Branston Growers’ Conference

Posted: 11 July 2014
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Branston held its Potato Growers’ Conference this Wednesday (9th July) at the De Vere hotel, Belton Woods.

Over 130 people attended the event, the theme for which was ‘a brighter future for potatoes’. It provided marketing insights and introduced growers to the range of work that the company is undertaking to support the industry and improve fresh potato sales. New ways of working together were presented, with more collaboration, more data and more focus on getting the best quality built in at source.

Key members of the Tesco team were also in attendance, with Tom Hind (Group Agriculture Director), Paul Jones (Commercial Project Manager), Andy Dixon (Senior Buying Manager) and Laura Drew (Technical Manager) taking part in the discussions. Paul Jones provided an introduction to the Tesco Produce Revolution and Tom Hind explained more about Tesco’s relationship with primary producers.

Growers also had the opportunity to see a display of the Woodstar Harvest Manager system and find out more about the mint oil sprout suppressant, Biox-M, and aerial drone crop assessment technology.
The conference was rounded off by the premier viewing of the short film that will be shown to all the schoolchildren on Branston’s Eat Happy potato bus when it starts touring schools across the UK in September. Comedian Fred MacAulay provided amusement as the after-dinner speaker, and a casino kept guests entertained well into the early hours.

Graeme Beattie, Branston’s managing director commented: “It’s great to be able to get so many of our growers together - to share our insights and initiatives with them and get some valuable feedback. We’re delighted that Tom, Paul, Andy and Laura from the Tesco team were also able to join us and many of our growers enjoyed the opportunity for some lively and stimulating interaction.” 

(Picture L:R Guy McCracken, Branston Chairman, with Tom Hind, Tesco Group Agriculture Director)