The Lantra Land-based Learner Awards celebrates the talents of Wales' top environmental and land-based individuals and businesses and recognize the initiative, skills, and enthusiasm of individuals pursuing careers within the environmental and land-based sector.
Tyfu Cymru's Training Award recognizes the top horticulture businesses in Wales for outstanding commitment to Continuous Professional Development. Tyfu Cymru is a project managed by Lantra, offering 100% funded support for training and development for the Horticulture Industry, with funding from the Welsh Government Cooperation and Supply Chain Development scheme, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Winner of the award, Puffin Produce Ltd is the largest supplier of Welsh produce in Wales, supplying various seasonal vegetables and potatoes to many food retailers and wholesalers. The Blas y Tir brand not only sells quality Welsh potatoes but also a range of delicious Welsh seasonal vegetables.
Puffin's roots are set deep in the Welsh countryside. Since the 1970s, they have been growing delicious produce and supplying a range of ethically sourced Welsh products grown, picked, and packed in Wales. They are proud to continue to support Welsh farmers and the Welsh economy. Today, Puffin Produce Ltd employs approximately 190 team members at their Withybush headquarters. They grow around 65,000 tonnes of Welsh potatoes every year, including their Pembrokeshire Early PGI potatoes.
Puffin Produce's success in being awarded the Tyfu Cymru Training Award is an accolade for their ongoing commitment to providing their staff and suppliers with ongoing horticulture training and continuing professional development.
Stephen Mathias, from Puffin Produce, said: "We are delighted to have been recognized with this training award and grateful to Tyfu Cymru for their support in really improving our growers' skills in a wide range of areas."
Runner up, Four Crosses Nursery, are growers of hardy nursery stock for wholesale supply. They have the capability and capacity to produce large quantities of competitively priced plants. Established in 1989 and based in Llanymynech, Powys, Four Crosses Nursery produce in excess of 3.5 million container shrubs for wholesale supply.
Four Crosses Nursery's nomination for the Tyfu Cymru Training Award recognizes their ongoing commitment to their engagement with the support that Tyfu Cymru offers through training, advice, and other forms of continuous professional development.
Gary Swaine, Four Crosses Nursery, said: "Four crosses nursery in the last three years doubled turnover and employed an extra eight people. This has only been possible with the ongoing support of Tyfu Cymru and their vision for as horticulture in wales being a significant growth industry."
Nominees for the award also included:
- Ali's Edibles | Llanmaes, Vale of Glamorgan - Ali's Edibles is a market garden in the village of Llanmaes, Vale of Glamorgan.
- Boverton Nurseries Ltd | Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan - Boverton Nurseries Ltd is a long-established family business that specializes in Spring/Summer bedding plants that are grown specifically to the requirements of local authorities.
- Henbant | Caernarfon, Gwynedd - Henbant is a regenerative family and community farm on the coast of North Wales.
- Springfields Fresh Produce (Manorbier) Ltd | Tenby, Pembrokeshire - Springfields is run by Nick and Pat Bean where, for many years, they have been growing top-quality strawberries, daffodils, and asparagus in Pembrokeshire.
Sarah Gould, Tyfu Cymru Project Manager, commented, "We would like to congratulate Puffin Produce, Four Crosses Nurseries and all the nominees of the Tyfu Cymru award. These growers not only make a significant contribution to the horticulture industry in Wales, but they have also shown outstanding dedication to growing the industry through enabling and encouraging their team to attend specialist training and development, with the aim of reducing the skills gap currently faced by the industry. We were pleased to recognize this through the Tyfu Cymru award."
Puffin Produce and Four Crosses Nursery are among 400 grower enterprises that have received support from Tyfu Cymru. The program has now delivered over 1,314 fully funded training days, with over 3,000 participants, and established 35 grower networks that focus on providing opportunities for growers to work together to overcome common issues.
Sarah Gould added, "The horticulture industry in Wales has demonstrated its resilience and ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances. Our aim is to support Welsh growers in overcoming these obstacles and ensuring they are in a prime position to benefit from opportunities as they arise. Whether that be through technical advice to improve the yields from crops, guidance on new growing techniques, or training on digital marketing."
Tyfu Cymru provides 100% funded support to eligible horticulture businesses in Wales through the provision of 1:1 support, access to networks, study tours, group training, and other means of aiding the development of industrial knowledge, skills, and processes. The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
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