Retirement calls for leading crop protection figure, Vivian Powell

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Vivian Powell (Viv), who has led the AHDB programme to deliver authorisations for plant protection products for the horticulture industry for nearly 20 years, has retired.

Having secured nearly 2,000 applications for Minor Use approvals since 1995, Viv leaves a legacy that directly impacts most UK horticulture businesses.

Her tenure has included overseeing a number of difficult challenges that the industry has faced, not least the recent loss of a number of key actives.

Viv said: “Recently the change from risk-based assessments of actives to Hazard-based has seen losses of numerous important actives and products. Integrated Pest Management is increasingly important and the work of AHDB through SCEPTREplus and other initiatives will, I hope, provide growers with much needed tools to continue sustainable production methods.”

Her commitment to finding solutions for growers has been unwavering and she will be missed by many in the industry.

Ian Holmes, R&D Chairman of the British Carrot Grower Association, said: “We would like to thank Viv for everything she has done in her efforts for the horticultural industry, and particularly the carrot and parsnip growers.

“Her calm and methodical approach as well as enthusiasm and great sense of humour made working with her a genuine pleasure and has eased the disappointments as well as magnifying the successes. We will miss Viv greatly, but will be forever grateful for her huge contribution to our industry.”

Viv’s knowledge and expertise accumulated over her career has been passed on to Bolette Palle Neve. Bolette will take up the role of Senior Crop Protection Scientist to continue the team’s work, which remains a high priority for AHDB Horticulture.

Head of Crop Health & Protection, Jon Knight, said: “Viv has made an extraordinary contribution to the horticulture industry over many years and her almost encyclopaedic knowledge of products and process has been invaluable in keeping a supply of suitable crop protection products for the many crop sectors.

“While Viv’s work has always been as part of a team, her ability and willingness to work with both the producers and crop protection industry has been beneficial on all sides. Thankfully she has willingly passed on the accumulated knowledge and wisdom to Bolette who we hope will continue the excellent work.”

Viv originally began work as an Assistant Scientific Officer working on glasshouse crops at Stockbridge House Experimental Horticulture Station on 30 April 1979.

Having made a number of good contacts and better friends over those four decades, Viv says she will miss the people the most. “With MAFF, HRI, HDC and AHDB colleagues, external contacts with growers, consultants, panel members, grower associations, crop protection companies, researchers, contacts from overseas and CRD personnel. I have made many friends and I really hope that they will keep in touch when I am no longer working in the industry,” she said.

If you want to get in touch with our Minor Use team to discuss your crop protection challenges or needs, please contact: