Plug grower plans Jersey tax response

Jersey Plants Direct doubles growing capacity to boost sales as island's VAT relief set to end.

Jersey Plants Direct founder Tim Dunningham has said the end of Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) for importers from the islands will not wreck the bedding trade from Jersey.

Dunningham, who started the £25m mail-order plug bedding business in the Channel Islands in the 1980s, said there was a big difference between abusing and using the LVCR.

"The abuse will continue and people legitimately here will suffer, which is grossly unfair. Be removing the relief this dramatically tips the balance in favour of on-shore," he said.

"The law change is illegal and is not going to go through smoothly on 1 April. But we have lots of plans on how it will not materially affect our business."

Dunningham added that he will ride the change, partly through getting as many early sales as possible in 2012.

He recently bought Meadow Springs nursery from Flying Brands (see p10), which doubled his capacity to 3.2ha of plug production and 1.6ha of perennials and shrubs production.

He plans to buy another nursery growing potatoes and flowers early next year.

Current plug production is 70 million and Dunningham said plugs were not suitable for garden centre sale because of their short shelf life.

Key Stat

Current annual plug plant production by Jersey Plants Direct - 70m.

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