Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust

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Alison Capper: Report Published

2013 Scholar, Alison Capper's report is now available on the Nuffield International website, click here to see the full report. Below is the executive summary of his report, titled: 'The Export of Great British Hops and Niche Apple Varieties'.



Report Title       

The Export of Great British Hops and Niche Apple Varieties 


Alison Capper 


The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers and The Three Counties Agricultural Society


Objectives of the study tour: 

  • To identify and scrutinise successful exporters of hops and apples.
  • To use these learnings to establish a strategy and approach for the export of British Hops and British Apples (cider and dessert or eating apples).
  • To identify how the British hop and apple industries may need to change to exploit these and other opportunities.


  •  International hop & apple growers who collaborate (with transparency) to market and sell with a cohesive strategy achieve the greatest returns

  • Clear, concise communication to identify unique selling points (USP's) is key to creating differentiation in a crowded global market.

  • Marketing needs to be "unpicked" from selling – it is a different discipline - successful export requires high quality, consistent creative marketing.

  • Hop and apple growers should recognise their world competitiveness and play to their "British" strengths: highest farm assurance standards; sustainable, low irrigation levels; tightest regulations, highest quality products; world leading growing system innovations & hop breeding programme; heritage; history; integrity – a trusted global brand. We do not need to act like a commodity, we should be seeking to create desire in the premium market segments.

  • In-depth and on-going understanding and engagement of the market is critical.

  • Direct selling by Growers or groups of growers (rather than intermediaries) is far more prominent internationally than in the UK.

  • The biggest export opportunities for British Hops and for cider apple juice are USA, South America, Europe, Australasia & Asia (Vietnam). For British dessert apples the opportunities are niche and include ex-pat markets, Commonwealth countries & aspiring middle classes in developing countries.

  • An import substitution strategy is as important as export in each sector Farmers need to become better influencers to gain broader respect from all their communities for the high quality of food that is produced in the UK.

  • British farmers ought to choose selling methods that deliver them the greatest value back to farm gate rather than the easiest sale. 

See Alisons's Report at: