AHDB Horticulture Panels

Your horticulture sector panel needs you!

Become a panel member and help steer our research and shape how your levy is invested

We have six crop sector panels to ensure our work delivers for your industry. These panels represent; Tree Fruit, Soft Fruit, Field Vegetables, Protected Edibles, Hardy Nursery Stock and Protected Ornamentals, Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers.

Why should you sign up? 

  • Network with your industry peers
  • Be among the first to learn about the latest research results
  • Help direct funding for the benefit of your sector
  • Collect CPD points (BASIS and NRoSO)
  • Involvement with the EAMU programme

What will being a panel member involve? 

  • Represent industry views and the interests of all growers
  • Advise on current crop sector challenges and assess their respective priority for funding
  • Help shape how we invest the levy, the work we do, and make it relevant to the industry
  • Monitor the progress of on-going activities and the success of completed work
  • Help steer AHDB’s response to urgent industry needs
  • Review and recommend knowledge exchange activities

To apply to be a panel member, simply complete the details on this application form:

Panel Application Form

Applications for 2020 are now closed, but we're always keen to hear from growers who are interested in joining our panels. Please get in touch with your relevant panel manager detailed below who will be able to give you more details. 

To be eligible for election, candidates must belong to a horticultural levy paying business (either as the levy paying owner or an employee).

Elected panel members will sit on the panel for a 3 year period starting on 1 January following election the previous autumn. During their term of office, members must remain a levy payer (or a payroll employee of a levy payer). Members may stand for a maximum of two consecutive 3 year terms (6 years in total). 

View our policy and code of practice on operation and membership of sector panels: 

Policy and code of practice on operation and membership of sector panels

Please note: We will use the panel application form to collect personal information from you for the purpose of processing your application for the selection of the role of panel member. If unsuccessful, we will delete your data within 3 months of the selection process closing. Successful candidates will receive legitimate business related communications relating to their elected panel. The full AHDB Privacy Notice can be found on our website ahdb.org.uk/PrivacyNotice

Field Vegetables

The UK Field Vegetable sector is currently valued at approximately £1.1 billion. The area used for field vegetables is 116 thousand hectares, with production at 2.1 million tonnes, according to Defra's 2018 Horticulture Statistics

If you have specific questions for the Field Vegetables Panel, please get in touch with Cathryn Lambourne. Email: cathryn.lambourne@ahdb.org.uk

  • Martin Evans (Freshgro) - Chair and umbellifers
  • Phil Langley (Sandfields Farms Ltd) - Legumes and bulb onions
  • David Bond (J Bond & Son) - Herbs
  • Carolyn Coxe (Pollybell Farms Ltd) - Production in the East (inc. organic)
  • Christopher Ashby (Wessex Plants) - Vegetable propagation
  • Euan Alexander (Kettle Produce) - Brassicas
  • William Iliffe (Southern England Farms) - Production in the South West
  • Andrew Rutherford (KS Coles) - General vegetable production
  • Stephen McGuffie (New Farm Produce) - Salad onions and asparagus
  • Keith Mawer (Strawsons) - Carrots and parsnips
  • Rob Parker (G's Fresh UK) - Leafy salads
  • Jim Smith (Barfoots) - Speciality veg crops
  • Tim Casey (J & V Casey & Son) - Alliums
  • Stewart Aspinall, Farringtons Ltd. - Vegetable propagation

Protected Edibles and Mushrooms

The value of UK protected vegetables is £331 million. with 274 thousand tonnes being grown on 803 hectares of land. 

The panel develops and delivers research and development for growers of protected salad crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, herbs and mushrooms.

If you have specific questions for the Protected Edibles and Mushrooms Panel, please get in touch with Kim Parker. Email: Kim.Parker@ahdb.org.uk

  • Robert James (Thanet Earth) - Chair
  • Simon Budge (Vitacress Herbs Ltd) - Herbs
  • Matthew Simon (Smallford Nurseries) - Cucumbers
  • Kimberly Dawson (G's Fresh Mushrooms) - Mushrooms
  • Ian Hammond (Valefresco Ltd) - Babyleaf salads, tomatoes, pak choi and chillies
  • Phil Morley (APS Salads Ltd) - Tomatoes
  • Chris Durnford (North Moor Lane) - Tomatoes
  • John Cappalonga (Gee Vee Enterprises Ltd) - Peppers, cucumbers, aubergines and tomatoes
  • John Hall, Monaghan Mushrooms - Mushrooms

Soft Fruit

Soft fruit is grown on 10,500 acres in the UK, producing nearly 174 thousand tonnes worth £526m according to the 2018 Defra statistics. Since 2013, the value of soft fruit exports has risen sharply by £16.8m, an increase of more than 300 percent.

The sector covers all commercial soft fruit crops grown in the UK including strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries and all other ribes and rubus species.

If you have specific questions for your sector panel, please get in touch with Katja Maurer. Email katja.maurer@ahdb.org.uk

  • James Porter (Angus Soft Fruit)  - Scotland
  • Trelawney Greaves (P J Stirling Ltd) - Scotland
  • Gerard Olivier (Edward Vinson Ltd) - Kent
  • Andrey Ivanov (Wilkin & Sons Ltd) - General production and propagation
  • Jonathan Lukies (J M Lukies & Son) - Pick your own grower
  • Rebecca Durkin (Freshfields Fruit Ltd) - General production
  • Rosie Begg (Gorgate Ltd)- Blackcurrants
  • Stephen McGuffie, New Farm Produce Ltd. - General production
  • Volodymyr Karavan, The New Forest Fruit Co. Ltd - General production
  • Rowan Marshall (Peter Marshall & Co) – Scotland
  • Lindsay Hulme (E Oldroyd & Sons Ltd) – Rhubarb
  • Roger Vogels (S & A Produce) – West Midlands
  • Christian Marmandiu (Haygrove Ltd) – General production

Tree Fruit

Tree Fruit consists of apples, pears, plums, cherries, nuts and very small areas of novel crops such as apricot. There are 23,930 planted acres of orchards in the UK, worth £243m, according to the 2018 Defra horticulture statistics. 

If you have specific questions for your sector panel, please get in touch with Rachel McGauley. Email rachel.mcgauley@ahdb.org.uk

  • Rob Saunders (H L Hutchinson) - Chair
  • Christopher Baker (CC & JA Baker) - West Midlands
  • Paul Smith (Farmcare Ltd) - South East
  • Tom Hulme (A.C. Hulme & Sons) - Stone fruit
  • Alison Capper (Stocks Farm) - General production
  • Russell Graydon (Adrian Scripps Ltd) - South East
  • Emily Cliff (Lower Hope Fruit Ltd) - Stone fruit, West Midlands
  • Paul Ward (Mole End Farms) - Organics

Hardy Nursery Stock

The Hardy Nursery Stock sector contributes around 10% of the annual income and is one of the most diverse of the eight AHDB Horticulture sectors. The sector encompasses numerous production systems, ranging from outdoor systems (field or container) to protected systems (glasshouse or tunnel). Businesses vary considerably in size and the markets they supply, and the most specialist nurseries concentrate on only a few plant species, while others may supply well over 1000.

If you have specific questions for your sector panel, please get in touch with Georgina Key. Email georgina.key@ahdb.org.uk

  • Hossein Arshadi (Hillier Nurseries Ltd) - Trees and shrubs
  • James Durnford (Allensmore Nurseries Ltd) - Herbaceous perennials, alpines and grasses
  • Alastair Hazell (Darby Nursery Stock) - Roses
  • Bob Hollister (Country Garden Plant Sales Ltd) - Hardy ferns
  • Ed Holmes (J & A Growers Ltd) - Trees and hedging
  • James Moffat (James Coles & Sons) - Propagation
  • Ian Nelson (Johnsons of Wixley) - Herbaceous perennials, alpines and grasses
  • Mark Yates (Wyeplants Ltd) - Clematis and climbers
  • Martin Brijs (Palmstead Nurseries) - Herbaceous perennials, alpines and grasses
  • Nicole Higginson (New Leaf Plants Ltd) - Climbers

Protected Ornamentals, Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers

Protected Ornamentals encompasses production of protected pot plants, pack bedding and indoor cut flowers, as well as associated plant propagators.

Bulbs and Outdoor Flowers is a diverse sector encompassing daffodil bulb and flower production, forced bulbs, other bulb crops such as tulips and gladioli, and outdoor cut flowers and foliage contributes approx. 3% of the horticultural levy income.

If you have specific questions for your sector panel, please get in touch with Georgina Key. Email georgina.key@ahdb.org.uk

  • Mark Eves (PS & JE Ward) - Outdoor cut flowers and foliage
  • Andrew Fuller (Neame Lea Nursery Ltd) - Pot plants
  • Andrew Richards (J H Richards & Sons) - Daffodils, South West
  • Caroline Shove (Bryants Nurseries Ltd) - Bedding plants (pack and pot grown)
  • Gary Woodruffe (Bordon Hill Nurseries Ltd) - Bedding plants (pack and pot grown)
  • Malcolm Foster (Newey Ltd) - Bedding Plants (Pack and Pot Grown)
  • Robin Squance (Barton Grange Group) - Bedding Plants (Pack and Pot Grown)