The GCRI Trust

Welcome to The GCRI Trust

The GCRI Trust promotes scientific research and education bearing on the environmentally sustainable cultivation of horticultural crops growing in glasshouses, polytunnels and other structures.  The scope extends to crops such as mushrooms and also the intensive production of bulbs, flowers and shrubs grown in the open. This sector of horticulture is of high value and pursues improvements and adaptions utilising innovation from research and development. The Trust provides small grants, usually for travel, to researchers, technical consultants, junior managers and others involved in British horticulture. The recipients of grants are required to write visit or study reports acknowledging the source of their funding and highlighting new and innovative findings of potential benefit to UK horticulture, and these are published on the GCRI Trust website.  Past reports can be found on the GCRI Travel Reports page. Grant recipients may be invited to give presentations to grower groups.

In these unusual times of the Covid-19 pandemic with travel opportunities severely restricted (written summer 2020), the Trust is open to receiving innovative funding requests to develop greater understanding of new developments in horticulture.

Recent grants have related to the control of crop pests and diseases, water stress in strawberries, the use of mycorrhizal fungi in horticulture, image analysis for plant typing and quality assessment, technology to maintain fresh produce quality and the future scientific directions of plant breeding based around genome sequencing, phenotype assessments and the more extensive use of gene-banks.  The GCRI Trust is particularly keen to take account of new and current generic concerns of the protected crops industry such as water, energy, labour, engineering and environmental control.  Carbon net zero growing is another important topic area for the industry.  Details of how to make applications for a travel or desk-study grant from the GCRI Trust can be found on the GCRI Travel Grants page.  Travel grants relating to the UK Tomato Sector are available from The David Stapley Travel Fund.

The Trust sponsors a biennial lecture on international future trends (The Bewley Lecture) in conjunction with a conference hosted by a scientific society or trade body. Recent lectures include: “Exploring the Tomato Genome and Germplasm for Conserved – Genetic Regulators of Fruit Ripening” by Prof. Jim Giovannoni; “Integrated Pest Management: The 10 year plan” by Drs Bill Clarke and Dave Chandler; “Understanding the Genetic Basis of Fruit Ripening – Science Discovery into Commercial Practice” by Prof. Graham Seymour; and “Water Productivity in Open and Protected Cultivation” by Prof. Elías Fereres Castiel.

The GCRI Trust was established in 1989 and is a registered charity governed by trustees. It was funded by financial contributions from growers and the Horticultural Research Association.

GCRI Trustees:

  • Mr Colin Frampton (Chairman)
  • Mr David Fox (Trust Administrator)
  • Mr Ross Newham
  • Dr Kerry Burton
  • Dr Allen Langton (Secretary)
  • Dr Mark Else
  • Mr Robert Mitchell
  • Dr Phil Morley