16 October 1998

Bright Spark Alison wins with big ideas for bacon

Bright Spark Alison wins with big ideas for bacon

ALISON Wilsons ideas for promoting British bacon – "a quality product with value for money, produced in the most welfare-friendly way" – have won her a computer and software worth more than £2000.

Alison is the winner of the Bright Spark contest run by farmers weekly, farmers weekly Interactive and Farmplan, in association with the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs. Launched in June in the pages of Farmlife, the competition was open to all young people between the ages of 16 and 26 whether or not they belonged to a Young Farmers Club.

The aim of the competition was to promote marketing awareness among the next generation of farmers and those in allied industries and to endorse the NFYFCs concern for quality assurance and consumer confidence. In the first round contestants answered a set of nine multiple choice questions on marketing and sources of information. In round two those with correct entries were invited to submit written proposals, in not more than 400 words, for marketing a farm product taking quality assurance and consumer confidence into account.

&#42 Seven selections

After studying the proposals the judges selected seven competitors to go forward to the final which was held in conjunction with the NFYFC competitions day programme which is held at the National Agricultural Centre, Warwickshire. Here they had 10 minutes to present their marketing proposals to the panel of judges who were looking for good ideas with plenty of potential and to see that practicalities had been taken into account along with quality assurance and consumer confidence.

"The standard of presentation was phenomenal," said Jenny Bashford, NFYFC agricultural affairs manager judged the competition together with Mark Lindley of FWi and Piers Costley of Farmplan. "Each of the competitors gave a very, very good account of themselves and had put in a lot of hard work and a lot of thought," she added.

The final markings were very close but put Alison in first place Alison, who recently graduated from Harper Adams with a BSc Hons degree in agri-food marketing and business studies, comes from Welford, Northants and works as a management trainee for a fresh produce company in Ely, Cambs.

In second place was Elaine Hollingshead, an A-level student from Thrussington, Leicestershire who came up with proposals for marketing milk and making it more attractive to five- to 13-year-olds. She wins Farmplan Assurance Manager and a years subscription to FWi worth more than £600.

Third was Julie Jones from Stansbatch, Herefords, who produced a marketing strategy for farm assurance British meat which included the slogan "With imports you get all sorts, with British meat you know what you eat." Julies prize is a years subscription to FWi worth £360.

The runners-up were Beverly Cole from Esher, Surrey; Hazel Fallows from Lyng, Norfolk; Bryony Hopkins from Draycote Village, Warwicks, and Rhona Parry from Llansoy, Gwent.

Ann Rogers