The development of a new purpose-built £500,000 propagation unit has led to a Devonshire liner producer of cover shrubs, climbers, perennials, grasses and ferns achieving British Ornamental Plant Producers accreditation.
Having acquired a neighbouring redundant tomato nursery, Paignton-based West End Nurseries worked with specialist design consultant Hancock Industries to develop the 2,400sq m unit, which, when fully operational, will be capable of producing 3.5 million plants a year — nearly double the current peak production of the nursery.
Systems incorporated into the design utilise technology from the pot-plant industry as the nursery found a lack of systems specifically designed for liner production. An environmental control computer runs ventilation, heating, humidity and light by interfacing with the Meteorological Office four times a day to predict requirements.
The BOPP accreditation followed an audit by ADAS to ensure the code of practice set out by the scheme had been met. Written policies also had to be produced setting out how these standards in areas such as health and safety, product quality, staff training and security would be upheld.
Nursery owner Peter van Delft said: “Gaining the accreditation shows that we are a quality business, producing quality plants for our customers.”
Finishing touches are being made to the site, which is currently working at 60 per cent capacity.
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