The 65th Goudhurst & Paddock Wood NFU Orchard Competition saw the fruit industry’s new marketing group – Avalon Produce Ltd – at the awards presentation at Bardsley Farms’ winning Rectory Farm. Avalon was joint sponsor, along with BASF, of this prestigious competition. Chairman of the new company, Andy Sadler, formerly managing director of Norman Collett Ltd, said that his genuine hope was that Avalon can work towards securing a sustainable future for its members, but can also be seen to be working together for the common good of all in the industry, and that those involved can look back and say: “We’ve done okay”.
Bardsley Farms won numerous trophies, including the BASF Championship Trophy with their Rectory and Heronden Farms near Staplehurst, Kent, both farms known for their production of Cox apples. Giles Cannon’s Roughway Farm won Class II in the competition, winning both the N.P. Seymour Trophy and the Norman Collett Trophy. Other notable farms winning trophies included J.L. Baxter & Son’s Amsbury Farm, E.G. Butcher & Sons’ Toke Farm and Q.W. Farms’ Home Farm.
Avalon Produce Ltd represents about 25 per cent of the UK’s top fruit growers including, among others, Mid Kent Growers, former SGT members and W. Charlton & Son Ltd.