New plant finishing centre praised as industry example

The new Farplants finishing centre in West Sussex was officially opened last week.

The £2.75m centre, part-funded with a £500,000 grant from the South East England Development Agency, replaces the nursery group's dispatch operations in Littlehampton and is expected to handle up to 300,000 pots and 1,700 Container Centralen trolleys a day during the peak season.

Operations director Malcolm Iles said: "It's been a six-year journey and we now have the ideal site in the ideal location - it allows ease of operation and has also made a difference from a green perspective. By moving here, being surrounded by the nurseries, we have reduced heavy goods vehicle traffic in the area by 60 per cent."

He said the whole operation was reliant on a sophisticated IT system that tracks plants throughout the supply chain and allows customers flexibility when choosing labels and packaging.

"The view would be that this place is good for eight times the volume that we currently have, so it will do for the foreseeable future," he added.

The centre was opened by HTA director-general David Gwyther, who praised it as an industry exemplar.

Sales director Nick Richards said the centre was part of the group's long-term expansion plans. The company had set aside £19.4m in its 2011 budget for further sales and facilities growth, he added.

"We have been growing quite fast over the past few years," said Richards. "There are plans for expanding the business in the future and we are looking for greater efficiencies because it's a very competitive market."

Gwyther said of the project: "This is a huge step forward and an exemplar for the wider UK garden industry. I congratulate Farplants for leading the way."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.


Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles