SAP GROUP EXPANDS SALES TEAM
SAP Nurseries is looking forward to a season of expansion and growth over the coming year. Increased turnover in 2015 and other positive indicators from the amenity horticulture market have encouraged Nursery Director John Flanagan to expand his Tipperary based team. The investment includes the recruitment of consultant Jason Popplewell along with new sales executives John Walsh and Amy Maher, who in the coming months will be specifically targeting the greater Dublin and North East areas. John tells HC that “We are looking forward to the 2016 season and see clear indications of growth across all areas of the market that we currently target”. ✽
EXPORT SUCCESS AS NANGLE & NIESEN SECURE DEEPDALE TREES CONTRACT
The relationship between Nangle & Niesen Nurseries and Deepdale Trees continues to strengthen with the Cork tree grower once again winning the contract to supply trees for the 2016/2017 season. Deepdale Trees, a Bedfordshire based tree nursery, is one of the premier suppliers of high-end trees to the UK domestic market. The winning of the contract sees the continuation of a relationship that started in 2011 when Nangle & Niesen visited Deepdale as part of the Bord Bia export Programme. Ronan Nangle tells HC that “Every year we talk about price, but the quality is and has been the main driver for both businesses”. ✽
RENTES PLANTS’ SPRING SHOW CELEBRATES THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY
Celebrating the 10th edition of the show, it is a must for all serious plant retailers and professional landscape industry practitioners alike. One of HC’s favourite events to attend, due in part to the effort that the Rentes family puts into organising and presenting the 700 varieties that will be on the show. Apart from the serious business of buying and selling, it is a very worthwhile networking and a social event not to mention their now famous ‘Hog Roast’ lunch. ✽
DATES OF DUTCH TRADE SHOWS GROOTGROENPLUS AND EXPO TCO TO OVERLAP
Expo TCO has recently decided to move their trade show to October. In 2016 it will be held from the 4 – 6th of October. GrootGroenPlus will be held from the 5th – 7th of October. The boards of both trade fairs decided that this partial overlap will make it easier for both national and international visitors to attend. In the short term, the trade fairs will look at ways to cooperate and to create an optimum trade fair experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. More at www.grootgroenplus.nl & www.treecentreopheusden.nl ✽
JIH MEETS INTERNATIONAL DEMAND FOR EXPERIENCED IRISH HORTICULTURE STAFF
Summerhill Landscape New York has renewed its hiring campaign once again, recruiting via JobsInHorticulture (JIH) utilising the range of HR services that they now offer. Summerhill worked with JIH last year to fill three positions from the overall 60 applicants, that they received in total via the promotion campaign they ran on the HortiTrends network. Shane O’Keefe has been with Summerhill for a number of years and tells HC “that each of the successful candidates last year are now in a management/supervisory role.” This year they are advertising six positions. Also hiring is Quest Landscapes who are based in the Isle of Man. They are seeking a contracts manager for projects up to and over £1million. Nearer home, both Uniplumo and O’Connor Nurseries are also currently hiring. A new site JIHUK will be launching in early 2016. More on these and other career opportunities at JobsInHorticulture.ie ✽
One highlight of the comprehensive supporting programme has already been finalised. In cooperation with Verlag Eugen Ulmer, experts will provide information about opportunities and challenges of the British horticultural market. Moreover, Sue Biggs, Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society, will deliver a welcoming address during the opening ceremony of IPM ESSEN. More at www.ipm-essen.de ✽
The college currently offers courses ranging from part-time level 6 Certificate in Science – Professional Horticulture, right up to a full-time BSc Horticulture Level 8. 2015 saw a revamp of the horticulture degree programmes at ITB. Through the programme review process graduates, current students and industry were given the opportunity to review the course on offer, engage and consult with the lecturing team on proposed changes. One of the many significant changes to take place was the adjustment in the timing of placements. Students will now engage with placements during the spring/summer semester, to take advantage of peak labour demands in the sector. Among the module changes, fruit production and vegetable production were brought in from the cold and given centre stage in response to the sustained interest in this area. New modules in Health, Recreation & Green Infrastructure, Culinary and Medicinal Plants, Apiculture and Post Harvest Technologies were added. More at www.itb.ie ✽
For anyone with even a passing involvement with Bloom, the name, Louise McLoughlin is sure to be familiar. A facilitator, organiser, appeaser, agony aunt and renowned for making things happen, she has been part of the Bloom family since its inception. As the 10 year anniversary looms on the horizon, it is with some sadness that the horticulture sector must wish her farewell as she steps out to look after her young family. On behalf of the entire horticulture sector, Horticulture Connected would like to extend a most well-deserved note of thanks and appreciation for the tremendous work put in over the years. The success that Bloom has achieved over the years is due in no small part to Louise’s commitment and hard work. Her positive, upbeat spirit and smiling face will be sorely missed. To quote Gary Graham; “It’s hard for me to talk about Louise without gushing. Her input was a critical ingredient in the development of Bloom’s show gardens and many other great show features. Like the cement in the mix that formed the foundation upon which much of Bloom’s success is built, her patience, diplomacy and flair for detail provided the glue that helped bring many ideas to fruition. The systems and processes that she devised and honed during our first decade are a fitting legacy to an accomplished event manager who knew nothing about our industry when we started out on the Bloom odyssey. I suspect that like me, there are many in our sector who hold her in the highest possible regard”. ✽
MUCH WAS ACHIEVED DURING THE INAUGURAL YEAR FOR GROMÓR
The industry was brought together to include independents, multiples, co-ops, nurseries and suppliers and a concept was brought to life with the aim of getting the country growing. GroMór reached out to 18,000 people at Bloom, over 100,000 Irish Independent readers and invested significantly in radio and social media advertising. This investment has paid off with over 28,000 sessions thus far on the GroMór website.
‘Find your GroMór Garden Centre’ is the 5th most popular page with over 3,500 page views to date. Sandra Doran, Retail Excellence Ireland Garden Group Manager, says “This is a great result for a new initiative and a solid foundation to build on. It is our intention to improve the website with added features and to create an exciting calendar of events which will benefit GroMór centres across the country next year”.
If you are interested in becoming a GroMór member next year, please contact Sandra at email@example.com ✽
YOUNG HORTICULTURIST OF THE YEAR FINAL TO TAKE PLACE IN DUBLIN
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH) has launched the 2016 Young Horticulturist of the Year competition (YHoY). The heats are open to students of horticulture and young horticultural professionals working in the industry. The winner of the competition will receive a £2,500 travel bursary from The Percy Thrower Trust, generously provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society, to undertake a trip, anywhere in the world, to study a subject related to their chosen field of horticulture. The competition is run in three phases: local heats, regional finals and the grand final, each with questions covering a wide range of horticultural subjects. Heat winners go forward to one of eight regional finals, and the winner of each regional final progresses to the grand final which will be held on 7 May 2016 at the fabulous National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin, Dublin. ✽
EUROPEAN HORTICULTURE NETWORK TO HOLD AGM AT IPM ESSEN
Horticulture marketing, PR and communication specialists from across Europe will meet around the 2016 IPM Essen trade fair for their second annual AGM. Representing the UK and Ireland at the event will be Joseph Blair of HortiTrends. The members co-operate to carry out Europe-wide services such as market research and marketing strategy. They also offer introductions to foreign businesses, organisations and trade press. Of particular interest to export-focused businesses, the group supports participation in trade fairs including, staffing of the stand, translation, promotion material, PR activities and press contacts/press releases. Anyone interested in accessing these services or learning more about the group can find out more at www.hortinet.eu ✽
MAJOR AWARD FOR IRISH GARDENING CORRESPONDENT
‘The Irish Garden’ written by gardening correspondent Jane Powers with photographs by Jonathan Hession won Inspirational Book of the Year at the 2015 Garden Media Guild Awards, which took place at the Savoy Hotel London recently. There were 19 awards for contributions across the garden media industry (including books, journalism, broadcasting, photography and digital media). There are three awards in the books category: “Reference”, “Practical” and “Inspirational”. The awards are the equivalent of the Baftas for the garden media world. Britain is the home of great garden writing, and Jane tells HC that she was really thrilled to get the award for “Inspirational Book of the Year”, in the face of such stiff UK competition. ✽
NORTHERN IRELAND REGIONAL GARDEN CENTRE AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The Garden Centre Association (GCA) recently revealed its Northern Irish regional winners at a presentation recently. Creative Gardens Donaghadee scooped Best Garden Centre in Northern Ireland. The award for Best Customer Service also went to Creative Gardens Donaghadee in Northern Ireland while the award for Most Improved Centre went to Bushmills Garden centre in Northern Ireland. The awards are decided by the results of the annual inspections, which take place at all GCA garden centres. Garden centres have no advance warning about when their inspection will take place and they do not have the option to turn away the inspector.
Best Garden Centre: Creative Gardens Donaghadee
LEADING IRISH PLANT TISSUE CULTURE COMPANY ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL JOINT VENTURE
MyPlant® Tissue Culture Laboratory in Kilkenny, which is owned and operated by Pat FitzGerald of FitzGerald Nurseries, is delighted to announce the formation of a new global venture with their takeover by the leading Australian Plant Tissue Culture service provider, Lowes TC Pty Ltd. The new venture, Lowes TC, will see a wide range of services being offered across Europe. “I saw many opportunities evolving for the company on international markets and the home market that we were not taking advantage of due to limited time, technical focus and funding explains Pat. “With Lowes TC now coming in as the managing partner of the new company, I expect the business will fulfill the potential of this technology and increase our exports”.
Lowes TC is recognised as the biggest and best TC lab in Australia producing millions of plants each year from over 1,000 cultivars in its Australian and Indian labs. Greg Lowe, the founder of the Lowes TC group, shares Pat’s vision for the future of the new venture. “The facilities allow the group to easily service the EU with production of high health, uniform TC plants, solving quarantine and supply issues and developing new markets for plant breeders. The close relationship with FitzGerald Nurseries means that high quality hardened plants will also be available to all European customers”.
FitzGerald Nurseries has developed sales and plant IP in 26 countries and will continue to play a major role in hardening the laboratory output, product development, assessment and strategic planning for this new venture. The company now employs 25 people at its Kilkenny facilities and one in Germany with an expectation of increasing staff level to 30 in the coming months. The existing lab facility in Enniscorthy, County Wexford previously employed 13 people and this was expanded to 17 in July. The new venture is expected to employ over 50 people in the coming two to three years with the potential to employ over 100 in five years. This joint venture business brings significant technology, added value export and career opportunities to the Irish horticulture industry. It is a great example of progressive agricultural innovation at the rural town and farm level based on existing and future export market development. ✽