Five members of horticulture and produce sector awarded 2020 Nuffield Farming Scholarships

Five members of the horticulture and produce sector, including three farmers, have been awarded a 2020 Nuffield Farming Scholarship:

David Butler is a fruit farmer from Kent, with his own 65-hectare business that is incorporated into a larger, 300-hectare fruit business in which he serves as Fruit Manager. He will study his chosen topic, ‘Biodiversity for the Future of Fruit Farming’ and is generously supported by Thatchers Cider.

John Cappalonga owns and manages Gee Vee Enterprise, a large sweet pepper nursery located in Greater London. He will study his chosen topic, ‘How a Circular Economy can benefit UK Farmers and Growers’ and is generously supported by The Studley College Trust.

Nicola Harrison, from Kent, is a Senior Scientist in Crop Production Systems (Horticulture).

with AHDB. She will study her chosen topic, ‘Mapping out a green growth strategy for UK horticulture’ and is generously supported jointly by The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and the Food Chain.

Fred Langdale serves as the Vineyard Manager of Exton Park Vineyard, located in Hampshire. He will study his chosen topic, ‘Frost protection and post frost care in cool climate viticulture’ and is generously supported by the John Oldacre Foundation.

Owner and Director of Food Technical Expert Ltd, Lucy MacLennan is technical strategy consultant specialising in fresh produce businesses and supply chains. She will study her chosen topic, ‘Do audits really improve microbiological food safety in fresh produce?’ and is generously supported by the Central Region Farmers Trust.

“UK agriculture is navigating through a period of uncertainty and change - environmentally, socially and politically,” says Mike Vacher, Nuffield Director. “Our 2020 Scholars were selected from a talented and passionate group of applicants for their ability to lead positive change in their sectors, as well as their potential to inspire others to do the same over the course of their travels and beyond.

“The Scholarship offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to connect with and learn from the best of the international food and farming community. The knowledge and experiences they will bring back to the UK will be incredibly valuable as our industry moves forward, and this wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.”

The Scholarships will be formally awarded at the Nuffield Farming Conference, held 27-29 November at Chesford Grange in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, after which the Scholars will commence their 18-months of travel and study.

“We have an exciting range of study topics this year and, on behalf of the Trust, I’d like to wish the 2020 Scholars the very best as they prepare to start to their journeys. I know that they have the ability to not only guide British agriculture through these uncertain times, but to help make it stronger than ever before,” adds Mike.