Results 2017

Fruit Focus Categories

Driscoll’s® Victoria™

Berry Gardens

Twice the size of a regular blackberry and much sweeter, Driscoll’s Victoria has already made a significant impact on the berry category. Sweet enough to snack on without any accompaniment, just like a strawberry or grape, the variety is already listed by all major UK supermarkets, which have seen year-on-year doubling of sale...

AC Goatham & Son

Two out of every nine British apples and one in three Conference pears sold in the UK are now grown and packed by Kent’s AC Goatham & Son, following huge investment in land, infrastructure, grading and packing technology, cold storage, orchard planting and management.

With 20 farms covering more than 800ha as well a...

Place UK

Norfolk soft-fruit grower Place UK has continually challenged itself to raise its game in terms of fruit quality and volume, sustainability and staff welfare, winning plaudits from industry partners as a result.

Managed by Tim Place, grandson of the founder of the business, the farm is spread over 480ha, of which 175ha are do...

G and G Sinclair / West Craigie Farm

Pick-your-own fruit farms used to be widespread in Britain before inefficient picking, poor returns and even thefts drove many growers to abandon the format. But one Scottish grower is thriving on it and pushing the envelope on what can be commercially grown north of the border.

Formerly a dairy farm on the outskirts of Edinburgh, West C...

Ridgeview Wine Estate

Mike and Christine Roberts were among the first to see southern England’s potential as a world-class sparkling wine production region when they founded Ridgeview Wine Estate back in 1995.

On a south-facing slope close to the South Downs in Sussex, the original vineyard yielded the estate’s first wine in 2000, which was named ...

Ornamental Categories

Petunia ‘NightSky®’

Ball Colegrave

Strikingly different from any other petunia yet brought to the UK market, Petunia ‘Night Sky’ has deep violet-blue flowers with white spots, said to resemble a constellation of stars.

This outstanding colour break was bred by Antonella Capo of Selecta in Germany following years of crossing and backcrossing. The result is a st...

Penstemon 'Pentastic'

Genesis Plant Marketing

Having worked with penstemon for a number of years, Cheshire breeder Fred Yates identified a gap in the market for compact varieties, prompting him to start a breeding programme with a view to filling that gap.

In so doing he has brought widespread advantages for the grower because the ‘Pentastic’ series requires no plant gro...

Majestic Trees

Last year saw Hertfordshire containerised tree nursery Majestic Trees build on its recent success breaking ground on the construction of a state-of-the-art visitor centre along with additional office space and three new staff accommodation units.

Built in a traditional oak frame style to a high standard of finish, the structures are in keepi...

Commended: Farplants Group

Neame Lea Nursery

Since taking over as managing director of Lincolnshire bedding nursery Neame Lea in late 2012, David Ball has driven the business forward with enthusiasm, commitment and ambition.

His main aim was to increase the nursery’s capacity and make it one of the UK’s leading ornamental plant growers through acquisition of additional ...

Doube H Nurseries

Hampshire’s Double H Nurseries is seizing the opportunities afforded by the current political climate to reduce Britain’s dependence on imported houseplants. The company has been growing for the home market for five generations and now has modern, efficient facilities.

As well as being the UK’s largest producer of Phalaenop...

Vegetable Categories

Performer Wins Potato Cyst Nematode Battle

Agrico UK

Agrico UK has developed a chipping and processing potato variety, Performer, that is resistant to potato cyst nematode (PCN), a serious crop pest particularly in the UK, where it costs millions of pounds a year in lost yield. Performer even cleans infected soils, offering a solution for long-term sustainable farming.

There ar...

Valley Grown Salads

The official opening by Princess Anne last month of Valley Grown Nurseries’ new 92,000sq m pepper and tomato glasshouse in Nazeing, Essex, capped a hugely ambitious five-year programme of development by owners Vince and Jimmy Russo that countered both the UK’s declining self-sufficiency in salad vegetables and official hosti...

Innovative Devon Co-Operative

South Devon Organic Producers Ltd

The key to the success of South Devon Organic Producers has been innovation. The 12-strong group produces field vegetables in a county not ideally suited to all vegetable crops. Despite this, it has expanded to become one of the largest organic grower and supplier co-operatives in the UK, with more than 240ha in vegetable production.

Amo...

General Categories

XL SunMaster Cool

XL Horticulture

Modern polytunnel films offer a growing range of characteristics to benefit crops in different ways. XL Horticulture’s new SunMaster Cool is the latest step forward in this ongoing process, being designed to keep hardy ornamental nursery stock cool in summer without reducing light transmission.

But this patented seven-layer polythene t...

Happy Plants

Porters Fuchsias

As part of a move back into garden centre supply, Merseyside grower Porters Fuchsias launched a campaign to engage the younger generation of customers, particularly first-time buyers of new houses, and to re-enthuse the disheartened would-be gardener. Targeting garden centres close to new developments, it aimed to give these new gar...

Commended: Herbilicious, Love Fresh Herbs

Ceres PR/ Vitacress

RentaMaze

RentaHedge

Eleven years ago, aged just 20, Gareth Harca spotted a gap in the events market for better, more natural temporary screening. Instead of unsightly metal fencing or poorly planted topiary prone to being blown over, he came up with the idea of RentaHedge — large instant hedging sections rented out to official and corporate clien...

Replacing imported cut flowers with British grown

Flowers from the Farm

Yorkshire farmer Gill Hodgson set up not-for-profit group Flowers from the Farm in 2011 to promote British-grown cut flowers and to encourage more growers to produce them for the home market, so reducing imports while making less familiar varieties available to the public.

It now boasts more than 300 UK cut-flower growers, ranging from t...

Individual Categories

Nicholas Marston 

Berry Gardens

Nick Marston has been at the centre of the boom in Britain’s soft-fruit sector over the past 20 years, helping to make it the £1bn industry it is today. Under his stewardship the Berry Gardens group of growers has become both the largest berry supplier and largest horticulture co-operative in the UK, its turnover growing from &p...

Natalie Porter

Porter’s Fuchsias

Sales and marketing manager Natalie Porter joined the family business in August 2014 after gaining a first-class honours degree in English language, a subject that in no way prepared her for business, sales or horticulture.

She faced a company that had recently endured some turbulent times but boasted a well-equipped 2ha nursery, a h...

Andy Roe

Flavourfresh

Now in his 29th year of growing for the British tomato industry, self-confessed tomato addict Andy Roe is the production manager at Lancashire-based Flavourfresh Salads. “My passion to produce the most flavoursome tomatoes in Britain has taken me around the world searching for the absolute best varieties available,” he says.

...

Andrew Tumilty

Sunnyfields

Andrew Tumilty of Merseyside has been growing ornamental plants from an early age, even selling home-grown bedding plants and baskets outside his parents’ house while still at school. This passion then led to his setting up Sunnyfields in 2002, still aged just 16, soon after to be joined in the business by his younger sister Anna ...

Best of the Best

Bob Thomas

Intercrop

Over his long career in production horticulture, Keble Robert Holliday Thomas (Bob to his friends) has brought big changes to the leafy salad sector in particular. In the 1970s he opened a very successful pick-your-own venture and farm shop near Canterbury while expanding the flat lettuce enterprise. The led to his co-founding Kent Salads later...

Place UK

Place UK has become one of the UK’s leading growers and processors of soft fruits for major British supermarkets including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and the Co-Op. As part of the UK’s biggest soft-fruit marketing group, Berry Gardens, it sells around three million punnets of fresh strawb...

Neame Lea Nursery

One of the largest ornamental plant producers in the UK across a range of crops including bedding, perennials, shrubs, herbs and vegetables, Lincolnshire’s Neame Lea has 17ha of glasshouse production and it employs more than 500 people at peak times.

The nursery was founded in 1975 by Malcolm Barney who, along with his ...

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