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Entries invited for this year’s Horticulture Wales Awards

Horticulture businesses across Wales are invited to enter a nationwide awards competition that celebrates the sector’s finest examples of partnership working and environmental sustainability.

Horticulture Wales, the supply chain efficiency project based at Glyndwr University’s Northop campus, is seeking nominations from fruit, vegetable, flower, tree, and plant growers for its third annual ‘Horticulture Wales Awards’.

Prizes in this year’s contest are up for grabs in two categories. Firstly, the ‘Collaboration in Business Award’ is open to entries from groups of two or more growers or businesses, at least one of whom must work in the Welsh horticulture sector. Groups must prove how working together has led to real business benefits for everyone involved in the partnership.

Nominations are also invited in the ‘Environmental Excellence Award’ category from horticultural businesses across Wales that can demonstrate how adopting resource-efficient, sustainable, or environmentally-friendly practices have led them to achieve tangible business benefits.

Dr David Skydmore, Project Director for Horticulture Wales, commented: “Our awards are a great way for growers to showcase their successes, reward the hard work of their staff, and gain lots of publicity for their businesses. We’ve received some great nominations over the past couple of years that really reflect how vibrant the industry in Wales is, and we’re anticipating a similarly high standard of entries for 2014 too.”

Initial nominations for both categories must be submitted by Monday 10 November. Winners will be announced as part of sector skills council Lantra’s ‘Land-Based Learner of the Year Awards’ ceremony staged at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair on Monday 1 December in Llanelwedd, Powys.

Last year’s ‘Collaboration in Business Award’ was won by the partnership of Cowbridge-based fruit farm Hendrewennol Fruit Garden, Homemade Country Preserves from Clarbeston, Pembrokeshire, and Whitland-based manufacturer Cowpots Ice Cream. Surplus fruit grown at the farm is used by the two processing firms to make jams and ice-creams that are then successfully sold back at the farm under its own branding.

While the inaugural ‘Environmental Excellence Award’ in 2013 was claimed by the Community Food Co-Operative Programme in Wales, a scheme that promotes sustainable, affordable, locally-grown fruit and vegetables to communities across Wales. It saw off strong competition from runner-up Shark’s Tree Nursery, a 120 acre operation spread across two sites near Llanwrda in Carmarthenshire.

Horticulture Wales provides focused, expert support to enhance the efficiency of businesses involved in both edible and amenity horticulture supply chains within Wales. The Horticulture Wales project has received funding through the Supply Chain Efficiencies scheme of the Rural Development Plan for Wales. This scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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