Grower Manager, Brian Moralee, from Wight Salads has won a prestigious international farming award from Marks & Spencer.
The annual M&S Farming for the Future awards were established seven years ago to celebrate producers in the M&S supply chain who stand out and make a difference to their industry.
There are ten initial categories – nine regional UK awards as well as an international award – and the winners of each of these categories gets put forward for the overall Champion of Champions award.
During his time as a grower Brian has achieved a great deal. In the late 1990s he pioneered organic UK tomato production and since then has developed many exciting new varieties for M&S. Brian has also been instrumental in creating a site that meets the standard of ‘Conservation Grade Farming’ and is constantly looking at ways to reduce the business’s environmental impact whilst improving production.
Commenting on the awards, Johnathan Sutton, Head of Agronomy at M&S, said: “Our judges were particularly impressed by Brian’s entry. Not only is he a really innovative grower, he is also committed to farming in an environmentally sensitive way and ‘doing the right thing’ both inside and outside of the glasshouses.
“The business is doing lots of great work in so many areas such as soil health and energy use. It’s a really exciting business and Brian is not afraid to try new things and is using lots of his knowledge from organic growing to improve the way conventional crops are grown.”
Commenting on his win, Brian said: “It’s fantastic to receive this recognition from Marks & Spencer, which is also a reflection of the work that the whole team put into producing tomatoes here on the Isle of Wight. What we do is focus on growing great tasting tomatoes and I’m always trying to do this in the most sustainable way, trying new ideas and reducing the use of inputs such as water and energy. I’ve been growing for M&S since the late 90s and I’m delighted that we can work together with shared values and explore innovative new ideas together.”