Horticulture Week Business Award - Wholesale Protected Ornamentals Grower of the Year

Winner - Kernock Park Plants

Image: Kernock Park Plants

Kernock Park Plants is an independent wholesale producer of high-quality, young ornamental plants. With 4ha of cover (predominantly glass), more than 11 million plants are produced to cater for a variety of customer requirements.

Plants are grown and sold to more than 1,300 customers. Kernock has established the loyal, long-term and stable customer base by focusing on repeated customer satisfaction through product quality, ease of ordering, accuracy and timeliness of any updates and ability to deal with any issues in an effective manner.

Since its inception in the 1980s, Kernock’s name has become synonymous with growing innovation and quality. The diverse range of 1,200 varieties offered spans several traditional categories including seasonal/bedding and patio plants; hardy and herbaceous perennials; hardy nursery stock; and more niche crops such as succulents and carpet bedding.

The company was integral in establishing the Proven Winners plant brand in Europe and processes all royalty returns for 30 million Proven Winner plants sold each year. In addition, Kernock is the only northern hemisphere commercial propagator of the Wollemi pine.

The company prides itself on its ability to offer flexible solutions. InstaPlant (pictured) is a carpet bedding product for local authorities, corporates, charities, sports clubs and tourist attractions. The idea was developed in the face of dwindling specialist skills for installing carpet bedding displays.

Over the years, Kernock has been the research and development hub for many systems and practices. It has developed nursery transport systems and efficient workstations, and been at the forefront of the trend to install LED units in ornamental plant propagation. The firm has also developed its own bespoke nursery management system.

The heating system for the nursery uses biomass from sustainable forestry and is carbon-neutral. Electricity consumption has been reduced by installing banks of photovoltaic cells and rainwater is collected and stored in a reservoir. Kernock incorporates the use of biological controls applied with biologically compatible chemicals and effective fertigation.

The management team aims to motivate staff by implementing systems of reward and recognition, and formulating a robust appraisal system. Kernock has been able to increase sales turnover by 20% over the past three years while maintaining healthy profit margins.

Sponsored by: Sinclair

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