Inspirational youngster recognised by IPP at Fresh Produce Awards

IPP UK Director Phil Storer (Right) and former England international cricketer Graeme Swann (Left) present the FPC Young Person of the Year award to Jacob Kirwan

A tech-savvy farming manager whose work is helping his business win the battle against food waste has been recognised for his achievements at a glittering gala night hosted by former England cricketer Graeme Swann.

Jacob Kirwan, Innovation Manager at G’s Fresh, has overseen the introduction of a sophisticated crop monitoring system to measure the growth of iceberg lettuces and predict demand for the product.

In recognition of his efforts, Jacob was awarded the Fresh Produce Consortium’s Young Person of the Year award, sponsored by Coventry-based IPP, at a gala evening held at the Tower of London on June 6.

G’s Fresh, based near Ely in Cambridgeshire, is one of the largest producers of salad and vegetables in Europe.

Over the last four years, Jacob has worked on several projects to optimise how fresh salads and vegetables are grown and cut down on waste.

In choosing him for the award, the judges recognised Jacob’s “breadth of knowledge, skill and commitment” in his field.

Jacob was presented with his award by Phil Storer, UK Director for IPP, who said: “The issue of reducing waste in the supply chain has never been in sharper focus, so it’s great to see innovative individuals like Jacob leading the way in finding new solutions to the problem.

“Developing a system which predicts seasonal demand for a product which can’t be stored is a double-whammy, saving money on both costs and environmental impact. Congratulations to Jacob and the team at G’s Fresh.”

The Fresh Awards are run by the Fresh Produce Consortium, the UK trade association for the fresh produce and cut flower industry, to celebrate achievements in the field.

Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium, said: “The Fresh Awards showcase strong leadership, business acumen and innovation throughout the UK fresh produce industry. We’re delighted to celebrate with the winners and finalists who demonstrate what’s great about our industry.”

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