West Sussex grower Martin Emmett has been elected as the new chair of the NFU Horticulture and Potatoes board.
Mr Emmett is an ornamental plant grower and a director of Tristram Plants, which is part of the Farplants co-operative which grows and markets over 2000 plant varieties, and generates more than £50 million worth of sales through retail each year.
Derek Wilkinson has been re-elected as vice chair of the board, a position he has held since 2018. Derek, a Warwickshire grower from Sandfields Farm, supplies G’s Fresh with spring onions, asparagus and other products.
Mr Emmett said: “I’m delighted to have been elected as Horticulture and Potatoes board chair and I’m looking forward to working with the board to ensure our industry has a bright future. The fruit, veg, plants and flowers we produce in Britain are world-leading and we should be looking to maximise our production of these products and grow our self-sufficiency. However, we cannot escape the pressing issues facing our sector,” Martin continued, “namely labour supply and rapidly rising costs. I’m committed to working with government to raise these issues.
“I would also like to thank Ali Capper for her years of work as the chair of the board, navigating turbulent times and issues including the UK’s exit from the EU and ongoing labour shortages. I’m pleased she will remain on the board and look forward to continue working with her.”
Mr Wilkinson said: “I’m pleased to have been re-elected as vice chair of the board and continue the work we have been undertaking over the past few years. I’m looking forward to working with Martin as the new chair and represent growers right across the industry at the highest levels of government.”