Ali Capper announces new Horticulture Crop Protection team and CEO

Board chair Ali Capper announces official launch of HCP

Board chair Ali Capper announces official launch of HCP

Horticulture Crop Protection Ltd (HCP), the grower-owned-and-subsidised company set up to ensure UK growers have access to plant protection products once AHDB Horticulture wound down, formally opened for business yesterday (17 April).

Five former AHDB crop protection specialists, Lindsey Daniel, Carlos Duarte, Grace Emeny, Joanna McTigue and Kim Parker, have joined the new, not-for-profit organisation, it was announced.

Meanwhile, the transfer of all relevant information and residual levy funds (as a grant) from AHDB has been agreed, allowing HCP to continue the important Extension of Authorisation for Minor Uses (EAMU) and Emergency Authorisation (EA) work as seamlessly as possible for the Horticulture sector, HCP board chair Ali Capper said.

And Simon Conway, most recently managing director at Vitacress Salads, has been appointed HCP part-time CEO, and will take up the post from mid-June.

Until then Jack Ward, British Growers Association CEO, will to continue to steer the direction of HCP, Capper said.

Announcing Conway’s appointment, Capper said: “Simon has plenty of experience in delivering a strong sustainability focus in business strategy, net zero and biodiversity planning and is passionate about the future of the EAMU and EA service for UK Horticulture.”

Conway added: “I am excited to be joining HCP and leading this new organisation at the start of its journey through the vital work it is going to do for the benefit of the UK horticultural sector.”

The HCP team will manage the EAMUs process, Emergency approval (EA) applications, residue and efficacy trials.

HCP team coordinator Lindsey Daniel will lead on website communications for growers and agronomists, and has been in the AHDB crop protection team for four years.

Carlos Duarte will continue to focus on soft fruit and tree fruit crop protection issues. He has a degree in plant pathology and a Masters in Engineering, Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering, comes from a farming background and is a data management specialist.

Grace Emeny has over 10 years’ experience in horticulture scientific research with a Zoology undergraduate degree and MRes degree in Biology. Emeny has been part of the EAMU team for over a year, she works alongside legume, asparagus, rhubarb, sweetcorn and cucurbit growers, whilst liaising with researchers and plant protection product manufacturers to bring new crop protection solutions to growers.

Dr Joanna McTigue focuses on ornamental crops, protected vining crops and mushrooms. She also specialises in worker exposure risk assessment and manages the crop association risk registers to ensure that the main priorities are recognised for each crop group.

McTigue champions biopesticides within the team; with a PhD and research background in viral and fungal control of lepidopteran pests, she works to ensure that a greater range of biological products become available to growers. 

Dr Kim Parker: Kim has over 20 years’ experience of the UK horticulture industry. She has specialised in minor uses pesticide regulation since 2021 with responsibility for field vegetables, leafy salads and herbs. Parker coordinates emergency authorisation applications and residue studies for the team and also leads on seed treatment issues. 

 British Growers will provide the administrative back up, including invoicing crop associations for their growers’ voluntary subscriptions.

HCP will also look to set up an invoicing process for those not in crop association membership. The intention is to keep the new organisation as lean as possible but at the same time fit for purpose.

“We are very pleased that the HCP team will be able to deliver continuity to the horticulture industry and we are so pleased to be able to welcome each of them into the newly formed HCP,” said Capper.

Capper (British Apples and Pears) is joined on the HCP board by: Rob James (Thanet Earth, Protected Edibles), Rob Parker (G’s, Leafy Salads), Sam Rix (British Onions), Robin Squance (BPOA), Louise Sutherland (British Berry Growers), Derek Wilkinson (Sandfield Farms, Asparagus Growers Association), and Keston Williams (Barfoots).

For further information please see: whilst a new HCP website is being developed. Horticulture archive information will remain available on a AHDB archive website: