Potato firm is presented with annual EBDA Award
Potato firm Greenvale AP Ltd was presented with the 2015 EBDA Award at a ceremony in Berwick town hall on Monday.
The award, instituted in 1977 and now in its 39th year, celebrates innovation, skill and enterprise in north Northumberland and the eastern Borders, the area in which the old Eastern Borders Development Association (EBDA) worked in the 1960s and 1970s.
Chairing the ceremony, Councillor Donald Moffat of Coldstream thanked sponsors, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council.
In his citation for the award, Councillor Jim Fullarton, Scottish Borders Council member for East Berwickshire, referred to Greenvale’s arrival in the Borders through their acquisition of the established Winfield-based potato growers and packers, E S Black, in 2000. Blacks had built a new facility at Craigswalls near Chirnside and, from that base, Greenvale had developed as a progressive and innovative force within the agricultural sector in the eastern borders.
It was the company’s highly successful modern apprenticeships scheme that had particularly attracted the interest of the EBDA Award trustees. It was especially designed to provide young school-leavers aged 16 to 18 with the skills and knowledge required to build a career within the company, by introducing them to hands-on experience throughout the workplace.
In an area where, traditionally, fewer apprenticeship opportunities were available than in other parts of the country, the company had set the highest standards through the development of its apprenticeship scheme.
Stephen Simm, the company’s operations manager, who attended with Jill Jamieson, HR manager, expressed Greenvale’s delight in receiving the award.
He said: “What we do in the course of daily business we take for granted, but it is truly gratifying to have this recognised in the wider local community.”
Mr Simm said that, in addition to their investment in modern technology and state-of-the art environmentally-friendly equipment and processes, the company took pride in its responsibilities as a major employer of more than 200 people.
The award was presented by Jeanna Swan, Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire. Mayor of Berwick Hazel Bettison also attended.