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The English Apple Man


24th Feb 2017 - Capetown - here we come....

2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Under 40's Conference and takes place in the Southern Hemisphere for the very first time.....

On Sunday 26th February at 5.35pm fifty five Under 40 delegates fly out of Heathrow on a BA Flight for Capetown....



At 7.40am on Monday 27th we land and head for our first visit to Zetlers Strawberry growers......


The U40's biennial Conference depends on the generosity of the sponsors; without their support it would be impossible to organise at an 'affordable' cost for the young people who are so important to the future of our fruit industry.



On the opening day of the Conference, sponsors traveling with the delegates are invited to make presentations to the Under 40's.


The list of 'lead sponsors' and their representatives 'presenting' are listed below.


- Certis - Selchuk Kurtev

- Phoenix Media Network - Briony Dunmore

- ICL - Scott Garnett

- Landseer - Mark Tully

- Koppert- Jasper Hubert

- A.C.Goatham - Peter Bukowski

- Mudwalls - George Beach

- Lallemand - Andrew Gough

- Barclays - Roxanne Martin

- Haynes - Sam Down

- Hortech - Hamish Light

- Lyca Mobile - Eugene Popa

- Agro-vista - Tom Johnson & Jane Antrobus


In addition to the sponsors listed, further support has been given by many more sponsors...



Since agreeing to take responsibility for the Under 40's 2017 Conference, the committee have been working hard to ensure a successful event. This, the 50th Anniversary Conference (the first was in 1967) Chairman Charlie Dunn and his committee have 'broken new ground' by organising the first U40's Conference to be held in The Southern Hemisphere.


Below: Paul Hamlyn Jane Antrobus Verity Garrett Charlie Dunn Estera Amesz Chris Levett



Below: a message from Charlie and the U40's Committee...


It's our Birthday!! - The under 40's is 50 this year!


The Under 40's was set up in 1967 and has developed over the years as a networking group for young people in the fruit growing industry. It still lives by the 4 objectives that it was set up to achieve:


- be an effective forum for debate and new ideas

- provide an opportunity to learn more about other sectors of the industry, fresh innovations and the potential of best practice

- learn about production systems abroad and in context

- build social and professional networks to help combat isolation issues and enhance career development potential



"We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Under 40's with its first trip outside of Europe.


"We are visiting 10 different growers over the 5 days covering soft fruit, top fruit and stone fruit. These growers range in size from small family business's to large companies producing over 60,000 tonnes of fruit.


"We are also visiting Machinery manufacturer Red Ant and going to the South African Plant Improvement Organisation.


Follow the Under 40's on: Under 400's Facebook


Over the coming weeks, The English Apple Man will review the visits made by the U40's delegates....




Horticulture Week - Grower of the Year Awards 2017


On Thursday 23rd February, The English Apple Man joined fellow judges as guests of Horticultural Week Editor Kate Lowe at the 2017 Grower of the Year Awards Evening held at The De-Vere Grand Connaught Roomsin London.


This annual competition celebrates the finest aspects of our Horticultural Industry, with outstanding contributions to Fruit, Vegetables and Ornamental production by individuals and growing businesses....


NFU president Meurig Raymond addressed the event which was opened by Horticulture Week editor Kate Lowe. Comedian Jo Caulfield presented the awards.


Below: left; Kate Lowe opens the evening's proceedings and introduces - right; Meurig Raymond, NFU President



Below: Specialist Fruit Grower of the Year - G&G Sinclair/West Craigie Farm - right; Farm Manager Simon Foad accepts his award from Jo Caulfield



De Lacy Executive sponsored the Best Production Manager; won by- Andy Roe of Flavourfresh Salads.


NFU Chair of Fruit and Potatoes, Ali Capper announced the winner of the Young Grower of the Year Award - Andrew Tumilty of Sunnyfields.


Below: left; De Lacy's Sarah Milburn, Andy Roe and Jo Caulfield - right; Ali Capper, Andrew & Anna Tumilty and Jo Caulfield



The Top Fruit/Stone Fruit Grower of the year was awarded to A.C.Goatham & Sons who won this prestigious award for the third time.


Below: left; Top Fruit Grower of the Year - right; Clive Goatham and his staff at Flanders Farm



The Top Fruit Grower of the Year Award was sponsored by recruitment specialist - AG Recruitment


Below: Doug Amesz - MD AG Recruitment, Clive Goatham, Ross Goatham and presenter Jo Caulfield



The Annual Grower of the Year Awards are an opportunity to honour a member of the horticultural community with the highest accolade - Horticulture Week Grower of the Year 'Lifetime Achievement Award'


Below: Nick Marston - who retires this year from Berry Gardens after a distinguished career leading Berry Gardens to the undisputed 'number one' position in UK Soft and Stone fruit supply.



The 2017 winners are listed below....


Edibles Grower of the Year - Place UK

Ornamentals Grower of the Year, sponsored by ICL - Neame Lea Nurseries

Consumer Marketing Campaign - Porters Fuchsias, Home of Happy Plants

Top Fruit Grower of the Year, sponsored by AG Recruitment - AC Goatham & Son

Lifetime Achievement - Nicholas Marston, Berry Gardens

Top Sales or Marketing professional - Natalie Porter, Porters Fuchsias. Presented by Perennial

Best Production Manager sponsored by De Lacy Executive - Andy Roe, Flavourfresh

Outstanding Contribution to the Industry - Bob Thomas, Intercrop

Best New Variety: Bedding & Pot Plant - Petunia 'NightSky', Ball Colegrave

Best New Variety: Top/Soft Fruit - Driscoll's Victoria, Berry Gardens

Specialist Ornamentals Grower of the Year - Double H Nurseries

Best Environmental Initiative - Flowers from the Farm

Specialist Fruit Grower of the Year - G&G Sinclair/West Craigie Farm

Best New Variety, Herbaceous Perennials - Genesis Plant Marketing

Best New Variety: Vegetable/Salad - Agrico UK

Young Grower of the Year, sponsored by NFU - Andrew Tumilty, Sunnyfields

Nursery Stock Grower of the Year - Majestic Trees

Protected Ornamental Grower of the Year - Neame Lea Nursery

Soft Fruit Grower of the Year, sponsored by Cocogreen - Place UK

Business Innovation - RentaHedge

Grower of the Year: Viticulture - Ridgeview Wine Estate

Vegetable Grower of the Year - South Devon Organic Producers

Salad Grower of the Year, sponsored by Rijk Zwaan - Valley Grown Salads

Best Professional Product or Service - XL Horticulture


High commendations went to: Ceres PR for Vitacress, and Farplan


To access more information: click on: Horticulture Week - Grower of the Year Awards


The evening was a truly enjoyable one; good food and wine - lots of friends to catch up with and new ones made...


Below: Estera Amesz (AG Recruitment) The English Apple Man and Kathleen Kelliher (DEFRA)



As mentioned in my preview of The Under 40's Conference, The English Apple Man will be in South Africa next week, not returning until Saturday 4th March; next week's Journal will (all being well) go online late on Saturday 4th March.....


Until then....take care...


The English Apple Man