John Cappalonga - How a Circular Economy can benefit UK Farmers and Growers
Growing up on my parent’s cucumber nursery in the Lea Valley and joining my father on transport runs to Covent Garden, I was constantly surrounded by Fresh Produce and Commercial Horticulture from an early age. During my teenage years the nursery was sold, and we purchased a chrysanthemum nursery in the Lea Valley. I started studying Horticulture college alongside working at the nursery but as UK flower market did not survive the competition from mainland Europe, and we were forced to seek alternative crops. We planted our first hydroponic sweet pepper crop of which two decades later I still cultivate. My parents have since retired and I now run the pepper nursery, implementing modern technology solutions at every opportunity including installing an LED lighting research trial and an automated pepper transport system for harvesting. Most recently I have attended Writtle University College to finish my bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and nominated to Vice-Chairman of the Lea Valley Growers Association. I have also had the pleasure of sitting on the NFU Horticulture & Potatoes Board, the AHDB Protected Edibles Panel and have become a Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.
I enjoy the outdoors and regularly hike around Epping Forest in London, where I live with my wife and our dog. I have also enjoyed travelling the globe to expand on cultural knowledge as well as other farm practises which is what attracted me to the Nuffield Farming Scholarship.
I’d like to thank the Studley College Trust for sponsoring my scholarship and to all those who have supported me on my journey so far.