Open vegetable meeting - speaker profiles

Friday, 27 September, 2019

The Ulster Farmers’ Union is holding its second open vegetable meeting on Tuesday 1st October 2019, in the prestigious setting of Hillsborough Castle at 6.00pm. Please note that admission to the meeting and on-site car parking is via the A1 dual carriageway as there is no access from Hillsborough village, on site car parking will be signposted.

The vegetable growers and processors meeting is set in the context of recognition and a deserving celebration for those ambassadors and our guests, who have shaped our horticulture industry as we know it today, celebrating local home grown produce.

Admission is £10 and payable at the door; however advance registration is necessary to gain admittance. To secure your place, visit and when booking, if you require any special dietary requirements please note this on the booking form or for assistance contact UFU headquarters 0288 9037 0222.

The event organisers have arranged for a variety of guest speakers to address delegates on the evening, who will share their thoughts on the evening about the future for horticulture and help the industry navigate a new roadmap with associated navigational tools required for the future. Thomas Gilpin and Andrew Herron will be joined by John McCann MBE, Willowbrook Foods and T.W Perry Donaldson, MBE, J.P, who featured in last week’s UFU watch.

The final guest speakers for the evening are:

Thomas Gilpin

By the early to mid-1980’s Thomas Gilpin started to supply Supermarkets, delivering to their distribution centres throughout Northern Ireland. Thomas’ wealth of experience and innovative ideas enabled him to grow the business from a small operation to a significant local employer. He began working on new methods of storing coleslaw cabbage over the winter for local food processors. With this development Thomas began to create the current packing and storage facilities.

Andrew Herron

Andrew Herron is a third-generation farmer who farms in partnership with his father John in the foothills of Scrabo, County Down. Andrew has a vast knowledge of the agri-food industry and continued his passion for horticulture and farming after returning home to the family farm in 2001. Andrew studied at the Royal Agricultural College qualifying with a BSc in Agriculture. On the farm, Andrew grows combinable crops, potatoes and a range of brassicas such as savoy, white and red cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli.