JIM AITKEN, senior field manager at Branston, has won the AHDB’s coveted ‘Above and Beyond’ award at BP2017, the UK's biennial potato event.
The award given by AHDB Potatoes, a division of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board committed to making the potato industry more competitive and sustainable, is presented to an exceptional performer or an individual who has made a significant achievement over the past five years.
Jim has been based at Branston’s Abernethy site since the company took it over in 2004, and indeed prior to this. His role as senior field manager is within agronomy, but his passion for getting the best out of potatoes means that he strives to be involved in and maintain a strong working relationship between agronomy, procurement, technical and production at the site. Jim was delighted to be presented with his award at the AHDB Potatoes stand at BP2017, a ‘seed to shopping trolley’ event at which the whole of the potato industry come together once every two years.
Jim said: “The potato sector is such an important part of UK agriculture, and I feel passionate about the role that I play within Branston to ensure the ever-increasing market needs in this industry are met with quality products.
“I have worked in this industry for over 30 years, and so to be recognised by AHDB Potatoes with such a prestigious award at BP 2017, an event which really celebrates the potato industry, is a real honour.”
James Truscott, managing director at Branston said: “I am delighted to see Jim receive this award. He is extremely well known and respected in the industry, and is a real champion for our sector.
“Jim is always looking at ways to drive improvement and change where it is needed, and is always happy to share his extensive knowledge and expertise with others. In particular, he is committed to passing on his skills and experience to young people in the industry, many of whom have gone on to become successful agronomists in their own right within the potato and vegetable sectors. I am proud to have Jim on our team here at Branston. He has played an instrumental role in the growth and development of the company, and I hope that he will continue to be a part of the company for many years to come.”