Growers and garden centre managers contacted by HW this week suggested implementation and usage of the new Container Centralen RFID trolley tag and scanner system remains mixed.
Some garden centre owners were insisting all suppliers must turn up with the new tags while some suppliers said they were still having to offload plants at sites not operating under the system. Meanwhile, some say they are relying on visual checks instead of scanning.
Farplants sales director Nick Richards said the growers' co-operative was sending out more than 1,300 trolleys at one time and had given up on scanning, using "visual checks" instead. "For most people scanning has fallen by the wayside," he added.
Stewarts Gardenlands owner Martin Stewart said: "We've tagged everything on the nursery and in the garden centre. We're swapping red tags like-for-like. We've told everyone they can't turn up without red tags. But it is such a pain for it to be introduced in this of all years."
Armitage's Garden Centres director Will Armitage said: "Soon we will be getting 20-30 trolleys of bedding a day. At the moment we are keeping red tag trolleys and those without segregated. This year was not a good year to introduce this."
Baginton Nurseries managing director Will Lamb said he was experiencing problems with his drivers becoming agitated at having to offload plants at drop-off points not operating under the new system.
"Scanning is such a palaver that people just give up," he added. "I don't even think Container Centralen can do anything about it. Everybody is supposed to be complying but they're not.
"It will come to the stage where black-tagged trolleys are falling apart because they are not in the pool and eventually it will make everyone sign up to the new system."
Baytree Nurseries & Garden Centre owner Reinhard Biehler added: "We use them but there is a hell of a problem because a lot of people don't. Black tags are still coming in because a lot of suppliers are still using them. It would be cheaper is everyone carried on with black tags."
Bransford Webbs Plant Company managing director Geoff Caesar said the nursery was experiencing its busiest week ever but the scanners needed to verify the RFID tags were "not the best."
He explained: "RFID is designed for downloading information and not the security application wanted by Container Centralen - they are used for tracking."
Container Centralen marketing manager Susanne Arnsted said: "We have uploaded video clips onto YouTube to show people the dos and don'ts of using the scanners and we have advice on our website as well."
CONTAINER CENTRALEN SCANNING DOS & DON'TS
Container Centralen and scanner manufacturer Panmobil have issued the following advice to the industry:
- Make sure to point the scanner close to the tag or you will miss counterfeits.
- If a tag is failing to scan, make sure that it is completely locked on to the trolley.
- Remember to recharge the batteries on the scanners during the night.
- Update your scanner every three months - the process takes approximately three minutes.