The fresh produce industry is celebrating the granting of a Royal Charter by the Queen to the Institute of Horticulture.
The charter will come into legal effect when it is sealed by the Crown Office at the House of Lords, expected to take place in the New Year.
Founded in 1984, the Institute hopes the charter will increase its profile, recognition and standing. “Such status will undoubtedly give our members a higher status, stimulate more to join us, give the Institute much greater gravitas in our advocacy for the industry, and it is something the horticulture profession deserves,” said the Institute’s president Leigh Morris.
Existing members will retain their membership once the charter is formalised. However, the charter will allow the Institute to award chartered status to individual members at senior practitioner level.
The Institute represents a wide range of people involved in horticulture and was set up to bring the industry – from research and education to commercial operators – together.
Members include Sainsbury’s product technologist Theresa Huxley, one of several people who has pressed for the Institute to gain a royal charter.