Run by Horticulture Week, the industry's leading provider of professional news and information services, and in association with event sponsors Asda and the NFU, this year's awards will highlight the achievements of businesses and professionals from across the sector over the past 18 months.
Those past 18 months have brought significant challenges for many UK growers who have battled a year of exceptionally difficult weather, resulting in tough growing conditions. But as always, the UK production horticulture industry has shown incredible resilience, making the best of those difficult circumstances.
That spirit of resilience is one that never fails to shine through in the submissions to the Grower of the Year Awards, as the determination of businesses and individuals to succeed in the face of often significant challenges is recognised industry-wide by their peers.
There has never been a better time to enter these awards, whether to highlight the huge effort, hard work and achievement of staff in the past 18 months, to draw customers' attention to goals met and standards achieved, to reward innovation and technical excellence or simply to celebrate the hard-won respect that a business or individual has earned.
Businesses of all sizes are strongly encouraged to enter the awards - what matters most is not how big you are, but what you have achieved with the resources you have and given the challenges you have faced.
Winners will be announced at a glittering awards event at the Lancaster London Hotel to be held on 20th March, in front of their peers from production horticulture. This not-to-be missed event is recognised as the leading networking event of the year for the UK production horticulture industry.
See www.groweroftheyearawards.co.uk for full information.
It's easy to enter
Growers of ornamental and edible crops, breeders, marketing companies, growers' representatives, and suppliers of products and services to the growing community are all welcome to enter for work carried out between 1 May 2011 to 31 October 2012.*
To enter, either log on to www.groweroftheyear.co.uk where you can enter online or download a copy of the entry kit to submit by post. Alternatively, email awards manager Mel Sawbridge at melanie. email@example.com for a hard copy or call 020 8267 4161.
Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to enter this year's awards, which will be judged by a panel of distinguished experts drawn from across all sectors of production horticulture and chaired by HW editor Kate Lowe.
NEW: The deadline for entries has been extended to 23rd November
Once you have your entry kit you will need to:
Write an summary of up to 600 words outlining the nature of your achievement in the 18-month period under consideration, and why you should be considered for an award.* Please include:
1. What your goals were;
2. What you did to achieve those goals;
3. Examples of achievements that meet the criteria for the award you are entering;
Include up to six colour photographs;
Provide relevant supporting material.
Entries should be sent to:
By post: Melanie Sawbridge, Grower of the Year Awards 2013, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hints and tips -
- Size doesn't matter - Do remember the judges are not concerned with how large or small a grower business is. What they are looking for is what that business has done with the resources it has available and the challenges it has faced in the past 18 months.
- Colour is best - Do send colour photographs illustrating your achievements. Colour will tell your story better.
- Be selective - Do pick out your best testimonials - these should be from customers and peers in the industry rather than suppliers to your business.
- Challenges count - Don't forget problems overcome often add up to the best achievements.
- Limit the history - The judges will primarily be looking for evidence of achievement in the past 18 months.
*There are two exceptions to this: New Variety of the Year (edibles) and Best New Variety (ornamentals) where the award will be made for a new variety introduced to the market between 1 May 2011 and 31 October 2012.
Best New Variety
Vegetable Grower of the Year
Top Fruit Grower of the Year
Salads Grower of the Year
Soft Fruit Grower of the Year
Organic Grower of the Year
Grower of the Year Edibles
(This category cannot be entered. Chosen from all edible category winners)
Best New Variety - Bedding Plants
Best New Variety - Hardy Nursery Stock
Best New Variety - Herbaceous Perennials
Nursery Stock Grower of the Year
Protected Ornamentals Grower of the Year
Nursery Stock Grower of the Year
Grower of the Year Ornamentals
(This category cannot be entered. Chosen from all ornamentals category winners)
Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year
Trade Marketing Campaign of the Year
Business Innovation of the Year
New Professional Product or Service of the Year
Support Professional of the Year
Young Grower of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award.
HEAR FROM OUR WINNERS IN 2012
Lovania Nurseries - Grower of the Year Ornamentals
Sales manager Lee Chambers said: "We are delighted to have won this award; it further enhances our brand and product within the industry and raises the profile of the company."
Meiosis - Best New Variety - Edibles for its Vibrant early strawberry
Trials manager Sarah Troop said: "Winning was marvellous for us. We haven't entered a variety before, but this will set Vibrant apart from other varieties and help with marketing it overseas."
JA Collison & Sons - Protected Ornamentals Grower of the Year
Partner Philip Collison said: "The award is recognition of hard work, and it's very good for our staff. They like to think that they are working for a forward-looking operation."
Vicarage Nurseries - Soft Fruit Grower of the Year
Partner Bal Padda said: "We can put the label on the pack and it's great for customer relations."