Introducing the new Awards at BTME last week, Amenity Forum Independent Chairman, Professor John Moverley said:
"Welcome to this important launch today. I believe that what we are announcing today are awards with a difference both in purpose and in the recognition they give for the very important and crucial work being done in weed, pest and disease control in the amenity sector.
As you may know, the Amenity Forum is the voluntary initiative for all in the amenity sector promoting best practice in all aspects of weed, pest and disease control. We have over 50 organisations in membership and growing and can demonstrate major progress across our sector. Indeed amenity is leading the field in many areas. However we are also aware that there is much more to do and this year are involved with a number of initiatives and events seeking to ensure everyone gets involved, demonstrates their support for the Forum and as a consequence the industry can stay in control rather than having change imposed upon us - better together.
As part of this, the importance of ensuring spray operations are carried out efficiently and effectively cannot be over stated. It is essential that those operating equipment, large or small, ensure it is set up properly and well maintained as well as ensuring they operate it correctly in a properly targeted way. By 2006, following implementation of recent legislation, many sprayers in use in our sector will come under a need for national testing. If nothing else this is a driver to promote the highest standards but having sprayers operating at maximum efficiency makes sense, certainly economically.
So it is with real pleasure that we are announcing these new awards which seek to further promote this aim. These wards seek to profile the importance of all who work in amenity and the vital tasks they undertake. They will highlight operators of spraying equipment who work to the highest standards.
We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, Syngenta and Everris, for making these awards possible and to Geoff Wilson, from Vale Engineering, who has relentlessly pushed forward the idea and made it happen - thank you Geoff. He will follow me and provide information on how the awards will work and how applications can be made.
The rewards for entry and indeed success are of course in the recognition but we recognise more tangible prizes may attract! There are three categories, as Geoff will explain and winners within each will receive a Go Pro Hero action video camera, along with £500 of training vouchers for further CPD activity. The overall winners in each category will be invited to the Amenity Forum national conference and exhibition on October 15th where they will also be presented with their awards.
The Awards will be supported by a dedicated Amenity Forum website to record and share the experiences of the industry's best sprayer operators, magazine articles and podcast videos, along with social media channels to spread ideas and tips as widely as possible.
I hope that as many people as possible will apply, demonstrating the sector's commitment to best practice and the highest standards. We need to stand up and be proud of the tremendous work done in the amenity sector. These awards represent a major opportunity and again my particular thanks to all who have made it possible and for your attendance here today"