For many years, Mr Barlow has been the voice of the apple and pear industry on national and local media, where journalists have valued his trenchant and informed comments on everything from prices and the effects of the weather to imports and supermarket performance.

Mr Barlow has told EAP’s board that he would like to retire from his positions as chief executive of EAP, chairman of the Bramley Campaign and chief executive of the Dessert Campaign this coming August.

Mr Barlow will be 75 this year and said that while he continues to enjoy all these roles enormously, he wants to retire while he remains physically active. An EAP statement said: “Although there will be suitable opportunities nearer to his retirement to thank him for all that he has achieved, at this time the board would like to express their appreciation to Adrian for his work on behalf of growers and others which has made such a considerable contribution to the renaissance of the English industry.”

To ensure a smooth transition from Mr Barlow to his successor, the board said that he has accepted their invitation to become chairman of EAP, although he will continue in his existing roles until his successor is appointed. Thereafter, his successor will benefit from Mr Barlow’s knowledge and experience while having the freedom to make his or her own decisions.

The recruitment of a successor will begin immediately and anyone who is interested should either write in confidence to the chairman at EAP or approach one of the directors. The directors are: Philip Acock, Fourayes Farms Ltd; Charles Atkins, C E Murch Ltd; Nigel Bardsley, Bardsley Farms Ltd; Tony Frankham, Newmafruit Farms Ltd; Ross Goatham, A C Goatham and Son; Robert Hinge, A Hinge and Sons Ltd; Carmella Meyer, Boxford (Suffolk) Farms Ltd; and John Portass, Wisbech Contract Farming.

EAP’s contact details are: English Apples and Pears Ltd, East Malling Enterprise Centre, New Road, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ, tel: 01732 529781 and email