Thursday 19th December 2012
Tony Redsell, OBE, retires as Chairman of the British Hop Association
One of Britain’s leading hop growers, Tony Redsell, who farms extensively in Faversham, Canterbury and Thanet has stepped down as the Chairman of the British Hop Association (formerly the National Hop Association of England).
Tony’s contribution to hop growing and to the industry is legendary. Tony’s leadership of the Association has spanned an incredible 4 decades. He was instrumental in its creation in the early 1980’s and has seen the Association through many guises and changes including the significant and protracted withdrawal of public funding for scientific hop development and research.
Tony was instrumental in saving the hop development and research programme in 2006 when DEFRA withdrew all funding. Alongside Peter Darby, Tony developed a grower-funded unit, Wye Hops. Tony provided a base on one of his farms for the programme to continue it’s work and persuaded DEFRA to give the association £25,000 for three years. “The rest is history” as he says.
At the Association’s November meeting Tony handed the reigns to Mr Geoff Thompson of Little Lambswick Farm, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire. Geoff has farmed hops since he was 21years old, he is Chairman of Wealden Hops (one of the UK’s three hop grower selling groups) and has been a Director of the British Hop Association for over 13 years.
Geoff is upbeat about the challenges ahead, stating “we are entering a new and exciting era for British Hop growers. The resurgence of craft brewing is a worldwide phenomenon, and as a niche player, British Hops are well placed to provide these craft brewers with the beautiful, delicate and complex hop aromas that British Hops are renowned for producing in some of the best beers in the world. The Wye Hops development programme will help us to ensure that we can continue to take full advantage of these opportunities”.
The Directors of the British Hop Association presented Tony with a very appropriate retirement present, a picture of a Kentish Oast House.
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