Tyfu Cymru News Round-up
11th March – 17th March 2019
With the Welsh bid for the Six Nations Grand Slam on Saturday and St Patrick’s Day on Sunday, we hope you haven’t taken too much advantage of the excellent Welsh wines, ciders, beers and spirits available! But just in case you’re feeling a little bit delicate, we bring you our favourite horticulture news from the week to keep you up to date in half the time!
Join us at the Smallholder and Countryside Festival…
Would you like a horticulture trade stand at the RWAS Smallholding and Countryside Festival? The RWAS Smallholding and Countryside Festival (formerly known as the Spring Festival) will be held on the 18 & 19 May 2019 at the Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd.
We are pleased to be offering a fantastic opportunity for a selection of Commercial Horticulture Growers to participate in this popular event. We will be hosting a selection of growers in the members area of the showground, which is a prime location situated at the entrance and exit during the show. Growers will have the opportunity to showcase and sell their products during the two-day event, and we are pleased to be funding this space with no cost to the grower. For more information please see: https://www.tyfucymru.co.uk/news/would-you-horticulture-trade-stand-rwas-smallholding-and-countryside-festival
Tyfu Cymru are offering a fantastic opportunity for growers to showcase and sell their products during the RWAS Smallholding and Countryside Festival on 18 & 19 May 2019 at the Royal Welsh Showground at no cost to the grower.— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) 15 March 2019
Applications are now open:https://t.co/lD9zlT0yC0
Could exotic fruits soon be grown in Wales?
Brits could be tucking into UK-grown passion fruit by September, a business scrambling to plug the Brexit import gap has claimed. Newly-formed company UK Tropical Fruits is seeking £100k in funding to grow passion fruit, tamarillos, dragon fruit and giant strawberries in glasshouses on the south coast of England. The business is crowdfunding on Indiegogo, in exchange for 20% equity, though the campaign is yet to attract any investment a week after going live.
If cultivated correctly it is claimed they could be commercially available by autumn this year. Passion fruit is usually imported from South and Central America, Asia and Africa. So what do we think? Will we soon be growing exotic fruits in Wales? With the advances in Controlled Environment Agriculture, it may well be possible!
UK grown exotic fruits?— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) 12 March 2019
Brits could be tucking into UK-grown passion fruit by September, a business scrambling to plug the Brexit import gap has claimed.https://t.co/8ux4foBb5q
Emerging threat from new tomato virus
UK growers are being urged to look out for symptoms of a potential new virus that could be devastating to UK crops of tomatoes and peppers. The virus results in unmarketable fruit and can affect up to 100 per cent of stock, which could have substantial economic impact – the home production market value of UK tomatoes was £104.9m in 2017.
AHDB has issued information to help growers, glasshouse and packhouse staff to identify the symptoms in anticipation of its arrival in the UK. Recommendations on preventing infection and spread through hygiene measures are also available.
Emerging threat from new tomato virus— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) 14 March 2019
UK growers are being urged to look out for symptoms of a potential new virus that could be devastating to UK crops of tomatoes and peppers.https://t.co/rIZx3KTqvZ
Bubblegum flavoured apples…?
Bubblegum-flavoured apples could be on their way to UK supermarkets as part of a push to tempt children to up their fruit & veg intake. Agricoat NatureSeal, a US-based shelf-life extension technology provider, is planning to introduce its edible coating product NatureSeal on the UK market.
The coating is an evolution of technology already in use in the US to prolong the lifespan of pre-cut fruit and veg, which uses a range of vitamins and minerals to extend shelf life by up to 21 days. NatureSeal also allowed suppliers to infuse slices of fruit such as apples with a variety of flavours including raspberry, elderflower, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel and bubblegum, without compromising colour or crispness, Agricoat said.
But do we think this is helpful or harmful to the quest to tempt children in to eating more fruit and veg? Perhaps our focus should be on encouraging children to enjoy fruit and veg for their own merits rather than disguising?
Bubblegum ice cream, bubblegum slush ...How about bubblegum-flavoured apples in a supermarket near you?— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) 12 March 2019
Agricoat NatureSeal is planning to introduce its edible coating product in the UK after unveiling the technology at the Casual Dining trade show.https://t.co/cxF3smuHQ5
Highlights from AHDB SmartHort Conference 2019
What needs to happen next to put agri-tech to use in fresh produce? The latest tech conference - SmartHort organised by the AHDB - heard a range of views from across the horticulture sector on what should be done to harness farm technology given the declining availability of manual labour.
The second day of the AHDB SmartHort conference featured practical efforts in the UK to automate fruit harvesting and the many challenges this presents. Robotics lecturer Dr Martin Stoelen leads the University of Plymouth’s Soft & Adaptive Robotics laboratory, which is working to apply variable stiffness robot arm technology to selective harvesting tasks in horticulture, focusing currently on raspberries and glasshouse tomatoes as well as field-grown cauliflower.
Agri-tech - the future of horticulture?— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) 12 March 2019
Vegetable growers face an increasing shortage of labour. The latest tech conference - SmartHort organised by the AHDB - heard a range of views on what should be done to harness farm technology.#agritechhttps://t.co/Ob6NKS9sZQ
Is automated fruit-picking coming soon?— TyfuCymru (@TyfuCymru) 15 March 2019
The second day of the AHDB SmartHort conference featured practical efforts in the UK to automate fruit harvesting and the many challenges this presents.https://t.co/DjPnXEJXgI