Organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), the annual competition has been running since 1999, this year an Innovation Award was introduced to the categories.
If there was ever a time that we had to adapt, the last couple of years have definitely provided this opportunity to encourage new ways of working and thinking.
Sponsored by the Professional Sprayers People, the BCTGA Innovation Award was introduced to champion innovation within the Christmas tree sector, addressing challenges within the industry.
The award was open to BCTGA Grower and Associate Members and was judged on the challenge recognised, how well the challenge was solved and the overall advantage to the Industry. Entrants were encouraged to identifying and share ideas to support and inspire other Members, share ways to reduce environmental impact, introduce time and cost saving ideas and enhance industry best practice.
Hortifeeds from Lincolnshire won the 2022 Innovation Award with their sustainable wetting agent HortiHydrate Bio. Wetting agents are increasingly recognised as valuable tools to improve water and nutrient use efficiency in irrigated crops, including pot grown Christmas trees. HortiHydrate Bio is approved by the Soil Association for use in organic growing systems. TV presenter Jules Hudson was a special guest for this year’s competition and presented Hortifeeds with their award.
Malcolm Mullender of Professional Sprayers People, sponsor of the award and part of the judging panel commented on the winning product
"This ticks a lot of boxes and clearly has applications in various markets. I could see this becoming a popular choice within the pot grown sector of the Christmas tree market."
Joint runners up were BCTGA Grower Members Digby Farm Christmas Trees in Rutland and Hans Christmas Andersen in Surrey.
Digby Farm Christmas Trees entered their Christmas Tree Boom Mist Blower which was developed to provide a more targeted product application in Christmas trees.
Hans Christmas Andersen from Surrey whose design aimed to provide a more efficient and labour-saving way to create uniformity and quality in spruce production.
More details on all award winners can be found here.