Whetman Pinks has been short-listed for the International Grower of the Year 2013. The news follows its success at the Horticulture Week-run Grower of the Year awards in March where it took the overall ornamentals award.
Whetman Pinks was nominated by event sponsor, the NFU, to go forward to the international competition after winning several awards at the UK Grower of the Year event.
The winner will be announced next month at an event in Niagara Falls, Canada, organised by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
MD Carolyn Bourne said: "Naturally everyone on the nursery is thrilled to receive the NFU’s nomination after winning the Grower of the Year Award. It is a great honour to be acknowledged for demonstrating good business practice, investment in staff, equipment and development of new varieties of Dianthus.
"We have experienced such highs and lows over the past 18 months – the worry and frustration that two cold wet springs have wrought on the industry, contrasting with the euphoria of winning several awards, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding contribution to International Trade. We very much hope we can bring home the honours for the UK at the International Grower of the Year."
NFU horticulture adviser Chris Hartfield said: "It is always a pleasure for the NFU to be able to put forward a UK nominee for this international competition. We are absolutely delighted that Whetman Pinks have now got through to the final four. The NFU often states that British growers are world class – this demonstrates that and we wish Whetman Pinks every success in next month’s final."
The shortlist will be judged by an expert jury from across the world who will assess the candidates. The winner will receive a golden rose trophy and runners-up will receive silver and bronze roses respectively.
AIPH secretary general Tim Briercliffe said: "This award is given to the best of the best from around the world. The standard of entries goes up all the time and each year the award demonstrates the outstanding professionalism and integrity shown by the worlds’ leading nurseries."
The gala awards dinner is hosted this year by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and Landscape Ontario.
The short-listed candidates are Belgium’s Romberama, in Leiweg, Loenhout, The Netherlands’ Sion, in de Lier and Canada’s Sheridan Nurseries, in Georgetown, Ontario.
The AIPH Annual Congress 2013 takes place at the Doubletree Falls View Hotel in Niagara Falls from 8-12 September.