James Smith - Realising the potential of UK top fruit.
I am 40 years old and a fifth generation fruit grower in Kent farming over 200 acres of apples and pears. We supply the UK retail and processing sectors via the Fruit Growers Alliance Producer Organisation and Avalon Produce Ltd. Married to Helena we live at Loddington Farm in Linton, Kent and as Managing director of the farming company I work with my brother Paul to produce over 2500 tons of fruit.
A keen cyclist and occasional triathlete I like keeping fit and enjoying the countryside and with my wife Helena, competed in the 2014 Speights Coast to Coast adventure race across the south island of New Zealand so don’t like to sit still for too long. I am definitely the active type and am always looking for the next challenge be it in business or sport.
I am also Vice chairman on the Fruit Growers Alliance Producer organisation and a director of the recently formed Avalon Produce Ltd which supplies directly to Tesco Co-op and ASDA.
Having worked in the fresh produce sector for nearly 20 years following a Crop science degree at Reading University I have experienced many parts of the supply chain as well as production of different crops around the world.
I would like to thank the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and the Nuffield Food Chain Scholarship Fund for sponsoring my for what promises to be a real journey of discovery. The benefits of this scholarship to the UK top fruit industry should be far reaching and help secure a viable future for many.