Trials point to success of Home Grown labels

Early results from trials show Home Grown labels help plants outsell those not carrying marker.

Early trials indicate the Home Grown logo has increased sales - image: BPOA
Early trials indicate the Home Grown logo has increased sales - image: BPOA

Initial indications from retail trials suggest that plants holding the British Protected Ornamentals Association's (BPOA) Home Grown labels are outselling those without, members of the grower association heard at last week's annual conference.

The industry responded positively to the campaign, which aims to promote ornamental plants grown on British nurseries, and a number of major producers and retailers are involved.

However, it is not yet clear how much more effective the labels are than others that promote locally-grown plants. Trials are ongoing at Essex-based Alton Garden Centre and Manor Nurseries in West Sussex.

BPOA chairman Ian Riggs, who is leading the trials, said: "Initial indications are that the Home Grown products are substantially outselling any others. The trials need to continue for longer and we had a limited range of plants because of the time of year. I would like to take the trials to at least one bank holiday."

He added that he had been approached by large retailers, and was hoping to start discussions with Squire's about taking on the scheme. A consumer-facing website is due to launch shortly.

Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker said customers were interested in Home Grown products but unlikely to pay a much higher price. "The process and the message are great. People feel they are supporting the country by buying Home Grown.

"The label has certainly helped sales. Providing they are the same price, people will go for UK-grown. They will pay a bit of a premium, but there's no use saying one plant is £2.50 and here's the Home Grown one for £4.50."

But Bunker added that the Home Grown scheme was not the only way to promote locally-grown plants and a number of other labels used the union jack. "With a lot of these labels, people are going to look at them and get the message," he said.

Retail view

"People are already promoting locally grown, doing it off their own bat. I would fully support a more structured approach."

Andy Campbell, director, AC Consulting

"The scheme has neatly defined what home grown means so if a product has the logo I know what I can say about it. It's something I'll be looking out for and it's really going to work for us."

Pip Bensley, plant buyer, Hillier.

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