Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
A top accolade for services to agriculture has been awarded to Sarah Cowlrick, chief executive of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC). Ms... Award recognises champion of UK crop production

A top accolade for services to agriculture has been awarded to Sarah Cowlrick, chief executive of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC).

Ms Cowlrick received the 2023 British Crop Protection Council (BCPC) award for outstanding services to the UK crop production industry. She accepted the honour at last month’s BCPC congress in Harrogate.

Exceptional contribution

The award recognises industry members who have made an exceptional contribution to the sector in areas like crop science, ag-tech innovation, advisory and extension, education and training, and regulatory affairs.

During her time as AICC chief executive, Ms Cowlrick has promoted the role of independent agronomy in successful and sustainable crop production.

Under her tenure, the AICC has seen its share of the UK arable advice market increase to more than 50%.

The organisation’s annual national conference, underpinned by its extensive crop trials programme, has grown significantly under her watch.

Held each January, it is seen as the leading forum for sharing technical arable know-how.

A keen advocate of new entrants into the AICC Academy, Ms Cowlrick has also taken a leading role in encouraging youngsters into the industry by offering aspiring crop consultants the support and education they need to succeed.

Key priority

The award was presented by former crop production researcher and BCPC management board member Jim Orson.

Support and training of farm advisers was crucial to the roll out of integrated pest management (IPM) – a key priority for policy makers, he said.

In her role as AICC chief executire, Ms Cowlrick was helping to facilitate this for members and the wider industry. “She has been the driving force behind the superb AICC conference and other events and is deserving of this award for outstanding contribution to crop production.”

Ms Cowlrick said: “Developing the reach and influence of AICC wouldn’t have been possible without the support I’ve received from colleagues past and present, so I thank all the members that have contributed to this success.”

AICC chairman Andrew Blazey paid tribute to her dedication. “I would like to congratulate Sarah on receiving this prestigious award, which underlines the value of the work she has done and continues to do for independent agronomy and UK agriculture as a whole.”

Two new appointments for Ceres Property

Rural consultants Ceres Property have appointed two former Strutt & Parker directors as the business continues to expand.

Michael Fiddes and Michael Anderson are well-known among the farming community in East Anglia – although both have experience outside the region. Their dealings have involved institutional organisations, private and public sector clients.

Mr Fiddes was a senior director and head of agency at Strutt & Parker for more than 35 years.

Mr Anderson was a Strutt & Parker director and consultant with specialising in minerals and waste management.


Ceres Property already offers services in planning, development and rural property matters. The new appointments add expertise in the buying and selling of farms, land and estates, and specialist advice surrounding quarrying and waste.

Ceres Property managing partner John McLarty said both men had an enviable reputation. “We are delighted Michael and Michael have chosen to help Ceres Property further expand its service offering.

“It is crucial that we deliver support to our clients on the full spectrum of rural property matters. These appointments signify our arrival as a major player in the market.”