A Chronicle Country fruit technologist has been granted the Freedom of the City of London.
Dr Theresa Huxley of Gamlingay has followed in the footsteps of celebrities like Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Caine and JK Rowling by accepting the honour from the Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court, Murray Craig.
Theresa was invited to attend the prestigious ceremony where she signed the Freeman’s Declaration Book in front of witnesses.
She was then presented with an official parchment document with her name inscribed by a calligrapher and a copy of the Rules for the Conduct of Life, which date from the mid 18th Century.
Theresa – a member of the Biggleswade Hardy Plant Society and secretary of the Beds, Herts and Essex Society of Biology – was given the honour after many years of successful work in food technology.
She currently works as an apple and pear technologist for Sainsbury’s and her work was featured in the Autumn‘s Supermarket Secrets programme presented by Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace.
She said: “I drive the quality and innovation agenda including sustainability, corporate responsibility and packaging.
“During my career with Sainsbury’s I have really gained broad experience across a number of categories.
“I have worked in frozen ready meals, carbonated drinks and chilled convenience foods where I worked closely with the buyer on re-developing existing products and launching new products which better met our customers’ needs.”
To date Theresa’s career has seen her work in research and development and the educational, agricultural, horticultural and retail sectors of the industry.
She added: “Over the years I have had specific responsibility for leafy and root salads, prepared salads, herbs and cress, tomatoes and exotic fruits, strawberries, grapes, pineapples and kiwi, citrus, stone fruit and most recently apples and pears.”
“I am very proud that for the last five years Sainsbury’s has sold more British grown apples and pears than any other retailer.”
Three years ago Theresa also founded the Huxley Training Orchards, comprising more than 1,000 fruit trees situated in orchards across the country.