Bedfordshire-based Chessum's David White said: "We've taken on James Alcaraz because we understand that production is going to be different in the future. James and our new container unit will be key parts of delivering that."
He added: "We have planning approval for a big new 15-acre container site at the Woodlands Nursery site hopefully for next year. In the next few years we're looking at the technology available for rose production and doing a lot more Harkness roses grown on their own roots and different ways of production to provide what the market wants - flowering roses in the summer - and current technology won't allow us to do that."
White says the market is changing and supermarkets and DIYs may go direct to source to find roses, for instance from Poland. He said most UK producers will go to Poland for last minute orders and landscapers may source roses from overseas as there are few UK growers who grow in big quantities now.
Chessum Roses' strategy is to supply UK-field or container-grown roses to independent garden centres and larger customers. It will be working more closely with Harkness Roses in the future too: "We're trying to pull together the best collection we can." Chessum budded 96% licensed varieties this year.