Ashdown, Caroline

Caroline graduated with a honours degree in horticulture from Writtle College in 2002 and joined Edward Vinson Limited as a manager for one of its propagation sites. In 2004, she joined Highland Court Farm, as part of the Quality Control team, both monitoring quality in the Packhouse and out in the field, becoming QC manager, before leaving in 2006 to join Worldwide Fruit. At Worldwide Fruit, Caroline is a Quality Technologist and Trials Co-Ordinator, mainly concentrating on the UK aspect of the company, assisting growers with quality requirements pre- and post-harvest, as well as visiting UK packsites.

Atkinson, Christopher

Christopher Atkinson graduated from University of London with a First in Applied Biology, studying for his PhD at the University of Wales. He has held postdoctoral positions with the University of Wales; Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Virginia, USA. He is also a Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, California, USA. and a Research Fellow at Lancaster University, UK. Currently Head of Science and Executive Member of East Malling Research's Science Management Team, his current work is directed at the health benefits of fruit consumption, particularly with respect to agronomic ways to enhance bioactive compounds.

Berrie, Dr Angela

Dr Angela Berrie graduated in Agricultural Botany at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth where she also completed three years post graduate research to gain a Ph.D. Angela started her career as a plant pathologist specialising in fruit crops at ADAS Wye before moving to East Malling as a research leader in plant pathology.

Biddlecombe, Tim

Tim graduated from Wye College in 1975 and joined ADAS as an Adviser/ Trials Officer at Brogdale. In 1977 he founded the Fruit Care Group – a group of 11 fruit growers based mainly around Maidstone. In 1980 he joined Farm Advisory Services Team Ltd (Fast) becoming managing director in 1992. Located at Brogdale, Fast houses the advisory team and laboratories as well as managing the National Fruit Collection for Defra in partnership with the University of Reading.

Blackman, Dr Jonathan

Dr Jonathan Blackman is a graduate of Wye College, University of London and studied for his DPhil at the University of Sussex. After nearly 10 years working for ADAS as a Soil Scientist and as a research scientist at Rosemaund in Herefordshire, he has since 1999, worked in the West Midlands as a BASIS and FACTS qualified Fruit and Hops Agronomist, currently with Hutchinsons. He is Secretary of the Herefordshire Hop Discussion Group, Steward of the Commercial Apple and Pear classes at the Malvern Autumn Show and is a member of the Marden Fruit Show Society General Committee.

Bourn, Gordon

Gordon joined Home Grown Fruits as a Quality Inspector in 1971 and worked as a Quality Assurance Manager for 35 years through the company's evolution to Worldwide Fruit Ltd. Gordon retired in March 2007 and now works part-time as a Quality Consultant for Newma Fruits International.

Easton, Emma

Emma Easton joined EMR in 1990 and since then has had a variety of posts starting with horticultural work in the Glasshouse section, then project costing/environmental computer controls in the same section. She is currently involved in experimental costing and specific commercial projects; liaising with scientists; record keeping and Quality Assurance for the Glasshouses and Commercial Farm. Emma also assists in looking after casual staff and is heavily involved in Plant Health introductions and exports.

Fisher, Simon

After graduating from the Isle of Ely Horticultural College, he was employed as a Plantation Assistant at the then East Malling Research Station and after two years moved to Hadlow College as Fruit Instructor. In 1976 he was appointed as farm manager on one of R.J.W Mitchell and Sons fruit farms near Sevenoaks and after a few years was promoted to General Farm Manager for Robert Mitchell Partnership group of farms. He continued his career at ICA Ltd working with David Bishop, on controlled atmosphere storage, in their instrument division until he retired in 2012.

Flegg, Dr Jim

Dr Jim Flegg is an Imperial College zoology graduate, and spent much of his professional life at East Malling Research Station working on plant parasitic nematodes, particularly those transmitting virus diseases in fruit crops and hops. He took a mid-career break converting an engrossing hobby to a job working as Director of the British Trust for Ornithology, the prime organisation researching bird numbers, distribution and ecology and responsible for bird ringing. Returning to East Malling, he became Head of the Zoology Department and then Head of Station. After retirement, he maintained his soft fruit interests as Chairman of Meiosis Ltd. He was appointed OBE in 1997 for his services to horticulture and received the KCAS President's Award in 2003 for his efforts in bringing together all those with interests in the rural environment. He is the author of numerous scientific articles, several books and has been a familiar face on Meridian TV as presenter of the long running series Country Ways.

Gaskin, Richard

Richard Gaskin started his career as an agricultural apprentice with Rickards Farms then studied at Hadlow College before returning to Rickards Farms for a total of seven years. That was followed by two years with Safeway, nine years with Chingford Fruit Packers, two years with AV Ltd and a year with Dunand. For the past 12 years he has run and developed Techno Fresh Consultancy Ltd, acting as technical consultants to smaller suppliers to the multiple retailers as well as providing third-party quality control and independent surveys for overseas senders and UK receivers.

Guest, John

John Guest spent 30 years on his family farm in West Kent growing top fruit, including more than 10 years growing and packing for Sainsbury and Tesco and 20 years growing strawberries and raspberries under poly tunnels. Director of Mid Kent Growers during the late 1980s, he sold the farm in 1991 and three years later joined Home Grown as a Quality Assurance Manager. In 1996 he was appointed to lead the QA & Technical team at Fruition, followed by stints at Worldwide Fruit, first asTechnical Director (UK) and then part-time as Technical Manager UK Procurement. In 2007 John set up his own freelance consultancy and in 2009 launched The English Apple Man web site.

Handford, John

John graduated from Wye College in 1984 with a BSc (Hons) in Plant Sciences. He worked in a farm management capacity for growers of outdoor salads and vegetable crops before joining FAST in 1989 and has specialised in soft fruit since August of that year. John is a director and senior soft fruit advisor at FAST Ltd

Jenner, Nigel

Graduated from Hadlow College in 1995 with ND (Agriculture) and ANCH (Horticulture). From 1996-2000 he worked in the ADAS fruit team, where he specialised in fruit storage and qualified as an Agronomist achieving both BASIS and FACTS qualifications. In 2000-2003 he worked as an Agronomist and fruit storage specialist for Hutchinsons before joining Norman Collett Ltd in 2003. Nigel is currently Technical Director of Norman Collett Ltd, where he continues his work in agronomy and fruit storage.

Johnson, David

David Johnson graduated with an honours degree in Botany from Manchester University prior to taking a research position within the Storage Division of East Malling Research Station. In 2009 David retired from his position as Head of the Post Harvest Group after 37 years of service.

Lipska, Marzena

Marzena Lipska works at East Malling Research (EMR), and is involved in the raspberry breeding programme. Prior to EMR, she was at the James Hutton Institute where she spent some time with their breeder Nikki Jennings. Marzena has also worked for Angus Soft Fruits on soft fruit trials and did her MSc dissertation on Polka and other PF cultivars in Poland.

Olsson, Stuart

Stuart Olsson joined MAFF as a Horticultural Marketing Inspector in 1968. He was promoted to Senior Inspector in 1970 and moved to the New Covent Garden in 1974. In 1980 he was posted to Southampton and in 1989 was moved to Maidstone. In 2001 he retired from MAFF and worked for Orchardworld Ltd as a Quality Technician from 2002 to his retirement in June 2006.

Opie, Philip

After studying Biochemistry and London University (RHC), Philip's initial career was within the Pharmaceutical Industry in a research department carrying out advanced analytical techniques. He then joined the family business in the technical department, developing the scientific aims of the business with laboratory and manufacturing accreditation. He has been involved with the development of the Science side of the company, and been on panels at Leatherhead Food Research, Campden Research Association, and Technical Committees of the FDF. Philip is also a member of I.F.S.T.

Pennell, Mary

Mary Pennell joined ADAS National Fruit Trials, Brogdale in 1973 and worked on apple, cherry and strawberry trials. In 1986, she became Horticultural Curator of the National Fruit Collections at Brogdale, originally with MAFF (now Defra), from 1991 with the Brogdale Horticultural Trust and currently with FAST Ltd. in collaboration with the University of Reading.

Quinlan, Jim

Jim graduated (Honours Agriculture) from the University of Wales in 1959 and followed this with a Ph D (Plant Physiology) in 1962. He joined East Malling Research Station Plant Physiology Department in 1962 to research the chemical control of plant development. Jim transferred to the East Malling Pomology Department in 1978 and became Head of Department in 1982. Following retirement from EMRS Jim was appointed Director of The East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research (1996-2004). Currently he is Scientific Advisor to the HDC and East Malling Trust. Voluntary work includes that for the RHS (member of the RHS Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee) and for the National Trust.

Rison, Russell

Russell studied at Writtle Horticultural College before managing a fruit farm in Suffolk and becoming Farm Manager for the National Fruit Trials at Brogdale in Kent. He has been a partner in a mixed top and soft fruit farm and worked for Agrochemical specialists in Kent and Sussex. Russell has also worked as a Quality Control Manager for imported produce and is now retired.

Tinsley, Andrew

After a spell working on a vegetable farm and with ornamentals under glass Andrew Tinsley studied Horticultural Science at Reading University and then joined the consultancy ADAS, advising on tree fruit in the South East for 25 years. In 2005 Andrew joined the HDC where he is the technical manager responsible for top and soft fruit R&D. Andrew has been an MFFS Committee member and NFS judge for 20 years.

Weatherley, Bernard

Bernard trained in horticulture and agriculture at the Kent Farm Institute. After ten years in commercial fruit growing joined the staff at Hadlow College and worked as an instructor before promotion to commercial fruit farm manager. He is now retired.

Whybrow, Richard

Richard's farming career started some 53 years ago in Essex on a mixed Farm. He stayed on until attending Writtle Agricultural College for a one year agricultural course. After leaving college he went back to work for the same farm until 1962 when he joined Co-Partnership Farm at Boreham, Essex as a fruitman-chargehand until 1966. After hearing that the Ford Motor company would be buying most of the orchards adjoining their test track, Boreham wartime aerodrome, he decided to move on. Bradenham Fruit Farm in Norfolk was the next stop where he became fruit foreman. This lasted for ten happy years and at the grand age of 36 Richard thought if he was going to enhance his career further he had better get on and do so. He applied to become a fruit farm manager at SC & JH Berry at Selling, Kent and spent 13 glorious years with them until unfortunately part of the family wished to sell a part of the farm and he was made redundant. He then joined Dalgety Agriculture as an advisor/salesman. The company was bought by Masstock Arable.

Worraker, Roger

Roger Worraker's involvement in the fruit growing industry goes back decades. After university, he worked at Kew Gardens for two years before joining East Malling Research Station. Later he became a lecturer and then, in the early 1970s, a fruit consultant. He has the distinction of having judged at both the Marden/National Fruit Show and the old East Kent Fruit Show.

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