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    Posted 29 April 2002

    AROUND 100 delegates attended the Tesco Food and Farming Masterclass on organic food last week, and have made it the most successful event in the series to date.

    Harper Adams University College, near Newport, Shropshire, played host to the event, which boasted high calibre speakers such as Michael Paske, Vice President of the NFU and Carlo Leifert, Professor of Ecological Agriculture and Director of the Tesco Centre for Organic Agriculture at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Now organisers intend to take the seminar, titled Organic Food: Meeting The £1 Billion Challenge, on a tour of the UK and use regional organic seminars to give as many farmers as possible the opportunity to attend.

    Martin Hingley, Harper Adams' Senior Lecturer and Tesco Fellow organised the event and acted as Conference Chair. He said: "Both Tesco and Harper Adams have been pleased with the response to the Masterclass events and we would like to make this seminar easily accessible to farmers all over the country.

    "By repeating the organic food seminar, on at least three more dates over the coming months, we hope to spread a greater understanding of the challenges we all face to meet the growing demand for organic food in the UK."

    The event included presentations on developing an organic brand, by Leonie Smith, Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager for Tesco, and the growers' perspective, by William Rose, of Tio Ltd, a producer of organic root vegetables in Scotland.

    In addition, there were presentations from Richard Jacobs, Certification Manager with the Organic Farmers and Growers group, Murree Groom, Director of Research at Ecospray talked about the options for alternative crop protection in organic food production, while Oliver Dowding, Chair of the NFU Organic Committee, spoke about the role of the NFU.


    Notes to Editors:

    Picture Captions: 1: Martin Hingley, Harper Adams' Senior Lecturer and Tesco Teaching Fellow, welcomes Leonie Smith, Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager for Tesco.

    2: The speakers (L-R): Oliver Dowding, NFU, Richard Jacobs, Organic Farmers and Growers, Martin Hingley, Harper Adams, William Rose, Tio Ltd, Carlo Leifert, University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Murree Groom, Ecospray and Breckland International.

    Presentations: Electronic copies of the presentations given by Oliver Dowding, William Rose, Carlo Leifert and Murree Groom are available. To request a copy, please e-mail:

    Further Information: Please contact Martin Hingley on +44 (0) 1952 815 386 or e-mail:

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