridis Associates), George Beach (Mudwalls Farm), Tony Ganio (Back To Roots), and John Giles (Promar International).
Students, job seekers and exhibitors can attend both FPC Careers 2021 and FPC Future 2021 to maximize their experience.