Dorset nursery Golden Acres is to double vegetable plant production following a sales boom from its four garden centres in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, where sales increased by nearly 20 per cent from £64,000 in 2007 to £76,000 in 2008. Group operations director Simon Edwards said soaring food bills and environmental reasons are behind the boom. Golden Acres grows its own vegetables, which include tomatoes, chillis and pumpkins.
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This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.
Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.
At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.
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GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production