Diarmuid Gavin visits GIMA Seed Corn fund winner after speaking at Glee

Diarmuid Gavin dropped by the MossOff stand at Glee to hear about the GIMA Seed Corn fund winner from Vivagreen.

Garrett Walsh and Russell Walsh, owners of Vivagreen, welcomed Gavin to the stand and explained why MossOff was a success when it was trialled earlier this year in Ayletts.

A winner of the GIMA Seed Corn fund, MossOff is in the Innovator Zone.

Gavin spoke at the show, citing his influences ranging from Jeff Koons, Charles Jencks and the late Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka. He also praised Arboretum and Burford garden centres.

He said he had an offer to design for Chelsea 2017 but would not be doing the show after exhibiting in 2016 with Harrods.

Gavin said his container garden, planned with Heston Blumenthal, but not used for 2015 Hampton Court Flower Show, could yet find a permanent home.

He praised Garden Bridge designer Thomas Heatherwick but said: "I worry about the Garden Bridge and the money."

He said a friend was at the New York High Line recently and it was closed for a Google party: "You don't want that with a public space. Thoms Heatherwick and Dan Pearson are brilliant but with places like Kew having a fundng crisis, the Garden Bridge wouldn't be something I'd be in favour of because of the costs and those funds are needed elsewhere."

He said a TV documentary film may be made of his new garden at the National Trust's Gibside garden.

Walsh said on Vivagreen's new product: "Vivagreen was established over 25 years ago by myself and Garrett Walsh to exploit our unique formulation technology. Wefound a wide range of applications for the biodegradable ingredients which make them suitable for all sorts of uses where environmental impact is a critical factor. Our first success was in the manufacture and marketing of totally biodegradable ground pegs for use in the golf course sector, and from there we have also developed the technology for use in biodegradable waste sacks and liners. In essence the business is committed to developing more environmentally benign technologies that answer specific consumer needs and offer practical, affordable alternatives to conventional consumer products.

"MossOff has been in development for several years and we’ve worked hard to perfect the formulation and the application to make it affordable and reliable. We’ve had a ready-to-use variant successfully on sale in Ireland in Woodies and a number of independent retailers for the past two seasons. We’ve also been trialling the product in its concentrate form with local authorities who love the fact that their operators don’t need special protective clothing, and they don’t need to exclude members of the public from treated areas.  Inland Waterways Ireland now use MossOff at all their sites.

"We test marketed the product in the UK last season with Scotsdales and Ayletts which has given us lots of very helpfulinsight. It was great to have the feedback from both consumers and the customer, Adam Wiggleworth of Ayletts who said"Customers increasingly search out product that is genuinely safe to their children and pets, and that's quite a challenge when it comes to keeping moss and algae under control. The great thing about MossOff is that not only is it safe, it's easy to use and effective too." We trialled the product with our customers this spring and I am not surprised at how often they selected it over the conventional chemical alternatives. Genuine innovation in the 'control products' category is rare and with the tighter regulations we've lost many conventional products in recent years. MossOff is a genuine new opportunity to replace some of those lost sales."

"Key to the launch of MossOff in the UK has been the official derogation from the Chemicals Regulation Directorate which means it’s not subject to the usual pesticide restrictions.

"We’ve been visiting Glee for the past couple of years, and working with Jane at Lawler Associates to help us develop our commercial proposition for Moss Off in the UK. Once we’d decided to exhibit this year, she alerted us to the GIMAInnovators’ Seed Corn Fund. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of our product so we quickly decided that we should enter. Of course, now we’re really glad we did!

"We can see that winners from previous years gained a huge amount of extra exposure and practical help in the early part of the business journey. We can really appreciate how the same assistance might help us with the commercial plans for Moss Off.

"Winning is a great endorsement for the work we’ve done so far and it’s reassuring to know that the judges can appreciate what we know to be a great opportunity for the UK market.

"We’ll be making sure we meet as many people from the UK retail sector as possible, and we’ll be explaining our introductory offer on Moss Off as well as showing the wider range of products based around our technology."

Glee Seedcorn fund runners up were: Kikka Digga, easyMulch and Banbury Innovations with the Fabrik Wall.

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