Cresco to close after losing Tesco bedding plant contract

Cresco managing director Graham Dunn has told the British Protected Ornamentals Association conference that a 12 million plant contract will now go direct to the grower.

Graham Dunn
Graham Dunn
Cresco formed in 2013 to act as middleman between growers and big retailers. It quickly won
the 12 million bedding contract with Tesco.

But Tesco buyer Matt Ward told Cresco he is going direct to the growrer, believed to be Neame
Lea, for 2015.

Cresco did £2.8m business with Tesco in 2014, but Tesco believes going direct will be cheaper.

Dunn said: "There's no point carrying on. We don't want debts, we want a clean finish."

The former Butters managing director said it is a "fallacy" that Tesco doesn't take crops
ordered and that growers shouldn't complain when they struggle to meet orders.

Dunn, speaking to the BPOA at Stoneleigh, said he could have done 20 per cent more plants
this year but that was difficult because a "significant acreages" of ornamental glass was for sale or being lost for food production.

He said Cresco pioneered the 20-pack format this year but that is likely to fall and six packs
will dominate because plug-sized 20 pack plants ".

Dunn said Tesco was "mistaken" to go direct after experiences with Kinglea and Merediths, who
went into administration.

He said retailers are "fickle" and nurseries needed to look after themselves to protect profits,
against European competition and against short-termism from retailers.

Dunn has also ceased to be a director at Newey Group, in Warwickshire, where Cresco is based.
 

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