Wanted: Your entries for the UK Grower Awards 2014

Welcome to the UK Grower Awards 2014 which this year has as its theme, celebrating the best of British horticulture. The UK Grower Awards is the highlight of the production horticulture year, giving professionals the chance to showcase their achievements, reward the efforts of staff and ensure potential customers know just how good they are.

At Horticulture Week, we meet many growers who would love to enter the UK Grower Awards, but thanks to the many pressures on their time, have struggled in past years to put together an entry. And for those who have managed to find the time, there is always the fear that if they fail to reach the shortlist, they have lost precious hours and energy.

So this year we have made some significant changes to the entry process, making it easier than ever for even the smallest businesses to take part.

First, businesses no longer need to submit a detailed written entry summary right at the start of the process. To enter, firms just need to answer the questions in the entry form (see opposite page), and to supply one testimonial in support of their entry from a customer or other professional colleague in their sector.

These "first stage" entries will then be forwarded to our judging panel, which will select a shortlist for each category. Only those entrants who are shortlisted will then be asked by the UK Grower Awards manager to supply more detailed information and images in support of their entry. A second round of judging will then select the winning entries from the shortlist for each category.

Second, in recognition of the incredibly challenging growing and market conditions that have affected many in the UK production horticulture industry during 2012 and the early part of 2013, we are offering free entry this year to everyone who enters the UK Grower Awards.

This is our way of thanking you for the incredible support and participation the Awards have enjoyed from the industry in the eight years they have been run by Horticulture Week.

Good luck from all of us at Horticulture Week.

Kate Lowe, Editor.

To go straight to the entry form, click HERE.

CATEGORY CRITERIA

Edibles categories

Best New Variety: Top/Soft Fruit;
Best New Variety: Vegetable/Salad

Awarded for the new variety that most effectively demonstrates excellence in its intended attributes. These could include, but are not limited to, taste, pest/disease resistance, weather tolerance, retail/consumer appeal, ease of cultivation, potential to extend the season and so on.

Vegetable Grower of the Year;
Top Fruit Grower of the Year;
Soft Fruit Grower of the Year;
Salads Grower of the Year

Awarded to the grower that most impresses the judges by demonstrating continuous achievement in one or more areas, such as customer satisfaction, innovation, cost control, crop hygiene, product range, growth, product quality, systems, staff motivation, use of technology and so on.

Ornamentals categories

Best New Variety: Bedding & Pot Plant
Best New Variety: Hardy Nursery Stock;
Best new Variety: Herbaceous Perennials

Awarded to the new plant that most effectively demonstrates excellence in its intended attributes. These could include, but are not limited to, flower longevity, pest/disease resistance, enhanced habit, enhanced colour, retail or landscape appeal, customer need, ease of cultivation, ease of maintenance and so on.

Protected Ornamentals Grower of the Year
Nursery Stock Grower of the Year
Awarded to the grower that most impresses the judges by demonstrating continuous achievement in one or more areas, such as customer satisfaction, innovation, cost control, plant hygiene, use of technology/equipment, growth, product range, product quality, systems, staff motivation/retention and so on.

Overall categories

New Category - Best Exporter
Awarded to the grower, co-operative or group that most impresses the judges by demonstrating continuous achievement in international trade. You must also show your business has achieved significant growth in overseas sales.

Best Consumer Marketing Campaign
Awarded to the individual business, representative or trade organisation which demonstrates the most innovative consumer marketing campaign. This could be a marketing or promotional campaign for the individual business and/or its product or services, or a marketing or promotional campaign for the sector.

Best Business Innovation
Awarded to the grower which can demonstrate the most effective approach to exploiting new opportunities or dealing with challenges in any aspect of their business

Best Professional Product or Service
Awarded to the product or service introduced in the past 24 months which has the capacity to enhance the operations of its customers. Entrants should be able to demonstrate quantifiable results for the product, whether in terms of performance in customer trials or in orders and sales.

Top Sales or Marketing Professional
Awarded to the individual working in a sales role who has made the most impressive contribution to their organisation. In addition to demonstrating expertise and flair within their specialist function, individuals should also demonstrate excellence in areas such as market and customer knowledge.

New Category - Best Training Initiative
Awarded to individual, grower, business or sector-wide scheme that has made the most impressive contribution to the individual or the sector in terms of boosting skills and knowledge.

New Category - Best Environmental Initiative
Awarded to an individual, grower, business or sector-wide scheme that has made the most impressive contribution to either the individual business or sector in terms of environmental benefits.

Young Grower of the Year
Awarded to the grower (under 35) who has made the most significant contribution to their business or sector within the past few years.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded to the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to production horticulture, or any sector within it.


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