Apple Best Practice Guide

Sunburst apples - bred at NIAB East Malling


The first edition of ‘The Best Practice Guide for UK Apple Production’ was funded and produced by Defra in paper form and distributed to growers in a ring binder. The objective was to collate information on the ‘best practice’ of all aspects of commercial apple production in the UK, providing commercial growers with a useful reference document to help them to achieve high standards of production.

With the passage of time, new research and commercial practices led to changes in the ‘best practice’ and inevitably, a guide of this nature required revisions to be made.

Through funding provided by the then Horticultural Development Council (which became part of the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board in 2008), the guide was revised and edited in light of new research results and commercial developments and went digital, downloadable online. In so doing, it became easier, quicker and cheaper to revise it on a more frequent basis, as new information came to light.

On the dissolution of AHDB Horticulture in 2021 NIAB took over the hosting of the Guide, including updating it when new information and research becomes available.

The original guide was written and constructed by a number of industry experts including Dr Tony Webster, Prof. Jerry Cross, Dr Angela Berrie and David Johnson (all East Malling Research, which is now NIAB), Tim Biddlecombe (FAST Ltd), Dr David Pennell (ADAS) and Dr Martin Luton and John Guest (WorldWide Fruit/Qualytech).

The current version was produced by Prof. Jerry Cross, Dr Angela Berrie and David Johnson (formerly East Malling Research and now NIAB), Tim Biddlecombe (FAST Ltd), Dr David Pennell (Ellis Pennell Consulting) and Dr Martin Luton and Caroline Ashdown (Worldwide Fruit/Qualytech). NIAB is indebted to all the contributors for the considerable time and expertise they dedicated to completing the revised guide across the years.

Maintaining the guide

As new information from the latest research projects on apple comes to light, along with changes to agrochemical approvals, the guide will be periodically up-dated. 

However, whilst information in this guide has been prepared from the best available sources, neither the authors, nor NIAB can accept responsibility for inaccuracy or liability for any loss or damage (direct or indirect) from the application of any concept or procedure mentioned.


No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior permission of NIAB.

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