Perhaps at no point in recent memory has there been a more challenging time to be a grower in the UK – with the COVID-19 pandemic, rising costs, labour shortage and weather that has been especially fickle wreaking havoc on farmers and their crops. But the best of the best have shined through, and the Fresh Produce Consortium is set to honour the producers who have adapted to challenges.
As part of its 2022 Fresh Awards this year, the FPC is including several new categories including one major spurred on by its members: UK Grower of the Year. That includes those who grow fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers and plants. There is also a separate category for International Grower of the Year.
“UK growers of fresh produce, cut flowers and plants are among the very best in the world,” said Nigel Jenney, chief executive of FPC. “They stand out for their unrelenting resilience, forward-thinking innovation, exceptional best practices and superior product quality. The launch of a UK Grower Of The Year award celebrates and reinforces the importance of our Great British growers.”
The FPC has announced its call for entries for the category, installing 2 June as the deadline to nominate a leader in the field – growers can even pitch themselves. Though there will be only one overall winner, the FPC is planning to highlight all of the finalists at its black-tie event, which will take place at the Marriott Grosvenor House in London on 8 July.
So what will make the finalists stand out? According to FPC, “nominees will possess an essential blend of flexibility, collaboration, and innovation to maximise their productivity and profits. They must provide clear evidence of excellent staff management and outstanding leadership.”
The event, which promises to bring together leaders from across the fresh produce industry, will feature awards across 16 categories, which the FPC has broken down into four areas: Individuals, the Supply Chain, Retail Excellence and Business Excellence.
The awards categories are open to entrants from across the UK and the world, and growers can enter or be entered into multiple categories:
- Rising Star Of The Year
- Manager Of The Year
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- Best Place To Work
- Sustainability Excellence
- Agritech & Innovation Excellence
- Wholesale Fruit& Veg Supplier Of The Year
- Wholesale Floral/Plant Supplier Of The Year
- Supermarket Fruit & Veg Supplier Of The Year
- Fresh Produce Consortium Supermarket Floral/Plant Supplier Of The Year
- Foodservice Supplier Of The Year
- Business Service Partner
- Best Marketing Campaign
Industry representatives, as well as consumers, can also show support for their favourite retailer operating in the UK by voting in the following categories:
- Multiple Fruit & Veg Retailer Of The Year
- Multiple Floral Retailer Of The Year
- Convenience Retailer Of The Year
- Online Retailer Of The Year
The event is being sponsored by IFCO, Total Produce, Freeths, Westfalia UK, Aptean, PML. IPP, ICL UK, New Spitalfields Market and ASDA (IPL).