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British Growers

LSA Fellowship Scheme Application Window Opens

By Industry News

Calling the future of the UK’s horticulture: the LSA Fellowship scheme 2021-2022 application window is now OPEN.


  • 2-year Fellowship
  • Exposure to all elements of the UK’s horticultural industry. Herb to Hardy Nursery Stock production. R&D to marketing
  • £3,000 bursary to cover your expenses during the Fellowship
  • Attend an oversees study tour
  • Be part of a group of 12 Fellows, developing a close network with your peers
  • Connect with key representatives from across the industry

“I have not been disappointed by my time on the LSA CT Fellowship Scheme. I’ve met some great people and learned so much from numerous different events we’ve been given the opportunity to attend in 2019. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but the scheme has continued in the form of webinars and video catch ups which keep us in touch with each other and the industry. I would encourage any young person embarking on their horticultural career to apply and I’d encourage their employers to give them their full support along the way. By the end of the scheme, you’ll have a more confident, better informed and better-connected colleague on your team.”

Libby Rowland, R&D Manager, Vitacress. 2019-2021

To apply for the scheme please visit: The deadline for applications is the 31st December 2020.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the consequent restrictions, the Fellowship has continued virtually. The LSA appreciate that virtual meetings, although a great substitute for face to face meetings, do not provide the same opportunities so therefore the 2021 Fellowship will not commence until July 2021.


The Fellowship will develop the future leaders of the commercial horticulture industry and is being supported by the National Farmers Union, British Growers Association, The Horticultural Trades Association, the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board.


For more information on the scheme and how to apply please visit the website or contact Coral Russell at British Growers on , or call: 01507 602427.

“Eat Them To Defeat Them” Campaign Generates £63 Million in Vegetable Sales

By Industry News

ITV and Veg Power  announced today that Eat Them To Defeat Them, the landmark advertising campaign designed to improve children’s health, has inspired a lasting  change and sales, generating £63 million in sales of vegetables nationwide across eighteen months.*


These newly released figures, based on Econometrics analysis of retail sales data from the campaign’s launch in February 2019 through to July 2020, equate to 517 million children’s vegetable portions, certifying the success of the healthy eating campaign since its inception almost two years ago.


The award-winning campaign has sparked ongoing change in shopping behaviour, having a 2-2.5% positive impact on vegetable sales during the on air advertising campaign across both 2019 and 2020, and a sustained impact on sales in the months that followed. The data enabling this analysis was donated by IRI Worldwide.


The 2020 campaign, which returned to TV screens in February as a media alliance between ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, reached 46 million people and 87% of households with children between four and nine. Activation across schools saw participation from 1,500 schools and 425,000 children.


Lauded as the biggest ever single campaign promoting vegetables in the UK, Eat Them to Defeat Them was supported by major supermarket and food brands Aldi, ASDA, Birds Eye, Co-op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Most recently it was also announced as the Best Health Cause Campaign – Collaboration at the PR Week Purpose Awards, hailed as “an original and unexpected approach to a well-trodden subject that led to genuine change.”


Eat Them to Defeat Them takes the unique and unusual approach of agreeing with children that vegetables are evil. Not just evil, but taking over the world – and the only way to beat them is to eat them. Research in schools found 81% of teachers surveyed agreed it was more popular than other healthy eating campaigns in schools.


*Data compiled by Pearl Metrics, an independent analytics consultancy.


Eat Them to Defeat Them is now due to return for a third year in February 2021. It is part of ITV’s wider Better Health priorities to encourage 10 million people to take action in supporting their physical or mental health by 2023 and supports Veg Power’s mission to get kids across the UK to eat more veg. It was developed by advertising agency adam&eveDDB who work on the campaign pro bono. ITV, Channel 4 and Sky support the campaign as part of a £10m commitment to encouraging children to eat better and move more.


“Every parent knows what it’s like trying to encourage children to eat something they don’t want to eat. It’s no wonder only 1 in 5 children has the recommended daily amount of vegetables. The magic of this initiative is coming at the issue from a child’s point of view and making eating vegetables genuinely fun. We’re so grateful to all the supermarket and food brands, broadcasters and media partners that have made this campaign possible – getting over 500 million additional kids’ portions of veg into tummies across the country.” Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose, ITV


“It has never been more important for us all to eat our vegetables.  Eat Them To Defeat Them makes veggies fun, it engages kids through the buzz of a brilliant TV campaign supported by activation in stores, schools and homes across the country and amplified by a host of celebrities and supporters on social media. These hard retail sales data confirm our extensive survey data – kids are eating more veg thanks to this campaign.” Dan Parker, Chief Executive, Veg Power.


This year, more so than ever, the nation’s health and the wellbeing of our children have been brought into sharper focus.  IRI is proud to play a part in the Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign encouraging young people to eat more vegetables.” Dan Finke, Managing Director, IRI UK


Mat Goff, Joint Chief Executive Officer at adam&eveDDB who created the campaign, said: “Impact on this sort of scale requires genuine creativity and genuine partnership and it’s great to see an ever-growing coalition of partners putting their money where their veg-filled mouths are.”

Surveys launched as part of PoshBee project

By Industry News

Elena Cini, a PhD student at Reading University, is conducting a project investigating how different threats (e.g. agrochemicals, pests, and pathogens) may impact on the health of bees, with the supervision of Prof. Simon Potts. Her PhD is part of the PoshBee project (EU Horizon 2020), which aims to assess the exposure of bees to such threats, investigate their interactions, and create new tools to improve bee health. Participants include, among others, the BBKA and the NFU.


One of the main outputs of the PoshBee project will be the “Bee Health Card”, a tool under development that will give a rapid insight into the health of the beehives, assisting beekeepers with an early identification of health issues (e.g. pesticide exposure, malnutrition, diseases) and growers with even more reliable pollination services.


As part of her PhD work, Elena has created two surveys, one for beekeepers and another for growers, to explore whether or not they would use this tool and if there are any barriers to them doing so.


The surveys are anonymous, take 10-15 minutes to complete, and will remain online until the end of the year. If you feel you could help Elena with her project and complete the growers survey, please follow the link for more details.

RABI commissions England and Wales’ largest ever research project into farmer wellbeing

By Industry News

RABI is excited to announce the appointment of the University of Exeter to conduct a once in a generation survey of farming people. After months in development, the research project, which launches early in 2021, will seek to better understand mental and physical wellbeing issues facing people in agriculture.

The research will be the largest survey ever undertaken to gain an understanding directly from farming people of the stresses they face and the impacts on their wellbeing of these challenges.

RABI has worked with a number of key stakeholders to help develop the survey including the NFU, NFU Cymru, Defra, Welsh Government, the Worshipful Company of Farmers, the National Rural Mental Health Forum, the Prince’s Countryside Fund, Farmers Weekly and Farmers Guardian. With RABI hoping to achieve 26,000 responses to the survey across England and Wales, partners across the sector will be engaged to help promote the survey as RABI hopes to reach as many farming people as possible.

“We know the farming community is facing changing and increasingly complex challenges,” said Alicia Chivers, RABI’s Chief Executive. “This research is fundamental to ensuring we really understand how these pressures impact on our people, allowing us to continue to develop really effective tools and support to enhance their wellbeing.

“Working in partnership with the Centre for Rural Research based at Exeter University and key stakeholders across our sector, we want to gather the most comprehensive, reliable information directly from farming people. The survey results will not only inform RABI’s service offering in the future, but as they will be widely published, will additionally provide the agricultural sector with an overview of the issues that the current generation of farming people are facing. We must work collectively now to ensure the right support is available for all who need it.”

The research will be led by Professor of Rural Resource Management, Matt Lobley, who has over 30 years’ experience of conducting research with farming families. His colleague Dr Rebecca Wheeler, who is also part of the research team said; “As well as establishing the health status of members of the agricultural community, for the first time this research will explore the relationship between mental health and well-being, physical health and the health of the business.”

This latest announcement is part of RABI’s evolving strategy, which saw the charity launch its confidential online wellbeing and counselling services on 19 October 2020.

Further details of the research project to follow shortly. To register your interest in sharing the survey with additional industry groups please contact Suzy Deeley, Corporate Partnership Manager at RABI –

British Growers News Update: Veg Power

By Industry News

If you are interested in the marketing of veg, this is worth a quick read and a slightly longer view on YouTube


Veg Power is calling on the UK horticulture industry to unite with retailers and foodservice providers to change children’s perceptions of vegetables, increasing their consumption and addressing a growing health crisis.


The not-for-profit Veg Power alliance is asking companies across the whole vegetable supply chain to come together to fund its expansion. The aim is to bring together retailers and food producers with caterers, restaurants, growers, wholesalers, processors and the companies who supply them to support a year-round promotion of vegetables.


Veg Power is launching a whole-sector membership programme that gives the grocery industry and horticulture sector a direct stake in the future of the campaign. With this support vegetable will have the largest and most creative campaign in fresh produce industry.


The online launch took place on 22 October so if you missed but want to see what happened, you can watch it at your leisure by following this link.



Jack Ward


British Growers


30 October 2020

RABI extends support for farmers with new wellbeing initiative

By Industry News

Charity’s evolving strategy aims to reach more farming people


With 2020 bringing ever greater levels of uncertainty and unexpected changes, pressures on the farming community continue to grow. As part of a new package of services designed to assist people deal with these complex challenges, RABI is launching an online wellbeing community and counselling service for farming people across England and Wales on 19 October.


Against a backdrop of continuing strains and demands, this new online initiative is a significant step in RABI’s plans to evolve its services, to better meet the changing needs of farming people.


“We know that farmers have continued to face exceptionally difficult times. Managing mental wellbeing and maintaining good mental health has emerged as one of the most significant issues facing our sector, which is already known for its higher than average levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and suicide,” says Alicia Chivers, RABI’s Chief Executive.


“Our aim is to make a real difference to the farming community that RABI has been dedicated to for the past 160 years. We believe early intervention and one-to-one support are essential to ensuring good mental health and tackling the root causes of poor wellbeing. We believe that providing confidential, easily accessible, free online support can make a real difference to a wide audience.”


The initiative features two distinct sites – for adults, while is tailored to those aged 11-17. These safe and confidential online platforms are being delivered in partnership with a specialist online mental health provider. The websites include dedicated farmer friendly content that addresses farming sector specific challenges such as loneliness, Brexit anxiety, animal health and crop disease and farm debt.


Users will be able to anonymously access farmer specific and more generic content, as well as a wealth of discussion boards, case studies and messaging functions. There are many tools, such as a journal to record and track progress against personal goals, as well as tips and articles.


In addition, all users can access one-to-one counselling support from BACP recognised, qualified professionals through a chat function. The practitioners are trained in different forms of counselling, allowing them to meet individual needs and preferences.


“No one should take mental wellbeing for granted. We believe offering practical support through these sites is a constructive and hugely positive step forwards. It forms a key aspect of RABI’s ambitious five-year strategy that will extend our offering to a broader audience. We understand the issues that farmers face and really care about finding and developing tools that can assist. Our role is to offer encouragement so people can access the services they need, early enough to make a difference, hopefully preventing them from reaching crisis point,” continues Alicia.


“We also need to initiate frank and honest discussions throughout agriculture to tackle this complex subject. Therefore, we are also reaching out to numerous stakeholders and organisations, who I hope will join us by raising awareness more widely and amplifying these important messages.”


“The launch of the online wellbeing community is a significant step towards achieving our vision that ‘no farmer should ever face adversity alone,’” concludes Alicia.


To access the online counselling platform, visit the RABI website:

Veg Power Membership Programme Launch – Thursday 22 October 10 -11am

By Industry News

Veg Power, the unique alliance formed in 2018 to turn around vegetable consumption in the UK is hosting a launch event for its membership programme on Thursday 22ndOctober at 10.00-11.00am. The event is being hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with presentations from Baroness Rosie Boycott (Chair, Veg Power) and Dan Parker (Chief Executive, Veg Power). We’d be delighted if you would be able to attend. If the timings don’t work with your schedule, the event will be recorded and the link can be sent to you.

Since its inception Veg Power has reached 46 million people through its advertising campaign and engaged 425,000 kids through the schools’ programme. As a result, childrens’ perceptions are starting to change and more vegetables are being consumed. However, more financial support is required and the membership programme is the first-of-its-kind within the UK’s grocery sector. It involves all businesses from seed to fork including growers, caterers and retailers and the companies who supply them.

Rebecca Stevens (MSc, ANutr)
AfN Registered Associate Nutritionist

Please email confirming your attendance, you will then be provided with access details closer to the time. Interviews can also be arranged with the speakers.

British Apple and Pear Season launches with Raymond Blanc OBE

By Industry News


British Apple and Pear Season launches with Raymond Blanc OBE


·         The 2020 British crop is estimated to be a staggering 1.6 billion apples and pears

·         This season has proved challenging for the industry but BAPL’s Raymond Blanc collaboration aims to create an incredibly strong start to the season

·         Raymond Blanc agrees Britain grows some of the greatest tasting
apples and pears in the world

London, 5 October 2020.  Although COVID-19 has presented many challenges for the British apple and pear industry, UK growers are determined to bring in a successful and delicious harvest. In 2020, a staggering 1.6 billion apples and pears (183,00 tonnes) will be picked by hand across British orchards, and British Apples and Pears Limited (BAPL) is urging retailers to put their support behind the nation’s fruit as the key promotional season begins.

To launch the start of season, BAPL is working with one of the true titans of Britain’s food scene, Raymond Blanc OBE, who believes that Britain’s many apple varieties are the finest in the world.

Ali Capper, Chief Executive of British Apples and Pears comments, “We believe this will be our biggest start of season campaign yet. Not only are we using Raymond Blanc’s celebrity chef appeal to reach consumers directly on TV, radio and print, we are also working with key social media influencers to get our apple a day message out to as many people as possible.

“There’s no doubt this season has been challenging for our growers. They’ve been working around the clock to overcome the challenges posed by the weather conditions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we’re delighted that the hard work and commitment of our growers is paying off with the most delicious tasting fruit. With the support of British retailers, we are excited to announce the start of a wonderful British apple and pear season.”

The Start of Season collaboration with celebrity chef, Raymond Blanc, aims to fuel excitement about this year’s crop and cement the UK’s position as the greatest apple nation in the world. As part of the activation, Raymond Blanc has been interviewed in a British apple orchard for BBC Countryfile, to be broadcast on Sunday 4th October 2020. Furthermore, Ali Capper, Raymond Blanc and a selection of regional growers will take part in a nationwide radio day on Wednesday 7th October 2020 to share news of the incredible taste and flavour of British apples, the nutritional benefits, while also offering snacking advice and recipe ideas across the nation. The BAPL PR agency, Spider, is also securing further national press and TV coverage from early October to showcase the delicious new season fruit.

Chef Blanc says, “For me, some of the greatest tasting apples in the world are British. The start of the season gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase British apples and pears and to talk about the fantastic varieties available right here on our doorstep. I am extremely proud to be working alongside British growers. When we remind people of just how wonderful the humble British apple is, I know everyone will be as excited about British apples as I am.”

Over the last three years, BAPL has invested almost £1m to help strengthen awareness of the health benefits of British apples and pears, to encourage an apple a day snacking and to ultimately reach its market share target of 60% by 2030.

Sales patterns[1] during the COVID-19 period have shown families swapping to eat more healthy apples and pears, a positive for growers and retailers alike.  However, with recent data showing the average person consumes less than half an apple a day[2], there is a profound opportunity to increase consumption of British apples and support growers during the key promotional period.


Notes to Editors: 

For more information on British Apples and Pears please contact either Adrianna Godziek or Ellie Taylor or call 0207 403 6900

About British Apples and Pears

British Apples & Pears is a limited registered company formed in 1990 to organise and develop the promotion of the British apple and pear industry. They work year-round to promote delicious British high-quality apples and pears and we are led by a committed board of grower directors. The organisation acts as a trade association, to promote and safeguard the interests of its British grower members and to promote British grown apples and pears. Membership is restricted to British growers of apples and pears and each member’s shareholding is determined by their hectarage of apples and pears.  It is funded by a voluntary levy – every time a class one British apple or pear is purchased the growers donate a small sum to the promotional fund.  It represents the whole of the British industry, working hard on their behalf to grow their market share, raise awareness and engage with consumers and retailers with the aim of supplying 60% of all the apples and pears consumed in the UK by 2030.

[1] Kantar data July 2020

[2] Kantar Data,  May 2020

AHDB Ballot Confirmed on Statutory Levy for Horticulture – Update

By Company News

This is the latest announcement from AHDB detailing its plans for a ballot of AHDB Horticulture levy payers:

 AHDB has formally announced there will be a ballot on the continuation of a statutory levy in horticulture. It will be a yes or no vote on the future existence of AHDB Horticulture and the work it delivers on behalf of growers.

The announcement follows confirmation that AHDB had received valid requests for a ballot from more than five per cent of horticulture levy payers.

AHDB will now procure the service of an independent company to administer the vote process. This will take a number of weeks and AHDB envisages that voting process will commence in January. Every levy payer will be invited and encouraged to vote in the ballot.

Once the ballot has concluded, AHDB will publish the results on its website and inform Ministers. Ministers will then make a decision on the future of the levy, taking into account various factors, such as voter turnout. Ministers are not bound by the result of the ballot.

Nicholas Saphir, AHDB Chair, said. “We welcome the opportunity for an open debate on the important role of AHDB and how it is the funding backbone of horticultural applied research and development to address crop protection, labour, resource use, and technical innovation.”

Supporting Veg Power

 The Veg Power team recently issued a prospectus to support its fund-raising activities to continue the Veg Power campaign. The following text is taken from the introduction to the prospectus.

 “So far, the campaign has raised £1.7m in cash funding for our campaigns and secured over £10m of donated media space, goods and services, led by our foremost partner ITV. Our Eat Them to Defeat Them TV campaign has reached over 46 million people; our schools’ programme is in 1,500 primaries and our social media campaign to champion seasonal vegetables has reached 11 million people. More kids are seeing vegetables as fun, and children, their parents, schools, and retailers are all reporting a direct increase in sales and consumption.

 The sheer scale and high quality of this work is a testament to the immense support for our mission and the dedication and skill of our team. Now that team needs your support. For this to continue, as it must if we are to secure lasting change, then we need reliable core funding to support our work. We know that money is tight in the horticulture sector, so we are asking all the larger companies from growers to retailers and the companies who supply them to subscribe to Veg Power at a cost of £12,000 per year. We are going to ensure that your support will be rewarded.

Support from the whole supply chain will ensure increased sales for the entire vegetable category. Our Chief Executive, Dan Parker, has set out our vision for Veg Power, our work to date, and how we will continue and increase our impact. In consultation with industry partners we have created a series of direct business benefits available only to our supporters which will give you an edge as the market grows.

 Three great challenges of our time, climate change, Brexit and the clear link between dietary health and Covid-19 share the simple vegetable as part of their solution. We have an outstanding team, an influential board and a huge network of supporters who stand ready to capitalise on

these trends. I urge you not to miss this opportunity.

Baroness Rosie Boycott

Chair Veg Power campaign

 The Veg Power team has mailed the prospectus to around 400 businesses across the fresh produce industry. The mix of businesses includes growers, retailers, suppliers, processors, in short anybody with a connection to the fresh produce industry and with an interest in promoting the consumption of vegetables.

We know the number of people involved in the industry is much greater than 400; so if you weren’t on the Veg Power mailing list but would like a copy of the prospectus or want to know more about the campaign, please get in touch with Dan Parker, CEO of the Veg Power campaign. His email is

Veg Power launches activity book to encourage Kids to eat more veg

By Industry News

Unique alliance to encourage kids to eat more vegetables

  • Unique alliance formed to encourage kids to eat more vegetables. Partnership between Public Health England, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Veg Power, Coop, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Chartwells.
  • Funded by Public Health England, ASDA, Coop, Sainsbury’s and Chartwells.
  • Supported by TV advertising campaign donated by ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Media.
  • Together they have created an activity book full of veg puzzles, games, recipes and fun, themed to the popular Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign to inspire kids to love veg.
  • 250,000 copies distributed for free via partner stores and through community projects, food banks and schools.
  • Also available to download online at
  • The kid-friendly recipes including Zombie Peppers, Smashed Carrots and Googly Eye Tomatoes will encourage families to cook together.
  • Fun videos of the recipes also available on The Super Yummy Kitchen You Tube channel.

Eat Them to Defeat Them is back this October with an action-packed kids’ activity book. Veg Power and ITV have brought together Channel 4 and Sky, and partnered with Change4Life to create an activity book full of veg-themed puzzles, fun, games and recipes for kids and their families to enjoy. The book has been kindly funded by Public Health England, ASDA, Coop, Sainsbury’s and Chartwells, with advertising donated by ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

250,000 copies will be distributed for free via ASDA & Sainsbury’s stores, Coop community champions and through community projects, food banks and schools.

This is the latest initiative from the award-winning Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign, which ran its second campaign in spring 2020. Created by Veg Power and ITV, with the support of Channel 4, Sky and 10 retail and food brands, the TV campaign reached over 46 million people and the schools programme reached 425,000 primary school age kids, with 76% of them saying it made veg more fun.

There will be a downloadable version of the puzzles and recipes at, YouTube videos of the recipes by The Super Yummy Kitchen and a supporting TV and social media campaign.

Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England said:

“We are delighted to be working with Veg Power on this initiative. Encouraging healthy eating habits is an important part of giving our kids the best start in life. We know that motivating kids to eat their greens can be a challenge which is why this campaign is so important, helping to make healthier choices easier for families”

Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose at ITV said:

 “The Eat Them to Defeat Them activity book is the next step in our ongoing mission to get more vegetables on the plates of children up and down the country, in an engaging and creative way. This campaign has always had one very clear objective – to get kids eating healthily – and we’re all hugely encouraged and motivated by the continued positive response we’ve had. The activities, which you can download at home, should be great for keeping kids entertained and healthy this autumn.”

Dan Parker, Chief Executive, Veg Power said:

“Now more than ever we need to eat more veg – it’s key to improving the nation’s health and to supporting our fresh produce industry. This activity book has been created by a unique and powerful alliance, bringing together government, business, broadcasters and the third sector to collaborate on this essential issue.”

Meg Longworth, Director of Nutrition and Sustainability, Chartwells said:

“As the UK’s leading education catering specialist, we want to help young people get the best start in life. Our approach is to go beyond the food on the plate and support with education and information around nutrition and wellbeing. This activity book is a great way to engage children and the cook along videos on The Super Yummy Kitchen go a step further in encouraging them to want to cook and eat more veg.”



*** To enable Veg Power to continue with its mission, a membership programme is being launched to the horticulture sector via a webinar on Thursday 22nd October at 10.00am – 11.00am. Hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall with presentations from Baroness Rosie Boycott (Chair, Veg Power) and Dan Parker (Chief Executive, Veg Power). Please save the date and a more formal invitation will be with you shortly***