Nurseries reveal plans to increase production after reporting strong seasons

Exhibitors at the Woking Nursery Exhibition revealed plans to increase production after the majority reported strong seasons in 2010, beating even the record sales of 2009.

Many said they had seen around 10 per cent sales increases despite the lingering winter, which stalled early season sales.

New Place Nurseries sales director Steven Lee said: "Overall the season has been brilliant after that slow, slow start. We had our best ever six months in 2009, but this year we are ahead on that so we should have an even better year.

"On the whole most people's orders are up for next year so we are well placed - and that is before the free stock sales. We haven't got any more space but by juggling things and using better space management we will grow more. Overall the mood is optimistic because the market is there."

Pepperpot Nurseries owner Neil Wallsgrove agreed, saying the company had seen a 10 per cent rise in sales that would be reflected by a 10 per cent increase in production levels for 2011.

Anthos Plants director Lynn O'Neill said the company had also seen a 10 per cent increase thanks to a "very good late spring and early summer".

She added: "Our customers seem to be more hopeful than last year and our aim is to grow, so we will up production - maybe in the area of 20 per cent."

Sussex Plants owner Fred Godfrey said the company's sales had remained level with 2009 but it would be increasing production regardless.

"We are upping production by adding plants to the range and growing about 15 per cent more," he said. "We have just put up a couple of big new structures of poly - about 1.4 acres in total."

Lowaters Nurseries said it will also increase its growing area. "We are up on last year but our targets were probably for a bit more growth than we have had," said production director Charles Carr.

"We will have a little bit of growth production wise - we have a couple of glasshouses that were mothballed, which we will be using, and we are expanding the range," he added. "We want to draw out the season and offer a bigger range to our customers."

While Allensmore Nurseries sales manager George Price agreed it was a good year, he said the company was considering changes to production methods rather than volume increases.


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