HRH, The Countess of Wessex to Introduce Speakers at Retail Seminars

Posted: 19th May 2010

HRH, The Countess of Wessex to Introduce Speakers at Retail Seminars
The Royal Bath & West Show, 2-5 June 2010

As the demand for locally sourced food continues to grow, The Countess of Wessex, the new President of the Royal Bath & West Show, is set to introduce speakers at a series of retail seminars at this year's Show, aimed to build stronger links between farmers and supermarkets.

The three seminars, due to be held on the 2, 3 and 4 June at the Royal Bath & West Show near Shepton Mallet in Somerset, will include speakers from Marks and Spencer, The Co-operative and J Sainsbury's who will address the challenges that both food producers and major retailers will have to face together in the future. Local farmers and food producers will also have the opportunity to learn from best practice case studies illustrating positive examples of cohesion in the food chain and will receive advice on how to become suppliers to some of the country's best known supermarkets.

On Wednesday 2 June, Marks & Spencer will be talking with a number of their existing farmers about "Farming for the Future", looking at how they work with current farmers and growers and the scope for future suppliers. This will also encompass the role of "Plan A", M&S ethical and eco plan, explaining how the plan influences the way in which they work with their suppliers and the M&S business overall.

On Thursday 3 June, The Co-operative will be bringing along some of their own farmers to help give attendees an understanding of how they can best market their products and possibly consider producing their products using a Co-operative model.

On Friday 4 June, J Sainsbury's will be discussing "Sustainable Supply Chains" - the challenges of food security, climate change and market volatility means that J Sainsbury's needs to further fortify its sustainable supply chains to meet the expectations of their 19m customers per week for a secure supply of wholesome, safe and humanely produced food.

Bath & West Chief Executive Dr Jane Guise said: "As the demand for locally sourced produce continues to grow and local food sales across the country remain strong, there is a real opportunity for both farmers and retailers to work more closely for mutual benefit.
"This is one of several initiatives to remind both Bath & West of England Society members and visitors to the Show that ours is a serious business, and the Countess of Wessex's seminars do much to promote what goes on behind the scenes at the Society: encouraging rural business to thrive."
The seminars, which will be held at the Bath and West Theatre located within the Royal Bath and West Showground, will last for an hour and will include a question and answer session.

Locally sourced refreshments will be provided by the supermarkets.

Farmers, food producers and retailers interested in attending the seminars must RSVP to Christine Elliott by Monday 24th May by email and include a full name, address and telephone number, or phone 07771373069. Places are limited.

The first 100 applications for each day will receive one free ticket per household to the show.
For further events and information visit


For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Thurston or Kathryn Williams at JBP:
• or call 0117 907 3400
• or call 0117 907 3400

Ticket pricing for the 2010 Bath & West Show
To book tickets, go to or call 01749 822222
Advance tickets
• £17 per adult ticket
• Up to three children under 15yrs go free per adult ticket
Gate prices
• £20 per adult
• £6 per child under 15 years

About the Royal Bath & West of England Society
The Society was founded in 1777 in Bath by a group of philanthropists led by Edmund Rack. A registered charity organisation (Registered Charity Number 1039397), the Society was formed with the aims of encouraging agriculture, arts, manufacture and commerce. Charitable activities provide:
• Agriculture, veterinary, educational and art scholarships.
• Technical events and Seminars
• Practical farming advice and conferences
• Countryside Education
• Diversification advice for farmers
• Education for children
• A market place for countryside products
• Plus all the events run by the Society and the Bath & West Trading Company
As the Society approaches its 233rd year it continues to deliver a wonderful mix of established traditional exhibits through to the latest energy technology and contemporary entertainment.