AHDB seeks to fill crop sector panel gaps

AHDB Horticulture is calling on levy payers to stand for crop sector panels in the annual election process.

The purpose of the panels is to ensure all activities AHDB Horticulture funds are prioritised, in line with strategic aims and of value to and supported by growers and their crop associations.

There are 18 vacancies on five panels across field vegetables, hardy nursery stock, protected edibles and mushrooms, soft fruit and protected ornamentals, bulbs and outdoor flowers.

AHDB horticulture strategy director Steve Tones said: "This is your opportunity to help shape how AHDB responds to the challenges facing your sector.

"Panel members will be at the forefront of cutting-edge thinking in a rapidly developing field of science and technology. You can raise the profile of your sector and help shape specific projects to achieve maximum impact."

Levy-paying growers or their technical staff are being asked to stand for election to support the delivery of targeted and practical results for the industry. Applicants must be endorsed by at least two other levy paying growers to be eligible for consideration.

AHDB horticulture chair Gary Taylor said: "The panels are as relevant now as they have always been as a way for AHDB to engage with the industry about what its priorities should be.

"It’s vital that the panels represent the full spectrum of the industry, as panel members are responsible for ensuring the interests of all growers in the sector are taken into account."

Visit horticulture.ahdb.org.uk/panel to apply by 10 October.

Below are the names of panel members including historical gaps in our panels that need filling. These are vacancies linked to normal turnover of representatives linked to the three year term for the role.

AHDB said: "It is important to note that AHDB Horticulture appreciates their time and effort which keeps the programme of activity as relevant as possible to industry needs.


Neil Cairns                    Speciality veg crops (cucurbits/asparagus/radish)

Christopher Ashby         Vegetable propagation

New role                       Field-grown leafy salads


David James                 Clematis and climbers

Bob Hollister                 Hardy Ferns

Pete Bingham               Heathers


Geoffrey Smith             Lettuce/celery

James Bean                  Propagator (edible and non-edible crops)

Phillip Pearson              Tomatoes

VACANT                       Tomatoes

VACANT                       Peppers, cucumbers, aubergines and tomatoes


Russell Woodcock         Bedding plants (pack and pot grown)

Mike Smith                   Bedding plants (pack and pot grown)

Ian Lavelle                   Bedding plants (pack and pot grown)


Seth Walpole                General soft fruit production & propagation

Richard Stanley             PYO grower

Sandy Booth                 General soft fruit production

Roger Vogels                Soft fruit production - West Midlands

Lindsay Hulme              General soft fruit production

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