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Monthly Archives

February 2024

The Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition ONLY 1 WEEK TO GO!

By Industry News

Round 1 of the 2024 Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition (YHoY) is well underway and the closing date Thursday 29th February is approaching fast!  We have a new platform, a new look registration and single link access to the round making it quick and easy to register and take part!


The competition is open to anyone across the UK and Ireland, who is under 30 on 31st July 2024.  Whether you are a student, apprentice or working in the industry, or know someone who is, this is a fantastic opportunity to test your horticultural knowledge and network with a wide range of individuals from across the industry.

The winner of the competition gain’s the prestige title of ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year’ and will receive a £2,500 travel bursary from The Percy Thrower Trust, generously provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society.  The winner can undertake a trip, anywhere in the world, to study, complete work experience or embark on visits related to their chosen field of horticulture.

The Grand Final will be held on Thursday, May 9th, 2024 at Hestercombe House and Gardens, Taunton.

Hestercombe has a rich and diverse history, with the first written record of the estate in 682.  It is famous for its unique collection of gardens which span three centuries of garden history and design, first mentioned in a medieval charter in 1249. The formal Garden is hailed as one of the finest examples of the world-renowned partnership of Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens, skilfully restored to its originally glory after the original Jekyll planting plans were discovered undisturbed in the potting shed for nearly 70 years when restoration

Victoria George, the National Organiser said “it is another exciting year, Round 1 is in full swing and entries are racking up from the colleges and industry across the whole of the UK and Ireland.  It has been great to see such a wide range of entrants, and I can’t wait to announce the Round 1 winners on Friday 1st March”.

To find out more about the competition and how to take part, visit the Young Horticulturist of the Year page.

If you are interested in sponsoring the 2024 competition, please contact the Chartered Institute of Horticulture – Email:

The UK fresh produce sector: Review of the supply chain

By Industry News

Defra has launched its consultation into fairness in the supply chain for the fresh produce sector. The consultation is one of the key commitments made at the Downing Street Farm to Fork Summit in May 2023 and builds upon work already underway to improve fairness in the pork, dairy and egg supply chains.  

The consultation is aimed at finding out more about … 

  • how the UK fresh produce sector currently functions 
  • the nature of the relationships across the supply chain 
  • whether the fresh produce supply chain could be improved and how 

And getting a better understanding of the issues around fairness and transparency that exist within the sector. 

The hope is that this will enable Defra to design future policy aimed at promoting better business practice and making the supply chain fairer for all.  

This is the link to the online consultation. 

The consultation closes on 11:45pm on 22 February 2024. 

British Growers will be making a submission to the consultation so if anyone wants to send us their thoughts and ideas for incorporation into the submission, please let us have them as soon as possible.   



New Scholars Programme from East of England Agricultural Society

By Company News

£30k funding pot to boost careers, networking and skills across the agriculture and food sector in the region


The East of Agricultural Society is delighted to announce the launch of the East of England Agricultural Society Scholars Programme, with grants of up to £2,000 per successful applicant to help progress careers within the agricultural and horticultural industries. With the first two scholars already benefiting from their grants, the programme has three funding windows – with the first closing 20th February. Further windows will close in June and October, but applications are welcome all year round.

Society Vice Chairman, Stuart Roberts, said: “The East of England Agricultural Society Scholars Programme is an exciting new project for the Society, and I am delighted with the calibre of our first scholars. Going forward we anticipate this programme becoming an important core activity for us as we reach out to those who are looking to increase their own skills and knowledge, and to pass that on to the agricultural and rural community in the East of England.


“The future success of this programme will be determined entirely by the candidates who apply and are successful in receiving award and I would encourage as many people as possible to apply for the next round of scholars grants.”


The East of England Agricultural Society launched the fund in September 2023, offering successful applicants the opportunity to develop their careers, whilst also building a network around the Programme to help create future leaders in the industry. As part of the funding, recipients will receive mentorship from committee members and past scholars, be invited to deliver talks, and have the opportunity to feed into the wider Society network.

The first two successful applicants are Milly Fyfe and Liz Genever. Milly Fyfe is an award-winning PR, marketing and fundraising specialist from Yelvertoft, Northamptonshire, where she is a representative for Ladies in Beef, The Farm Safety Foundation, and The Farming Community Network. She is also English Panel Secretary to the Council for Awards of the Royal Agricultural Societies.

Farming suckler cattle, sheep, arable crops and rare breed pigs alongside her husband Andrew and two young children, Milly has also been a Love British Food ambassador for over 10 years and during the pandemic launched her ‘No Fuss Meals for Busy Parents’ food blog.

Milly has been awarded funding by the Scholars Programme to receive formal TV training. She said: “To be recognised and receive this grant is a huge boost to me personally, on behalf of my business and the wider farming industry. I’ve picked up presenting skills along the way with the experiences I have been involved with, although completely self-taught. However, having coaching from TV industry experts, using state of the art equipment, will really help to up my game, especially when it comes to communicating consumer related food and farming issues. I want to resonate with a wider audience on social media, through my YouTube channel and pick up work opportunities too.”

Dr Liz Genever has also received a grant in the first round of funding to complete Integrity Soils’ CREATE UK course; an intensive programme designed to train and empower consultants and coaches in the theory, principles and practices behind healthy, agroecological systems.

Liz is an independent and holistically trained beef and sheep systems consultant working across the UK. She is a third-generation farmer in South West Lincolnshire, near Stamford, and is transitioning the family mixed farm towards a more regenerative and biological approach. With a strong technical background and working with beef and sheep farmers across the UK, Liz’s expertise covers livestock production, grazing systems and sustainable farming techniques.

She is one of the founders of Carbon Calling CIC, which is building a community of farmers who support and learn from one another to make their farm and themselves healthier and happier, Liz also co-hosts a monthly podcast – ReGenAg chat.


Liz said: “The funding will provide me with new opportunities and new knowledge through enabling me to take part in the CREATE course, whilst also making local farmers more aware of my services. Being a successful Scholars Programme applicant has also given me the confidence to apply for a DEFRA Facilitation Fund Project, which will strengthen that connection with local farmers even further.”


Agricultural Events Manager, Ruth Trolove, said: “We are interested in viewing applications from anyone in the agricultural and horticultural sectors who thinks they could benefit from the programme, there are no limitations on age or background. This is a great opportunity to further your career whilst giving back to the community and to add to the network by encouraging future applicants.”

The East of England Agricultural Society is welcoming applicants for the current window of funding, and applicants should email or visit to find out more information and access the application documents.