Edibles suppliers to retail report success

Four Oaks exhibitors supplying fruit and vegetable products to the garden retail trade reported buoyant sales for 2008 - and are optimistic about filling order books for 2009 as well.

Brinkmans Nurseries' Ray Bell said the company had had a "fabulous year growing fruit", which included apple, pear, plum and cherry trees.

The company is working on joint promotions with garden centres on how to grow fruit in containers.

Bell reported that orders for next year were already "very buoyant".

Equally bullish was Yorkshire-based nursery Plant Sarus, which was showing its new ready-planted vegetable patio range.

The range includes peas on tripods and as six-packs, hanging baskets and up to 7.5-litre pots of potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes.

Managing director David Massey stated that he was "so confident that next year will be 'the year of the veg'" that he took an extra stand at the show to promote the Patio Harvest concept.

New Place Nurseries sales director Steven Lee said 2008 saw the best season they have ever had for sales of fruit trees and soft fruit. "We are about 10-15 per cent up on last July and August."

Lee added: "Our late sales are generally good. It's not good holidaying weather, but it's good gardening weather."


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