THREE businesses that support horticulture in Wales have come out top in the Tyfu Cymru training awards.

The worthy winner of the award this year is Hootons Homegrown (Anglesey), with two runners-ups Seiont Nurseries (Gwynedd) and Puffin Produce (Pembrokeshire).

The awards recognise the significant contribution to the horticulture industry in Wales.

The accolade is part of the Lantra land-based learner awards, and recognises the top horticulture businesses in Wales for outstanding commitment to continuous professional development.

Hootons Homegrown is a family farm proudly producing homegrown Anglesey fruit and vegetables and rear their own livestock.

The Hooton family have evolved their business over many years, from a farm growing cereals and potatoes to today’s collection of enterprises which not only comprises of a farm growing an extensive range of vegetables and fruit but also livestock that supply their two farm shops and café.

Thanks to 100 per cent-funded support from Tyfu Cyrmu, the family and their employees have been able to gain knowledge and obtain assistance that has helped to enhance their foresight and ability to develop even further.

Michael Hooton said: “Welsh growers need the partnership of Tyfu Cymru to stimulate the Welsh horticultural industry with up to date techniques and developments and to promote a viable future.” Runner-up, Puffin Produce Ltd is the largest supplier of Welsh produce in Wales, supplying a wide variety of potatoes and seasonal vegetables to multiple major retailers and wholesalers.

Today, Puffin Produce Ltd employs around 180 team members at its Pembrokeshire headquarters. It packs around 65,000 tonnes of Welsh potatoes every year, including Pembrokeshire early PGI potatoes.

The Blas y Tir brand not only sells quality Welsh potatoes, but also a range of delicious Welsh seasonal vegetables.

Also a runner-up, Seiont Nurseries Ltd based in Caernarfon, supplies mail order plants such as cordylines, hardy ferns and heucheras. It works with breeders and agents worldwide to develop some of the best new varieties available.

Established in 1978, Seiont Nurseries is a well-known plug and liner producer with an annual production of 850,000 liners and 400,000 plugs. It specialises in new and unusual varieties that are sold throughout the UK and Europe.

Nominees for the award also included:

• Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire – one of Wales’ finest gardens. A renowned plantsman’s paradise. It offers the opportunity to explore more than 10 acres of magnificent gardens.

• Derwen Garden Centre, Welshpool - a family run business that prides itself on an extensive range of plants and knowledgeable staff.

• Springfield Produce, Pembrokeshire – grows top quality strawberries, daffodils and asparagus to sell in its farm shop as well as dozens of varieties of daffodil bulbs.