Production horticulture leaders gather in London for tonight's UK Grower Awards "networking event of the year"

Representatives from the UK's leading production horticulture businesses will gather in central London later today to hear the results of the 2014 UK Grower Awards announced at a glittering dinner and presentation to be held at the prestigious Connaught Rooms.

Firms shortlisted for this year’s Awards which have become the networking event of the year were selected from a bumper crop of entries from businesses and individuals around the UK - nearly 50 per cent more entries were received this year compared with the previous year.

Categories include Business Innovation of the Year, Vegetable Grower of the Year, Top-Fruit Grower of the Year, Nursery Stock Grower of the Year, Salads Grower of the Year, Soft-Fruit Grower of the Year, Protected Ornamentals Grower of the Year, Environmental Initiative of the Year, Best New Variety, Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year, Best Professional Product or Service, Young Grower of the Year, Top Sales or Marketing Professional and Exporter of the Year.

Once the winners of all categories have been announced, it will be time to reveal the winners of the overall Grower of the Year Award for Edibles and the overall Grower of the Year Award for Ornamentals. These Gold Award winners are chosen from the night’s category winners.

The winner of the Gold Award for Ornamentals will be put forward by event sponsor NFU for the 2014 AIPH International Grower of the Year. If they are selected as one of the top five nominees in the world, they will be sponsored to attend this year's contest final, which will be held this September in Qingdao, China.   In 2011 UK Grower Awards winner Majestic Trees picked up the silver medal in China after being put forward by the NFU, and in 2010 UK Grower Awards winner Hillier Nurseries took gold in South Korea.

This year’s independent panel of expert judges included: Stockbridge Technology Centre’s chief executive Graham Ward, nursery stock crop consultant John Adlam, British Growers Association commercial manager Tim Mudge, garden industry consultant Neville Stein, nursery stock consultant Andrew Hewson and independent crop consultant Derek Hargreaves.

Sponsors of this year’s UK Grower Awards include: Agrovista, Asda, Botanicoir, HTA, Kubota, Modiform, MorePeople, New Spitalfields Market, NFU, Quinton Edwards, Rijk Zwaan, Sharpak and XL Horticulture.

In contention for this evening's UK Grower Awards 2014 are:

    AC Goatham & Son
    Architectural Plants
    Ball Colegrave
    Barcham Trees
    Barnsfold Nurseries
    Bedfordshire Growers
    Blackmoor Nurseries
    Boningale Nurseries
    British Tomato Growers Association
    Chessum Plants
    Chrysal UK
    Corkers Crisps
    DJ Moor
    East Coast Growers
    East Malling Research
    Early Plants
    James Coles & Sons (Nurseries)
    LF Papworth
    Lovania Nurseries
    Lettuce Flowers
    Majestic Trees
    Merlin Growers
    Produce World Group
    Rijk Zwaan UK
    Thompson & Morgan
    UK Salads
    Vicarage Nurseries
    Viking Nurseries
    VHB Herbs
    Laura Marner, VHB Herbs
    Carolyn Coxe, Produce World
    Gabor Lukoviczki, Lovania
    George Nobrega, Lovania
    Andrew Austin, Majestic Trees
    Rick McKeever, Lovania

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