Innovative ideas impress M&S

Chris Moncrieff won the Outstanding Producer award for his commitment over 35 years
Chris Moncrieff won the Outstanding Producer award for his commitment over 35 years

A Runcton farmer whose innovative ideas have impressed M&S has won a national award for excellence.

Chris Moncrieff, production director at Vitacress, was named Outstanding Producer at the Farming for the Future awards at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells.

As he looks to retirement, his dedication to the working relationship with M&S spanning more than 35 years was highlighted.

Steve McLean, head of agriculture and fisheries at M&S, said: “The Farming for the Future awards are now in their tenth year, acknowledging the dedication and commitment our farmers and growers are making towards Plan A and sharing best practice among the agricultural community across Ireland and the UK.

“Chris is a very worthy winner who has demonstrated innovative thinking, commercial success and social responsibility in the way that they manage and execute their business.”

Vitacress supplies herbs, potted herbs and tomatoes to M&S stores across the UK and Chris has been at the helm of an endless stream of innovative ideas that have improved the range and quality of produce available to customers.

As Chris was set to retire from Vitacress this summer, the M&S team nominated him to recognise his significant contribution to the business.

Judges were particularly impressed with his continuous drive to push boundaries and look at new ways to do things.

The M&S stand at the Royal Welsh Show showcased purple basil and hydroponically-grown herbs, a project that Chris has worked on for a number of months.

Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation. The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term.