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Peter Hill
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Peter Hill

IFAJ Congress 2014 - a Guild triumph!

Published on 6th October 2014

It took a huge amount of detailed planning and preparation but hosting more than 200 agri and rural journalists from around the World to showcase innovation in British agricultural, food and drink production was nothing less than a triumph.

IFAJ Congress 2014

From pre-Congress in London and the south-east, through the main Congress in Scotland, and on to the post-Congress tours in the Midlands and Wales, journalists and broadcasters were informed and entertained in the most professional way possible, while enjoying the best of British regional food and drink.

Various elements of the Congress are reported in News - search IFAJ Congress 2014. For more great images and feedback from the event, visit:

The IFAJ Congress 2014 website

Congress Facebook page

Post-Congress Facebook page

Chuck Zimmerman's AgWired Flickr page

Congress Flickr page

The main objectives of the event were to bring together journalists, broadcasters and PR professionals from around the world for the ultimate networking opportunity; to project the innovative nature of British agriculture, agri-science and rural enterprise; and to illustrate Britain's top-class food and drink industry through some memorable meals.

All Members and Friends of the Guild who made a contribution to the event - however large or small - played a part in delivering those objectives to an exceptional standard.

IFAJ Congress 2014

Among the highlights were:

A meeting for pre-Congress delegates with farm minister George Eustace at Westminster Palace.

Dinner in the City of London with representatives of the historical Livery Companies.

A buck shot that morning being prepared for the butcher in the open air by the Finzean Estate gamekeeper.

Pipes and Drums performing at Aberdeen City Council's welcome dinner.

NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller's entertaining review of Scottish agriculture during the Congress conference session.

Journalists and broadcasters trying to understand farmers with strong north-east accents they interviewed around the sale ring at Thainstone Mart.

Tasting a new chocolate bar and haggis-flavoured crisps at Mackies of Scotland.

Endless drams of Scotch whisky - some at 10am after a hard night.....

The world's agri media getting to grips with traditional Scottish dancing at a Ceilidh in memory of Joe Watson.

Flying kilts, masses of tartan and delegates in various forms of national dress being entertained by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers at the closing Gala Dinner.

A surprise visit to the Prince of Wales’ private gardens at Highgrove, at the invitation of the Prince.

Picnicking in the sunshine on home-cooked Welsh ‘Oggies’ on the top of the Cambrian mountains.

Dining to the sounds of Welsh harps, described by one delegate as somewhat more melodic than bagpipes!

Breakfast with the NFU President and the AHDB Chairman who both gave a positive take on the future of British farming.

Pimms served on the post-Congress coach - how very civilised!

IFAJ Congress 2014

To help delegates make the most of a very busy schedule - coaches left the Congress hotels a 6.30am for some of the tours - three comprehensive guides were published containing masses of information about the places they would visit and people they would meet:

Pre-Congress Guide

Congress Tours Guide

Congress Innovations

Post-Congress Guide

These publications alone illustrate the vision and attention to detail that went into staging an enormously successful event that reflects well on the British Guild and its members.

Peter Hill

Inspired to attend an IFAJ Congress? The next three are being held in New Zealand, Germany and South Africa. More details on the IFAJ Congress web page.

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