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New horticulture sector board members

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Five new members have been appointed to the AHDB Horticulture Sector Board. They began their three-year term from 1 April 2020.

 The new sector board members bring a wealth of horticultural experience from different sectors, including ornamentals, vegetables and fruit:

  • Keston Williams – Director at Barfoots of Botley Ltd. (field produce)
  • Peter Judge – Managing Director, S&A Produce (strawberry)
  • Mark Eves – Director, PS & JE Ward Ltd. (bulbs and outdoor flowers)
  • Jamie Dewhurst – Managing Director, J&A Growers (hardy nursery plants)
  • Michael Barker – former editor of Fresh Produce Journal (independent board member)

They will have responsibility for overseeing the horticulture sector strategy and ensuring that the levy raised has been spent to the benefit of the sector.

Hayley Campbell-Gibbons, AHDB Board Member and Chair of the Horticulture Sector Board, said: “It was critical we appointed new members who could bring both the depth of knowledge about their sector, as well as a strategic and innovative vision, to help support the industry over the next few years.

“The global pandemic, our exit from the EU, as well as the loss of plant protection controls, the rise in automation, climate change, a consolidating supply chain and changing consumer behaviour are all going to significantly impact our industry. We will also be responding to the recommendations from Defra’s request for views report. Our focus is to ensure the levy is being invested in the best way possible, to help our growers thrive through the challenging times ahead.”

Keston Williams, Barfoots of Botley Ltd. said: “I am excited to join the AHDB Horticulture Sector Board and help shape the future of the UK’s horticultural agenda. My grower and industry networks, and passion for innovation and crop protection will enable me to challenge, evaluate and advise on new strategies and innovation opportunities within the remit of AHDB.”

Jamie Dewhurst, J&A Growers, said: “I am a hands-on grower but realise the importance of influencing decisions that impact our sector. Having previously been vice chair of AHDB’s HNS research panel, I am pleased to contribute to the organisation’s wider strategy and activity. I will represent growers’ interests and keep AHDB’s work focused in areas that have the biggest impact on our businesses.”

All members have the potential to serve a second three-year term and were appointed following a competitive process. Jamie Dewhurst began his tenure in November 2019.

They join three existing board members; you can meet our board here ahdb.org.uk/horticulture-board

Hayley adds, “I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the departing members of the board for their hard work and valued effort on behalf of growers. They have each made a significant contribution to the industry during their tenure on the board.”

 Keston Williams

  • Barfoots grows, packs and processes field produce in farms in Hampshire and West Sussex. It also has operations in Senegal, Spain and South America

Peter Judge

  • S&A Produce is the largest independent UK strawberry growing business, based in Herefordshire. It has global operations in Spain and Chile

Mark Eves

  • Belmont Nurseries by PS & JE Ward Ltd. is the largest commercial grower of outdoor tulips in the UK. Based in Norfolk, they also produce freshly cut daffodils, peonies, sweet William and gladioli, among other cut flowers, for the largest UK supermarkets

Jamie Dewhurst

  • J&A Growers Ltd. produces hardy nursery plants in Warwickshire for the wholesale industry in the UK and Europe, producing 12 million plants annually. They are the largest growers of hawthorn in the EU

Michael Barker

  • Former editor of Fresh Produce Journal (FPJ), Fresh Foods editor at The Grocer and editor of Commercial Grower magazine. Michael is now a contributing editor for FPJ and other agriculture and food publications