Blue Skies partners University of Northampton to find the Future of Fruit

Students from the University of Northampton’s Faculty for Business and Law (FBL) are to pitch their ideas for products that could help a locally based fruit business meet the needs of the future.

The FBL Challenge has been devised by the University in partnership with Northamptonshire based fruit company, Blue Skies, which produces prepared fruit salads, fresh juices and ice-cream from facilities in the UK, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

The initiative challenges students to come up with innovative products and solutions that are designed to address a series of future scenarios put forward by Blue Skies. The scenarios include predictions on social, environmental, political, economic and technological changes that could affect the world in 2025.

Blue Skies Chairman and Founder, Anthony Pile, said “We’re in the business of preparing fresh fruit products in Africa and South America, and then rushing these to consumers from farm to store, often within just a few days. Our business employs over 4,000 people and is seen as a model for development in countries like Ghana and Senegal, where we do a huge amount for the local community. However, in a rapidly changing, globalised world, we need to always be alert to situations that can affect us including political instability, climate change, consumer behaviour and government legislation. The FBL Challenge is a wonderful initiative as it encourages the next generation to help us find the solutions that will enable us to thrive in the future, whilst providing them with a real-world experience that will help them in their future careers”

Dr Ebenezer Laryea, a Lecturer in Law at the University of Northampton said “The Faculty of Business and Law is proud to partner with Blue Skies in organising this event. This competition gives our students the opportunity to exhibit their skills of creativity and innovation by applying their knowledge to complex commercial situations – a true demonstration of the cornerstone of a Northampton degree.”

Seven finalists will pitch their ideas on the 7th of February at the University of Northampton. A number of prizes are up for grabs for the winning team, including laptops provided by Blue Skies and with free IT set-up and support offered as part of the prize by Northampton based BTS (UK), and the opportunity for the students to further engage with Blue Skies.

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