2 Mar 2020
Fresca & Thompson’s Innovation Centre is the winner of the first award in the collaboration between the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers (WCF) and the Trustees of the Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology (JHSB); the Special Merit Award 2020: Climate Change.
The Special Merit Award Scheme supports horticultural scientific research and industrial development.
The aim of the first award is to help address the mitigation of climate change, the major challenge facing human survival on our planet.
These Awards are intended to encourage innovation, vision and practical application. Applicants had to demonstrate that their work is achieving a significant impact and requires further financial support to take this work to the next level. The winners are awarded £30,000 over three years to progress their work.
The WCF’s Awards Council and the JHSB Trustees recognised that Fresca & Thompson’s Innovation Centre’s work addressing two fundamental issues: (a) the increasingly challenging weather conditions and (b) taking advantage of increased warmth and longer growing periods, has the likely impact of a reduced carbon footprint as well as developing more sustainable production methods, while addressing challenges such as soil erosion and reduced water.
The Award will be presented at the WCF’s Audit Court dinner, Mercers Hall, City of London on 13 May 2020. In addition, representatives of the winners are invited to meet the Board of Trustees of JHSB for a buffet lunch at its AGM on 7 May 2020 which will be held at the School of Agriculture, Policy & Development of the University of Reading.
Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly, Chairman Special Merit Awards, WCF said: “This is the first of many future awards that the Awards Council looks forward to granting as part of the WCF’s commitment to support research into the vital areas of climate change, education and wellbeing. We are delighted to have such a deserving winner. The objectives of Fresca & Thompson’s Innovation Centre show originality and vision. The Centre ‘was created to identify and commercialise potential new UK crops as a climate change adaptation and mitigation project’. That objective fits very well with the Award objectives. We are also very pleased to be working with the Trustees of the JHSB and look forward to our partnership continuing in the future.”
Professor Geoffrey R Dixon, Chairman of the Trustees JHSB said: "The Trustees of the Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology (JHSB) are very pleased to be associated with this initiative. The Journal was originally founded with the express purpose of publishing robust horticultural science research for the benefit of producers and the wider public. This award promotes and expands that remit."
Peter Thompson, Managing Director, George Thompson Ltd said: “We are very proud to receive the Special Merit Award from the Fruiterers and JHSB, recognising the work we have undertaken to date with the support of Fresca and Belazu. This allows us to accelerate and expand the scope of our work to deliver the results and change we are aiming for.”