The Lantra Land based Learner Awards celebrate the talents of Wales’ top environmental and land-based individuals and businesses, and recognise the initiative, skills and enthusiasm of individuals pursuing careers within the environmental and land-based sector.

Tyfu Cymru’s Training Award recognises the top horticulture businesses in Wales for outstanding commitment to Continuous Professional Development. Tyfu Cymru is a project managed by Lantra, and with funding from the Welsh Government Cooperation and Supply Chain Development scheme offering 100% funded support for training and development for the Horticulture Industry.

Winner of the award, Hootons Homegrown is a family farm proudly producing homegrown Anglesey fruit and vegetables and rear their own livestock.          

The Hooton family have evolved their business over many years, from a farm growing cereals and potatoes to today’s collection of enterprises which not only comprises of a farm growing an extensive range of vegetables and fruit but also livestock that supply their two farm shops and café.         

It is obvious to see the passionate continuing commitment to developing their professional enterprises and knowledge. The 100% funded support from Tyfu Cyrmu has enabled the family and their employees to gain knowledge and obtain assistance that has helped to enhance their foresight and ability to develop even further.

Michael Hooton said: “Welsh growers need the partnership of Tyfu Cymru to stimulate the Welsh horticultural industry with up to date techniques and developments and to promote a viable future.” James Hooton added, “We are finding the advice from Tyfu Cymru a huge benefit to our horticultural business”.

Runner up, Puffin Produce Ltd is the largest supplier of Welsh produce in Wales, supplying a wide variety of potatoes and seasonal vegetables to multiple major retailers and wholesalers.

Today, Puffin Produce Ltd employs around 180 team members at their Withybush headquarters. They pack around 65,000 tonnes of Welsh potatoes every year, including their Pembrokeshire Early PGI potatoes. The Blas y Tir brand not only sells quality Welsh potatoes, but also a range of delicious Welsh seasonal vegetables.

Puffin Produce Ltd hold strong values with regards to their people, community and environment to ensure that they are at the heart of their business which is reflected in their nomination for the Tyfu Cymru Training Award, through their engagement and commitment to ongoing horticulture training and continuing professional development.

Also a runner up for the award, Seiont Nurseries Ltd based in Caernarfon supply mail order plants such as Cordylines, hardy Ferns & Heucheras. They work with breeders & agents worldwide to develop some of the best new varieties available.

‘We are big enough to cope and small enough to care!’ Is the slogan of Seiont Nurseries Ltd. Established in 1978, Seiont Nurseries is a well-known plug and liner producer with an annual production of 850,000 liners and 400,000 plugs. They specialise in new and unusual varieties that are sold throughout the UK and Europe.

Seiont Nurseries Ltd have been able to adapt to turbulent changes in their business environment successfully throughout this transitional time and have continued to develop their professional knowledge, skills and processes with the support provided by Tyfu Cymru.

Seiont NurseriesRunner up: Seiont Nurseries

Nominees for the award also included:

  • Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire - quite simply one of Wales’ finest gardens. A renowned plantsman’s paradise. It offers the opportunity to explore more than 10 acres of magnificent gardens.
  • Derwen Garden Centre, Welshpool - a family run business that prides itself on an extensive range of plants and knowledgeable staff.
  • Springfield Produce, Pembrokeshire - grow top quality strawberries, daffodils and asparagus to sell in their Pembrokeshire farm shop as well as dozens of varieties of daffodil bulbs.

Sarah Gould, Tyfu Cymru Project Manager commented, “We would like to congratulate the winner, both runner ups and 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, in particular during this challenge period. We were pleased to recognise this through the Tyfu Cymru award.”

Hootons Homegrown are among 220 grower enterprises who have received support from Tyfu Cymru. The programme, now in its third year has delivered 588 fully funded training days, with over 1360 participants, and established 18 grower networks which focus on providing opportunities for growers to work together to overcome common issues. 

During a difficult year for the horticulture industry, Tyfu Cymru have pivoted their offer to deliver online workshops, meetings and networking, with a particular focus on supporting the industry to overcome challenges presented during this time, such as training to set up online selling platforms, guidance on safe re-opening, or 1-2-1 focused sessions with industry experts.

Sarah Gould added, “Over the last year 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 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 is able to provide 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. To find out more please visit: https://www.tyfucymru.co.uk/