1. The inaugural Fresh Careers Fair took place today (10 March) at the Kia Oval in south London.
  2. It aimed to match students and graduates with employers in the fresh produce industry, including suppliers, caterers, wholesalers and further education institutions.
  3. Companies including exhibitor Thanet Earth were on hand to explain the opportunities available to young people across the sector, from growing through to marketing.
  4. It's important for employers to do the legwork with universities and colleges to reach young people, according to G's Fresh management scheme co-ordinator Megan Pollexfen, another exhibitor at the fair.
  5. Last week, FPJ features editor Nina Pullman visited the Jersey Royal Company (JRC) to hear about the changes at the company since Produce Investments' takeover.
  6. The company has recently invested around £2 million in new packing systems, a water chilling system and a mechanical planter.
  7. Jersey Royals are still primarily planted by hand, although JRC uses a new mechanical planter to help increase density of planting in a small number of fields later on in the season.
  8. Seasonal labour at JRC is typically Polish or Portuguese, with many workers returning year on year and taking on management positions.
  9. Jersey Royals are seeing steady sales, according to JRC managing director David Rankin, so future growth will come from improvement in growing systems.
  10. Northern Irish produce firm Unimush is aiming to expand sales in Britain and Ireland following its listing as one of UK’s ‘Most Inspiring Companies’ by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group.
  11. Celery promotional campaign Love the Crunch was spotted at London’s Kings Cross station this week offering samples and vouchers to busy commuters.
  12. Asparagus and soft-fruit specialist Global Plant Genetics recently hosted a study tour to northern Spain for UK asparagus growers to see new varieties in the field.
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