Awards help to open new doors

Last month's HTA National Plant Show couldn't have kicked off the trade show season better.

As Peter Seabrook notes opposite, the quality and range of plants was excellent, with grower exhibitors buoyed by the season's strong steady sales - a trend showing little sign of trailing off as summer holidays beckoned.

Thank you to everyone who took time out to talk to the Horticulture Week team about entering the newly launched UK Grower Awards 2016. In two weeks it will be the turn of fruit growers to gather at the annual Fruit Focus show, where once again we will be welcoming attendees to the Horticulture Week marquee, launch venue for the 2016 UK Grower Awards fruit categories.

It was at Fruit Focus last year that farming minister George Eustice launched an expanded set of fruit awards that will be featuring again this year, including prizes for growers of cider apples, vines and specialist fruit crops. We look forward to answering your questions on these and any other aspects of the awards at East Malling on 22 July.

John Thatcher, chairman of Thatcher's Cider, the recipient of the first cider growers' award and overall fruit category award, had this to say about winning: "When we talk to our customers about our innovation in the orchards, it demonstrates that our focus is on producing the highest-quality apples to make into the highest-quality cider. With the UK Grower Awards to back this up, it's not just us talking, it's the view of the industry too, helping open new doors and demonstrating an independent endorsement of our approach by our peers."

Finally, don't forget that we have just announced complementary entry for growers of ornamental, fruit and vegetable crops who are members of associations representing commercial growers. See you at the next show.


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