Show axed as dealers stay away

THE Royal Smithfield Show - British agriculture's winter showcase event which has been staged in London for more than two centuries - has been axed.Organisers of this year's event, due to take place from November 20 to December 2, have cancelled as a result of poor bookings from machinery exhibitors.

THE Royal Smithfield Show - British agriculture's winter showcase event which has been staged in London for more than two centuries - has been axed.

Organisers of this year's event, due to take place from November 20 to December 2, have cancelled as a result of poor bookings from machinery exhibitors.

“We have taken this decision based on feedback we have received from the industry," said Jake Vowles, director general of the Agricultural Engineers Association, which is co-owner of the Smithfield Show together with the Royal Smithfield Club.

“It takes many months for exhibitors, as well as organisers, to plan a major event such as Smithfield, so once it became clear that the industry was no longer prepared to support a London-based event, we felt it was appropriate to take the sensible decision to cancel.


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“We wanted to give those who had chosen to support the event plenty of time to make alternative plans,” he added.

The reluctance of machinery manufacturers to support the Smithfield reflects the hard-pressed state of the agricultural industry in general, with farmers unable or unwilling to invest in new machinery unless absolutely necessary.

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However, the loss of the show's competitive livestock and carcase classes will be keenly felt by livestock producers and some alternative event may emerge.

William Cumber, deputy president of the Royal Smithfield Club, added: “It is very sad that a show that has run as long as the Smithfield Show is not continuing to receive the support of the industry.

“The supreme primestock championships have been a well-loved and popular feature of the Smithfield Show and will be sorely missed on the winter fair calendar. The Royal Smithfield Club will be working very hard to find other ways to promote primestock championships.”

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