Great day for British carrot growers!

by Julia Hall-Jones

Last week the British Carrot Growers Association held their annual Variety Day and Trade Exhibition in Norfolk, courtesy of Alan Bartlett and Sons. The site had 68 carrot varieties provided by 7 seed companies including, Elsoms, Hazera, Rijk Zwaan, Nunhems, Pro Veg, Clause and Seminis. In addition Syngenta, Bayer and BASF were also demonstrating some of their products.

Alongside the varieties and product demonstrations there was a trade and machinery exhibition, with a record 38 stands. We also had record attendance numbers, with over 220 people from within the industry supporting the event. I have to say the atmosphere on the day was great, helped by the fact we had such fabulous weather.

Every year the seed companies are asked to nominate their best variety in show and exhibitors their most innovative product or service. This year it was decided to re-name the awards the ‘John Birkenshaw Awards for Best variety and Best Innovation in show’ in memory of John and his work and commitment to the Association during his years as Secretary.

The winner of the Best Variety in Show, voted for by delegates, was Clause with their variety Priam. The Innovation award will be decided by the BCGA R & D Committee next week. Both winners will then be presented with their awards at the forthcoming Onion & Carrot Conference in November.

I would like to thank all those involved in making it a very successful day. Organising such an event takes a lot of time and effort and i couldn’t have done it without the help of Neil and his team at Alan Bartlett & Sons and also NIAB – Thank you and I look forward to starting the planning for 2016!