Matt Hancock, Managing Director of UK cherry specialist Norton Folgate, was recognized for his impact during the Global Cherry Summit 2022.
Taking place in Chile, The Global Cherry Summit 2022 brings together industry leaders and professionals from different growing countries, and is the first in-person installment of the event since 2019.
During the event, Gustavo Yentzen, President of Yentzen Group and Cristián Tagle, President of the Asoex Cherry Committee, presented the “Cherry Visionary Award” to Matt Hancock, following his participation as a panel moderator.
According to Yentzen, “in the first installment of the Global Cherry Summit we created an award for those industry leaders in the cherry category which stand apart for their initiative, innovation, because they took risks and thanks to their work, effort and example, have helped the entire industry advance”, which was then named the “Cherry Vision Award”.
“Matt can be characterized as a genuine leader in the global cherry industry, permanently innovating, generating opportunities, opening the door for cherries around the world in the UK and European market and for that, deserves recognition for his career and performance in the cherry industry,” Yentzen added.
Upon receiving the award, Hancock said “It’s a massive honor, and I’m kind of speechless, a big thanks to the industry, it was a big surprise”. The award was received by Andres De Witt of LaFrut in the absence of Hancock who was unable to travel to the event.
Hancock, through Norton Folgate, works with cherries from multiple destinations 46 weeks a year, and has participated in the Global Cherry Summit in several instances over the years.
Regarding the industry of the host country, Chile, Hancock said that its growth in the UK market has been a pillar for growth of his own country, working with Chilean cherries from when only a few thousand boxes were arriving annually.
Looking forward, Hancock said he has been urging his partners in Chile to consider the UK as an alternative to China, and that it is an attractive market which has the potential to receive a greater share of the Chilean harvest and respond to the need for diversification that the Chilean industry is feeling currently.