IoD Kent County Show Breakfast 2022

The IoD had the pleasure of once again hosting the business breakfast on the opening day of the Kent County Show. Here is our Kent Chair’s take on the breakfast this year…

On Friday 8th July the Institute of Directors (IoD) Kent Branch hosted the launch breakfast, the first event of the 2022 Kent County Show, on the subject of ‘the future of farming’. The IoD supports all business Directors and in Kent we recognise the importance of the agriculture sector and so are particularly keen to support Directors engaged in it. The importance of food security to the UK has recently been brought home to us all and it provided an excellent back- ground to the event.

Over a delicious cooked breakfast the fifty or so delegates heard from Tim Chambers owner and manager of WB Chambers Farms about the challenges and future for farming in Kent and from Derek Murphy Kent County Council (KCC) Cabinet member for economic development about the KCC development strategy, particularly how it relates to farming.

The excellent presentations were warmly received and prompted a lively panel discussion. The panellists were drawn from across the agriculture and horticulture sectors and its wider supply chain; Susie Warren-Smith Chair of Locate in Kent, Paul Knights owner of fruit and vegetable exporters Produce Plus, William White NFU South East Regional director and the speakers Tim Chambers and Derek Murphy.

Key themes that came out from the questions and panel discussion were:

  • The need for everyone in the sector to work closely together. Rebecca Smith from Growing Kent & Medway explained that her organisation had been awarded £18m of government funding to strengthen the competitiveness of Kent’s horticulture, food and drink industries by bringing together the world class Kent businesses with the excellent Kent research and development organisations.
  • Ideas on how  to raise the profile of the sector and make it an attractive career for young people to follow.
  • Forward thinking on robotics and automation
  • Sustainability issues and the journey to net carbon zero

A huge thank you to Julian Barnes chair of Kent County Agricultural Society for enabling us to host the event and to our sponsors Gavin Cleary from Locate in Kent and William White from NFU South East Region. Finally a huge thanks to our speakers, who gave their valuable time to support the Argicultral sector within Kent.

If you would like to know more about the IoD and how they can help you please get in touch with Jeanine Oberholzer, IoD Kent Branch Manager.

Best wishes,

Nigel Earnshaw

Kent branch Chair

The Panel - Paul Knights, Tim Chambers, Sue Warran-Smith, Derek Murphy and William White

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The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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