October 13 & 14, Dublin

Ireland: Be inspired at this year’s CIH conference

At this year’s conference CIH have striven to attract speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and professions to give talks that appeal to all of their members.

Up on stage first on the Friday of the conference is Helen King, Helen has a background in economics and consumer marketing and is the Director of Insight and Innovation at Bord Bia, The Irish Food Board. Helen’s talk is titled ‘Future Trends- Planning for a healthy business’, and we can’t wait to hear what advice she has to give.

Representing the educational and research based areas of horticulture there are two highly qualified and esteemed experts, microbiologist Dr Fiona Crispie and biologist Dr Caroline Elliott Kingston. Fiona is a technologist at Teagasc and APC Microbiome institute, and will be delivering a talk based around the idea that ‘You are what you eat – The microbiome and health’, which fits in beautifully with this year’s focus on ‘healthy horticulture’.

Then there is Caroline who is currently a Lecturer and Assistant Professor in Horticulture and Crop Physiology at University College Dublin. This year Caroline will be focusing on climate change as she gives her presentation on ‘Plants for the future in a changed climate’ which is a topic she is very passionate about through her research into stomatal function in response to the changing climate.

Speaking as a successful family run businesses owner is Tom Keogh, Tom is Founder and Managing Director of Keogh’s, a snack food manufacturing and marketing company based in Dublin. In 2015 Tom was awarded both Irish Marketer of the year and Fingal Business Person of the year making him an inspiring business man as well as a talented grower. He will speak about ‘Growing a sustainable family business’.

Next up is James Simpson from the commercial growing sector, James is currently Managing Director at Adrian Scripps ltd, one of the UK’s largest fruit growers and will be presenting a talk on ‘English Top Fruit’. James comes from a West Country farming family, and is a great example of career progression within horticulture. Coming up through the ranks to become part of an impressive operation such as Adrian Scripps makes him an inspiration to anyone looking to see how they can develop within their careers.

From the amenity sector there is Director of Out There Services, Steven Thompson. Out There Services have become a market leader in the UK grounds maintenance and landscaping sector. They have a fantastic set of values one of which is ‘we see our role as being one of education and support because by empowering communities to become involved, the work we do now will be carried on in the future.’ Steven will present his talk ‘A healthy career in horticulture’.

Closing this year’s conference with the James Bruce Memorial Lecture is Caroline Keeling, CEO of Keelings. Keelings is a 100% Irish-owned family business which started producing fruits and salads on their farm in the 1930’s supplying produce to local Dublin markets and are now one of the top 100 fast moving consumer goods brands in Ireland. Caroline is Chair of Bord Bia’s Horticultural Board and a member of the Export Trade Council, as well as a prominent figure campaigning for jobs implementation in Ireland, supporting women for election and many more just causes. Caroline is a well-respected figure within the horticultural industry, and beyond. She'll be speaking this year about ‘Growing with passion to meet consumer needs’.

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