Worshipful Company of Fruiterers’ Matthew Mack Award presented to Dr Rex Brennan

The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers is delighted to announce that the 2021 Matthew Mack Award is presented to Dr Rex Brennan. This triennial award is to recognise distinguished achievements in education, training and innovation within the fruit industry.

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic the Award was presented at a Virtual Banquet on the 17th March 2021, by Master David Simmons, who outlined Dr Brennan’s achievements:

“Dr Brennan’s contribution to innovation in soft fruit growing and blackcurrants in particular is well known and widely appreciated within both the UK and the global fruit industries.

After a lifetime working at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, Dr Brennan developed expertise in the integration of berry fruit genetics with commercially-funded fruit breeding programmes, especially in Ribes (blackcurrants and gooseberries).

Dr Brennan’s contribution to the genetics, breeding and development of commercially successful varieties is fundamental to the current success of the industry. He has had significant and productive collaborations with other breeders and researchers in the UK, Europe, USA and New Zealand, and also worked on winter chilling requirement and the genetic control of dormancy processes of perennial fruit crops, and the potential effects of climate change.”

Chris Newenham, Chair Awards Council, Worshipful Company of Fruiterers said: “At its first ever Virtual Banquet the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers was delighted to have the opportunity to present Dr Brennan with its prestigious triennial Matthew Mack Award. Dr Brennan has devoted a lifetime’s work to enhancing and advancing the genetics of berry fruits throughout the country and this is well deserved recognition for his immense efforts.”

Dr Rex Brennan said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive the Matthew Mack Award from the Worshipful Company, in recognition of my work at the James Hutton Institute for over 30 years. I was fortunate during that time to work with many talented colleagues at the Institute and elsewhere, and I must acknowledge their considerable contributions to the work. In addition, the support of a wide range of commercial partners was crucial in getting the results of our work, including new varieties, out to the fruit industry.”

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute said: “We are very pleased to hear Rex has received this richly-deserved honour. His work is outstanding and underpins our reputation for soft fruit breeding. Rex has also made enormous contributions to mentoring the next generation of Hutton soft fruit breeders and plant scientists.”

Picture caption: Dr Rex Brennan

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