How is the introduction of red tag trolleys going?

HW asked industry figures for the latest on the implementation of the Container Centralen RFID trolley system.

"It's early days - the scale of plant sales now is a fraction of what it will be during the peak. I think there are going to be problems with it if retailers and growers haven't fully tagged out all of their trolleys.

"I have had various reports from people with issues but these are going to happen in a changeover period.

"It could be a real mess frankly, but it's good to see that quite a few garden centres have signed up to the scheme. The campaign of raising awareness has had some effect but still there's more to do."

- Tim Briercliffe, business development manager, HTA

"The system's implementation has been badly thought through - it's the worst thing ever done. We are running a dual system because we have no choice; it's a nightmare and an extra cost we don't want.

"Only a small percentage of the people we are delivering to seem to have the scanners and even those aren't working. Our sales people don't have theirs although the money went out of our account in November.

"When it gets very busy towards the spring it's going to fold on itself. It's early now but we are starting to see where the problems will be."

- Steven Lee, sales director, New Place Nurseries

"We are the same as every nursery in the UK and are padlocking as we have to when a customer requests RFID tagged trolleys.

"I have seen wagons full of red padlocks going out and they are coming back with the old padlocks on. One driver said he took 240 red trolleys out last week and he brought one back.

"There are so many small retailers that have trolleys but don't pay into the system. We are still waiting for our scanners - we didn't realise that there would be a six to eight-week wait for them because they are being made to order."

- Neil Alcock, nursery manager, Seiont Nurseries

"The system is very patchy. I think that the scanners not arriving on time has not helped - nor has the intermittent adoption of the red padlocks.

"What we are all fearful of is that it's only January and there are problems already - is this just a car crash waiting to happen?

"They (Container Centralen) have done what they have done and we have to go with it. We just have to try and make the system work and if everybody is similarly minded we will get through it."

- Stan Green, managing director, Growforth

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