UK production industry hails its stars as winners of UK Grower Awards 2016 revealed

The stars of the UK's production industry were revealed last night with 24 outstanding businesses and individuals picking up awards at this year's prestigious UK Grower Awards 2016 presentation, hosted by Horticulture Week.

Bransford Webbs Plant Company picks up Ornamentals Grower of the Year sponsored by Levington Advanced Solutions
Bransford Webbs Plant Company picks up Ornamentals Grower of the Year sponsored by Levington Advanced Solutions

Shortlisted entrants and industry figures from across all sectors of UK crop production gathered at London's Grand Connaught Rooms, to see winners of this year's awards receive their trophies.

The big winners on the night included berry grower AJ and CI Snell, which followed up its win in the Soft Fruit Grower of the Year category by scooping the overall award for the best grower selected from all the edible crop category winners.

Likewise Bransford Webbs Plant Company, which won its category for Nursery Stock Grower of the Year, took the overall award for Ornamental Grower of the Year selected from all ornamental category winners. Bransford Webbs will now be nominated for the International Grower of the Year contest by the NFU.

Lovania Nurseries scooped best protected ornamentals grower and an award for its production manager, Jonathan Marquis.

Abbey View Produce's Brian Hibberd was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Steve Rothwell of Vitacress picked up the award for Contribution to the Industry. Young Grower of the Year went to James Lacey of L&D Flowers.

HW editor Kate Lowe opened the event, which was generously supported by the following industry sponsors: AG Recruitment & Management, Cocogreen, De Lacy Executive, the HTA, ICL Lallemand, Jiffy, Levington Advance Solutions, New Spitalfields Market, the NFU, Rijk Zwaan and Vitax Grower.

Commenting on the changes seen in the 10 years that Horticulture Week has hosted the competition, she said it was striking that among today's entrants, "constant innovation and continual improvement are now the norm amongst the best in this sector". 

Judges for this year were British Grower Association chief executive Jack Ward, independent nursery stock consultant John Adlam, AB Agronomy joint managing director Andy Richardson, AHDB Horticulture fruit expert Andrew Tinsley, Stockbridge Technology Centre's Graham Ward and garden industry adviser Neville Stein.

For a full write-up on each of the 24 award winners, and details of all those shortlisted and receiving high commendations, see the 4 March edition of HW magazine.

The Winners: 

  • Ornamental Crop Grower of the Year: Bransford Webbs Plant Company
  • Edible Crop Grower of the Year: AJ & CI Snell
  • Best Business Innovation: Majestic Trees for My Majestic Professional
  • Best Environmental Initiative: Vitacress for Environment Week
  • Nursery Stock Grower of the Year: Bransford Webbs Plant Company
  • Salad Grower of the Year: Home Harvest Salads
  • Protected Ornamental Grower of the Year: Lovania Nurseries
  • Soft-Fruit Grower of the Year: AJ & CI Snell
  • Top/Stone-Fruit Grower of the Year: Mack and Charles Highwood
  • Potato Grower of the Year: LF Papworth
  • Specialist Fruit Grower of the Year: Guardtop for Aronia Berry Plantation
  • Specialist Ornamental Grower of the Year: M&R Morton for Sweet Peas
  • Vegetable Grower of the Year: Freshgro
  • Best New Variety (bedding and pot plant): Plants for Europe for Salvia 'Love & Wishes'
  • Best New Variety (hardy nursery stock): Thompson & Morgan for Buddleja 'Buzz Indigo'
  • Best New Variety (fruit): East Malling Research for 'Malling Centenary' strawberry
  • Best New Variety (vegetable/salad): Branston for Inca Bella
  • Best Professional Product or Service: CocoGreen for H2CoCo
  • Young Grower of the Year: James Lacey, L&D Flowers
  • Lifetime Achievement: Brian Hibberd, Abbey View Produce
  • Contribution to Industry: Steve Rothwell, Vitacress
  • Top Sales/Marketing Professional: Mike Gibbon, sales manager, Berry Gardens
  • Agronomist of the Year: John Sedgwick, Produce World Group
  • Best Production Manager: Jonathan Marquis, Lovania Nurseries

High commendations went to Red Roofs Nursery, Guardtop, Majestic Trees, Thompson & Morgan, Produce World Group and Lovania Nurseries.

 

 


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