Award: Nursery Stock Grower of the Year
Comments: David Higginson, managing director
What are your key goals/priorities as a business for 2020?
Over the course of 2020 we will be continuing to improve our product, looking to produce the highest-quality plants. We plan to increase production of certain product ranges in order to improve availability for our customers. Our new dispatch area is our immediate focus, ensuring that it functions efficiently. Our other key focus will be sustainability, in terms of growing media, fertilisers and pest control and plastics.
What do you regard as the biggest opportunity for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2020 and why?
Our biggest opportunity for 2020 will be making the most of UK retailers’ desire to source UK-grown products, post-Brexit. We currently propagate approximately 85% of our final product and will be looking to increase this.
What do you feel will be the biggest challenge for you as a business (or for your sector) in 2020 and why?
We have several challenges for 2020. The break-up of the Wyevale group will present logistical challenges but, more positively, this is an opportunity to sell more product to the new owners of these centres.
Sustainability is our other major challenge. We have undertaken peat-free trials and have more extensive trials planned. The reduction of chemicals available to us means that we are trialling more biostimulants and biocontrols, becoming increasingly environmentally sustainable.
What was the best thing about winning a Horticulture Week Business Award for you as a business?
The recognition for David and Nicky and the whole team at New Leaf Plants of the investment and innovations we have implemented. The business has changed so much in the past five years and for that to be acknowledged by Horticulture Week and the industry has made us very proud. Being able to use the winners’ logo on our website and emails has allowed us to share the independent verification of our success.