Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

Page 1

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 59

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

December 2021/January 2022

e u s s i n e e r G

AN INTERVIEW WITH

MILLBROOK GARDEN CENTRES GO GREEN HOW ARE RETAILERS BECOMING MORE SUSTAINABLE?

19 Cover.indd 1

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

GETTING TO KNOW CBD

24

35

OLD RAILWAY LINE’S INSPIRATIONAL STORE DISPLAY

DISCOVER THE LATEST HEALTH AND WELLBEING PRODUCT TREND

02/12/2021 14:55


NEW FROM BRITAIN’S FAVOURITE HOUSEPLANT CARE BRAND*

organic goodness for houseplants Seaweed infused • Stimulates root and plant growth for healthy foliage and brighter blooms • Helps build natural disease resistance and hardiness

@BabyBioPlantFood

Advert template.indd 1

@babybioplantfood

*Source: GfK GB Panel Market excl. Ironmongers Houseplant Care Oct 19 – Sep 20. Baby Bio® is registered trademark of SBM Life Science LTD. A part of SBM Developpement SAS. SBM Life Science LTD, Hyperion House, Fordham Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7XN. Advisory Line: 0330 330 3563

02/12/2021 11:42


Welcome

WELCOME TO...

Garden Centre Retail W

e’re in the wake of COP26. After a year’s delay, the hotly anticipated gathering of the world’s leaders finally took place in Glasgow in November – but there were arguably mixed results. Whilst pledges were made to lower global emissions, other commitments were avoided in fear of the economy taking a hit. Take Australia. Activists at the Climate Action Network dubbed it the “colossal fossil” of COP26 after its prime minister refused to move away from the country’s continued reliance on fossil fuels. The public isn’t just looking to the government to make changes and act, though. In the UK, consumers seem to be increasingly demanding more from brands and retailers. For our second ever Green Issue, we sought to find out how garden retailers are doing their bit to reduce emissions and encourage customers to be more environmentally friendly. As you’ll see amongst these pages, many are striving to become ‘greener’ businesses, despite the upfront cost, which many say is considerably less than the overall long-term savings. Our main interview with Millbrook reveals the garden centre has partnered with Planet Mark, and it’s not the only one to do so. Most have increased their peat-free ranges too, whilst reducing their use of pesticides and single-use plastic. Some have introduced pot return schemes, explored ‘green’ energy, and created innovative displays to entice customers towards more sustainable choices. We’re by no means saying the industry is perfect. There is far more to be done, and retailers themselves would agree, we’re sure. But as well as recognising steps to be taken, we’re also celebrating industry achievements, after what has been a challenging couple of years, as well as sharing best practice for those who are unsure of the next steps to take in their business. The climate crisis is not going to disappear any time soon, at least not without action, so now is the time for act.

Subeditor – Sam Seaton sam.seaton@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570 ADVERTISING Head of sales – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 587

Nina Mason Head of content, Garden Centre Retail nina.mason@eljays44.com

We’re also celebrating industry achievements, after what has been a challenging couple of years

Sales manager – Millie Genner Millie Genner@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 584 Horticulture Careers – Daniel Riley Tel: 01903 777 570 daniel.riley@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Gwent, UK Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson MARKETING AND CIRCUL ATION Client relations – Millie Genner millie.genner@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 584 Subscription enquiries – Jake Collett jake.collett@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570 Garden Centre Retail is published bimonthly by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2022 subscription price is £100. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, non-commissioned photographs or manuscripts.

@GardenRetailUK Garden Centre Retail Garden Centre Retail www.gardencentreretail.com

Leader.indd 3

EDITORIAL Head of content – Nina Mason nina.mason@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

Senior subeditor – Katrina Roy katrina.roy@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

GCR APP

www.gardencentreretail.com

Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA

Deputy head of content – Rachael Forsyth rachael.forsyth@eljays44.com Tel: 01903 777 570

Nina and the GCR team

Garden Centre Retail is available FREE on your mobile device. Simply go to the App Store, search for ‘Garden Centre Retail’ and download the app!

CONTACT

Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the integrity of our advertisers, we accept no responsibility for any problem, complaints, or subsequent litigation arising from readers’ responses to advertisements in the magazine. We also wish to emphasise that views expressed by editorial contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

3

02/12/2021 15:01


What is Strulch? A garden mulch made entirely from wheat straw with added minerals. Which acts as a deterrent to slugs and snails Packed in recyclable bags

Interested in becoming a stockist? 1 pallet minimum order discounts for 5, 10, 20 pallet orders 48 x 9 kg (100 litre) bags on a pallet Delivered in 3 working days All stockists advertised on our website Email or call for a quotation: info@strulch.co.uk 01943 863610 strulch.co.uk

www.strulch.co.uk 01943 863610 info@strulch.co.uk

Advert strulch.indd template.indd 1 2

02/12/2021 12/08/2021 11:43 16:24


Contents

Garden Centre Retail ISSUE 59

n

Gree

CO NTE NT S BUSINESS

NEWS

06 NEWS

A round-up of the latest news from the sector

19 HOW ARE GARDEN CENTRES GOING GREEN?

Direct responses to the climate crisis

23 SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

11 INTERVIEW

24 A GREEN SHOWCASE

15 SUSTAINABILITY TRENDS

26 CATERING FOCUS

Andrew Burton

Millbrook

AN INTERVIEW WITH

MILLBROOK GARDEN CENTRES GO GREEN HOW ARE RETAILERS BECOMING MORE SUSTAINABLE?

19

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

GETTING TO KNOW CBD

24

35

OLD RAILWAY LINE’S INSPIRATIONAL STORE DISPLAY

Cover.indd 1

DISCOVER THE LATEST HEALTH AND WELLBEING PRODUCT TREND

02/12/2021 14:55

DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022

30 GIMA

Shifting the focus towards sustainability

32 PLANT FOCUS

Exploring peace lilies

33 LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD What are the benefits

Old Railway Line

Three eco-positive ideas to consider incorporating in any garden centre

issue

PRODUCTS

08 NEWS EXTRA Crimple

PEOPLE • PRODUCTS • PROFIT

December 2021/January 2022

35 GETTING TO KNOW

Is ero waste an achievable goal

CBD products for garden centres

37 ADD VALUE WITH

Vegan products – expanding your customer base

24 11

38 PLANNING FOR PEAT FREE

Prepare for the approaching deadline

40 LATEST PRODUCTS Green gardening tools

43 MEET THE SUPPLIER OASE

08 www.gardencentreretail.com

Contents.indd 5

38 Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

5

02/12/2021 15:47


News

NEWS CENTRE Dobbies strengthens leadership team and opens third Little Dobbies in London

D

obbies announced three senior appointments – Richard Hodges as commercial director, ohn Dunning as restaurant director, and Tim ollis as head of buying. Richard joins from Sainsbury’s where he was head of UK wholesale and international growth. He will take responsibility for all trading and leading the roll out of the company’s small store format, ittle obbies, and website growth. ohn was most recently at Bourne eisure, where he was food and beverage director for Butlins, and Tim comes from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The appointments follow

a string of developments this year, including the acquisition of a new garden centre in Boston and the launch of five ittle obbies, the most recent in Richmond, ondon. The latest store is the third ittle obbies to open in the capital. C O Graeme enkins, says “ ittle obbies stores in Chiswick and Westbourne Grove have been well received, and we are proud to be able to expand our offering in the capital. “ ittle obbies stores were designed as a new way for customers to shop local, providing the same quality in a more urban environment.” www.dobbies.com

©Chris Humphreys

6

News.indd 6

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

Squire’s launches ‘Sustainability Champions’ programme

S

quire’s Garden Centres has launched its ‘Sustainability Champions’ programme. One or two team members from each of its 16 garden centres have volunteered to be ‘Sustainability Champion’ for their centre. The volunteers have been tasked with identifying workable solutions to help make Squire’s become a more sustainable business. A Sustainability Champions launch event was held at Squire’s in Shepperton in November. As well as discussing environmental issues and reviewing energy efficiency audits, the champions benefited from talks and brainstorming sessions led by Planet Mark – an organisation that helps measure and reduce the carbon footprint of businesses. Sarah S uire, chairman of S uire’s, says “We are

all increasingly aware of the fragility of the Earth and the need to protect the beautiful, unique planet we call home. We are working on a number of projects to help make Squire’s a more sustainable organisation, and one of these is our ‘Sustainability Champions’ programme. It’s very exciting to see the passion that our colleagues have for sustainability and their desire to make a difference. “Through our energy audits we have already identified a number of zero to low-cost measures to help drive down our energy consumption. This is our starting measure to be a more sustainable business and our Champions will drive this programme forward, sharing knowledge and taking some ownership of local environmental impacts.” squiresgardencentres.co.uk

The Blue Diamond Group acquires Mere Park Garden Centre

T

he Blue Diamond Group has announced its 38th garden centre acquisition – Mere Park Garden Centre in Newport, Shropshire. Blue Diamond managing director, Alan Roper, comments “Mere Park Garden Centre has excellent A1 retail planning permission and is a quality freehold asset. The site has strong potential and Newport has a strong ABC1 demographic.” avid Brierley, owner of the garden centre, adds “I am delighted to have sold Mere Park to the leading garden

centre operator in the UK and look forward to watching the business thrive as part of the Blue Diamond Group.” Mere Park has a 12-acre retail park that offers a full range of products and services that meet its customers’ shopping and leisure needs. www.bluediamond.gg

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 16:34


News

GIMA Award winners announced

T

he garden retail industry came together on 11 November to celebrate the 40th annual GIMA Awards at a black-tie event. Held at the Celtic Manor Resort after a two-year hiatus, the ceremony saw 17 award winners revealed. The big prize of the night – the GIMA Sword of Excellence – was awarded to Elho for its Green Basics Veggie Wall 80cm. The 2021 GCA Supplier of the Year Award went to Meadow View Stone and the Gardenex Export Achievement Award went to Wildlife World. GIMA’s newest award – Sustainability – was scooped by Dalefoot Composts, which the judges described as “a company that has sustainability and the environment at the

very heart of what it does. As well as delivering a great peat-free product, its peatland restoration work makes Dalefoot Composts a worthy winner of this inaugural Sustainability Award.” GIMA director, Vicky Nuttall, says: “It’s been so good to be back and, even more so, to see that the industry has continued to grow and develop, even when faced with incredible adversity. “The entries to this year’s awards were of the highest calibre and demonstrate the perseverance and enthusiasm that continues to make garden retail one of the most exciting sectors to be part of.” www.gima.org.uk

Family owned garden centre celebrates 150 years

G

arsons is celebrating 150 years in business. The garden centre, farm shop and pick-your-own farm began when George Henry Thompson moved from farming in Hersham to Garson Farm at West End Village, Esher in 1871. The business continues to evolve, and is now run by the fourth and fifth generation of the family. In the early days, the business supplied Borough Market with vegetables, transported by horse and wagon. During WWII, land girls farmed the crops. Garsons rose to the challenge of supermarkets in the 70s by selling direct to customers, and in the 80s, it developed one of the biggest pick your own farms in the UK. During the 90s, it expanded with the Esher garden centre alongside the farm shop and PYO farm, and with a new garden centre in Titchfield, ampshire.

Ben Thompson, director at Garsons and a descendant of George Henry Thompson, comments: “We’re incredibly proud to reach this landmark. So many people have helped us provide great products and a trusted service. We’ll keep evolving so we can stay relevant to our customers.” Managing director Ian Richardson is part of the fifth generation of the family. He says: “As we celebrate 150 years in business, these are challenging times for independent retailers. We’re pleased to still be giving customers what they want and contributing towards the local community.” Garsons has introduced the 150 Collection of commemorative items, and local artist Lisa Tolley designed a bespoke anniversary print, which now forms part of the collection. www.garsons.co.uk

Two-thirds continue lockdown gardening hobby

T

wo-thirds of the three million people who took up hobby gardening in 2020 have been retained, according to the Horticultural Trades Association’s November Market Update Report. Those that dropped off likely did so due to the reopening of travel, out-of-home leisure and a return to more typical working patterns. In June 2020, the HTA’s consumer tracker survey revealed that 64% of British

www.gardencentreretail.com

News.indd 7

adults said they used their gardens for growing plants, trees or owers. When the survey was repeated in August 2021, the proportion of British adults growing plants, trees or owers fell to 62 , which is around 700,000 fewer people. The largest decline came amongst the youngest age group – those aged 25 to 44 years old, who are likely to be returning pre-pandemic habits for spending their leisure time.

Despite the decrease in numbers, garden centre sales are still up on both 2020 and 2019. Garden/gardening sales are up 55% on October 2019 and although non-gardening sales remain similar to October 2020, pet sales are up again, with an increase of 10% on October 2020. Catering sales were also down, with the ending of the temporary

5% VAT rate for hospitality, rising to 12.5% likely having an impact on sales figures. Still, there are promising increases in food/farm shop sales, which are up 23% on October 2020. www.hta.org.uk

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

7

01/12/2021 16:38


News Extra

CRIMPLE OPENS NEW

SUSTAINABLE STORE

Harrogate-based garden centre Crimple has undergone a £4m redevelopment, with the environment at its heart

A

state-of-the-art food hall has been added to a familyowned garden centre in Harrogate. The new timber clad building opened in November and has created more than 60 jobs. Crimple has been owned by managing director Graham Watson since 2013, when he bought a building that was, at the time, an antiques store. A few years later, he bought the garden centre on the same site. He then sought planning permission to rebuild, which was “dilapidated”, and created a new 20,000 sq ft food hall to link to the existing garden centre. He now runs the business alongside his wife, Tori, and their two daughters. Graham put sustainability as one of the key considerations.

8

News extra.indd 8

“We carried out a customer survey and one of the things customers wanted the most was ‘green’, so we focused on that for the building,” he explains. “It has a saw-tooth roof, so in the summer we can open up part of the roof rather than using air conditioning.” He admits that aspects like this can be expensive but adds they pay for themselves in the long run. “We considered the same with refrigeration. We could have spent less, but we chose the more expensive option which allows us to take heat from the refrigeration and feed it back to the water tank, providing hot water for the site.” This heat recovery system produces 1,275L of hot water per hour, benefitting the centre, the food hall and the

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

160-seat restaurant. As well as for the building, sustainability has been considered for Crimple’s stock too. Around 80% of products in the food hall is from local suppliers. “For next year, we’re looking to find a local supplier and champion their products for, say, a month in a special section. They’d benefit from the footfall and, if it takes off, we’d stock it more permanently.” Within the food hall is a 12m-long butcher’s, a juice bar, bakery, patisserie, deli and cheese counter, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, and more. Since reopening in November, Crimple has been offering customers shopping bags made from potato starch for only 10p each as a more environmentally friendly, compostable option

to single-use plastic. The store also strives to reduce its use of plastic with cardboard takeaway containers in the café – though Graham says he’s looking for a better solution – and glass bottles for milk and orange juice, which customers can bring back to refill. Crimple has also been moving away from peat, increasing its range of peatfree compost. “We try to push peat-free compost. People think it isn’t as good as peat, so we’re trying to encourage them that it is just as good and is better for the environment.” There are still challenges, but Crimple is committed to a sustainable approach. When speaking to Graham, the store had only been open two weeks; so there is far more to come from this family business. ◗

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 11:23


The official job board of Pro Landscaper magazine

ARE YOU

hiring?

Advertise your job on horticulture careers for free!

Landscaping jobs Top results Horticulture Careers – www.horticulturecareers.co.uk

*Offer only valid for first time users of the site

Please contact Dan Riley to advertise your vacancy: Email: daniel.riley@eljays44.com Advert Hort Careers template.indd FP.indd 33

Tel: 01903 777583 02/12/2021 22/06/2021 11:45 11:30


OVER 100 ACCESSORIES AVAILABLE

PRANKI SEASONNG ... is soo

CALL TO REQUEST OUR 2021 BROCHURE

ner than you think !

! W O N R E D R O

Or ask foor caall Salesman t

9 MOILvLeIrO

Dolls N Sold

ITEM NUMBER: 503095 BAG SIZE: 70X50CM

TWIN PACK! ITEM NUMBER: 446069

ITEM NUMBER: 500025

ITEM NUMBER: 500040 ITEM NUMBER: 446070

ITEM NUMBER: 500133

The addictive, humorous, shocking & hilarious antics of the Elves are the perfect ingredients for the festive weeks leading up to Christmas Advert template.indd 4

02/12/2021 14:42


I n terv i ew News

AN INTERVIEW WITH

MILLBROOK

Noticing a newfound demand for eco-friendly products, Millbrook has stepped up its sustainability game. We find out how, as well as what it’s doing to tackle supply chain issues

N

o one will likely need reminding that the past 18 months has often proven to be desperately hard, not just for the UK garden centre industry but across society as whole. First there was – of course – the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, doing untold damage to both life and the economy. Who in February of last year could have predicted that in just a few short weeks businesses would have to shut their doors in order to stem transmission of the virus? Or that Christmas 2020 would be, for all intents and purposes, cancelled to help keep the most vulnerable safe? Fast forward to spring of this year meanwhile, and just when it looked like the curse of CO I - was finally about to be broken, businesses started to report issues

www.gardencentreretail.com

Interview.indd 11

with the supply chain. Needless to say, this proved to be almost as disruptive as the pandemic, but with the chaos injected from a different direction. Whereas before there was a shortage of customers to buy anything in-store, now there were arbitrary limits imposed on what was actually available to be sold. Keeping all that in mind, you might think that UK garden centre operators might have developed a somewhat pessimistic attitude going forward. Luckily however, this is an extraordinarily resilient industry, with an incredibly loyal customer base. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the three Millbrook sites, based in Gravesend, Staplehurst and Crowborough in the southeast of England. Not only are these businesses thriving, but they are also

constantly evolving their offer to meet an increasingly demanding environment. At the same time meanwhile – in keeping with the environmental theme of this issue – Millbrook’s owners are also becoming increasingly concerned with the sustainability piece. After all, as the subject of this issue’s big interview points, if we don’t do something quickly, in the future there might not be any more businesses to protect. Starting small Tammy Woodhouse is the managing director of the Millbrook chain of garden centres. Speaking of the origin of the business, she says: “My parents originally opened it in 1979, at the site in Crowborough. They didn’t come from 

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

11

01/12/2021 11:08


News I n terv i ew

12

Interview.indd 12

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 11:09


I n terv i ew News a nursery or growing background, and they didn’t really know anything about horticulture.” She continues: “They bought the land – something like two and a half acres – which had originally been offices belonging to the Forestry Commission. My dad split the house in two, and sold the other half, while at the same time having all this land left over. “They tried a lot of different ways to use the land at the beginning, such as a market garden as well as allotments, but eventually decided to open a garden centre. In the first instance, the Crowborough site was just a leaky greenhouse and a couple of sheds.” According to Tammy, from there the business grew quite quickly, with Millbrook growing its own plants but also offering a landscaping service prompted by customers’ requests that her father go out to give advice about their gardens. The second site subsequently opened at Gravesend in 1994, marking the point at which the business really took off. “We were running the first site for about 20 years before Gravesend came along,” says Tammy. “Obviously, all the business initially came out of there, but now it’s the smallest one that we run. The other two have got six or seven acres of land each. “There were any number of reasons to expand, not least that Crowborough is quite challenging in terms of where it is, located on a very steep slope and surrounded by roads. As well as being bigger, Gravesend was purposebuilt, rather than being added to piecemeal. 1994 marked a big step change for us.” As with any multi-site business, the obvious question in relation to Millbrook is the level of coordination across the various locations. Is there a single strategy for all three, or is it more complicated than that? What is each site’s individual identity? Discussing this, Tammy says: “The offer does change across all three, but we coordinate throughout the business. They all have the same suppliers for instance, through Future Marketing, the buying group that we belong to. At the same time, we also have central buyers located across all three sites, with the range changing according to the size of the garden centre and location. The demographic in terms of customers is incredibly important as well.” According to Tammy, both Crowborough and Staplehurst are quite rurally located, with the latter actually situated on farmland. Gravesend meanwhile is more urban, meaning smaller gardens and a very different customer base. Going into greater detail about the types of customers the business gets through the door, she says: “Our Staplehurst and Crowborough customers are more of the ‘traditional’ garden centre demographic, whereas in Gravesend they tend to be a bit younger. “We are seeing the demographic change uite a lot now. For instance, we get uite a lot 

www.gardencentreretail.com

Interview.indd 13

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

13

01/12/2021 11:09


News I n terv i ew peat free when we grew our own plants, but there was no appetite for it yet. “By contrast, there’s now a real groundswell of customer expectation, which to me is absolutely right. We like to think that we’re the green industry, but there are a lot of things that we have to change. We have to put our hands on our hearts and realise there’s things that on sale that aren’t good for the environment.” She continues: “We need to be quite honest when it comes to this. If we don’t do something to help the environment, there will be no businesses for us to operate, and I genuinely believe that we’re at that tipping point right now. “It’s not just about the business case, and indeed, in the short term, we might not see massive commercial gains. But consumers are now actively making choices based on sustainability, something which I believe is only going to increase

If we don’t do something to help the environment, there will be no businesses for us to operate, and I genuinely believe that we’re at that tipping point right now

of young families visiting, with the cafes often being used as meeting places for young mums. At the same time, people from across the generations are coming, just for a day out. I think garden centres are regarded as a nice, safe place to shop. That stood us in good stead during COVID-19.” Like walking in the park As discussed, each Millbrook site possesses its own unique offer, as dictated by factors such as centre size, local demographics and so on. According to Tammy however, they are all united by an emphasis on plants, coupled with several innovative strategies when it comes to selling them. The first of these strategies is located around the pot plant offer, which consists of both ready-planted containers and a bespoke pot planting service. The other is the selling of plant area stock by colour, with that part of the garden centre – in her words – intended to be like “walking around a park.”

14

Interview.indd 14

Explaining the rationale behind this, Tammy says: “We wanted to present something other than just straight rows of plants. While that does sometimes present a challenge when it comes to merchandising, it also creates a really pleasant environment. “Our customers generally don’t come to us now with a list of Latin names. They’re coming for inspiration, to see how things grow and to get ideas in terms of how they want their home and garden to look.” Also integral to the plant offer is a now all-encompassing focus on sustainability. This includes a concerted move towards peat-free products, as well as gradually engineering out pesticides and plastic packaging. The business has also created an action plan to reduce its carbon, working in collaboration with sustainability certification organisation Planet Mark. Asked why this is necessary, Tammy deftly links the business and moral cases together. “It’s something that we’ve been thinking about within the business for a long time,” she says. “We were trialling

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

going forward. We may not see the commercial benefits now, but we will in a few years’ time.” It would be a remiss decision to not ask about the difficulties mentioned at the very start of the article. Enough time has probably been spent discussing COVID-19 at this point, but what about the issues around the supply chain? How has Millbrook coped with that, and what will be the likely impact going forward? Discussing this, Tammy says: “It’s been going on most of the year, certainly since the spring, with furniture deliveries being the first things that were hit. We had a furniture container back in June which just wasn’t able to get into Felixstowe. “In terms of coping with it, we’re really just having to work with what we’ve got – although luckily we haven’t run out of anything. Everybody’s in the same boat, so we’re all worrying about stockpiling for next spring. If anything, we’re worried that next year is going to be even harder.” The UK garden centre sector defined by its inventiveness and resilience. If things really do get more difficult, we have no doubt that Millbrook will find ways to not just cope but thrive. ◗

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 11:10


Sustainability Trends News

3 SUSTAINABILITY TRENDS IN RETAIL These key trends are making their way into the retail sector for stores to become more environmentally friendly – and their customers too!

Loose food and refill stations “The trend for reusable and refillable packaging is growing in the UK,” says Catherine Conway, who set up UnpackagedAT, a company which helps businesses to implement ero waste solutions. “Shoppers remain concerned about singleuse plastic packaging and are demanding solutions. A key part of the move towards reusable or refillable packaging is selling food loose through refill stations. “Many garden centres are trying this out with a small area dedicated to refill, which can grow as customers get used to the concept. The key is to implement it well, so its eye catching and makes it as easy as possible for shoppers to engage.” www.beunpackaged.com

www.gardencentreretail.com

Sustainability trends.indd 15

Pot return schemes “We have offered a plastic plant pot and tray return service for three years,” says Marcus yles, obbies’ horticultural director. “We have further enhanced this offer with compost packaging recycling bins which we introduced at a number of stores, with plans for more next year. “We have welcomed consumer demand for sustainable solutions. We undertook research this year, in conjunction with Censuswide, showing that of respondents go out their way to recycle. www.dobbies.com

Eco-friendly e-commerce packaging “With more and more customers ordering online, now is the time to review your e-commerce packaging,” says Chris Clarke, marketing manager at packaging supplier Springpack. “What’s more, you’ll need to consider the environmental impact of your packaging too. “We would always recommend switching to the most sustainable packaging you can, such as bio-degradable or compostable bags. And you can do you bit too, by ensuring all of your cardboard waste is recycled. Also, remember to re-use any plant pots you receive in the post ” www.springpack.co.uk

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

15

02/12/2021 15:19


PLANNING FOR POST LOCKDOWN? INCREASE YOUR RESTAURANT, PUB, GARDEN CENTRE OR CAFE CAPACITY RENT A TEMPORARY, AFFORDABLE, WEATHERPROOF STRUCTURE

NO FIXED TERM CONTRACT

INCREASE YOUR COVERED SPACE TO MEET CURRENT SOCIAL DISTANCING DEMANDS IN JUST A FEW DAYS WE WORK AROUND YOUR EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE A TEMPORARY WITH A PERMANENT FEEL EASILY ADAPTED FOR ALL SEASONS (SIDES ON/OFF) SINGLE OR MULTI-STOREY BUILT IN TIGHT SPACES OR ON ROUGH, UNEVEN GROUND INTERGRATED OR STAND-ALONE

OFFER 10% off all bookings using code: WWS21 Sustainable & Environmentally Friendly

T: +44 (0) 1672 565 060 M: +44 (0) 7875 027 369

W: www.worldwide-structures.com E: stuart@w-sl.com

Proudly supplying garden centre retailers canopies, covered walkways & sustainable statement buildings for over 55 years Contact our team today to see what we can bring to your centre 01243 55 44 55 info@fordingbridge.co.uk www.fordingbridge.co.uk

Advert template.indd 5

02/12/2021 11:48


DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022

BUSINESS 19

HOW ARE GARDEN CENTRES GOING GREEN? A closer look

23

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS Andrew Burton, Malcolm Scott Consultants

24

A GREEN SHOWCASE Old Railway Line promotes wildlife

26

CATERING FOCUS Zero waste – how can it be achieved?

Business Cover.indd 15

02/12/2021 11:32


INDEPENDENT IMPARTIAL INVALUABLE

Considering selling your Garden Centre, Plant Centre or Nursery? Quinton Edwards are the most experienced chartered surveyors/property consultants to the garden centre and horticultural industry and would be delighted to advise you. With 4 garden centres currently under offer and continuing strong demand we would be pleased to hear from you. With 30 years of specialist experience to the garden centre & horticulture industries throughout the UK, Ireland & into Europe. Quinton Edwards Chartered Surveyors, Bartholomew House, 38 London Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1JX quintonedwards.co.uk sales@quintons.co.uk

Garden Centre | EPOS Specialists • Full EPOS, stock control and reporting • Customer delivery scheduling • Goods for collection & call-off features Searchable plant database with images

Loyalty Scheme

E-marketing Services

SHOPIFY / E-COMMERCE INTEGRATION

Label Printing

Handheld Terminals

SCAN ‘N SHOP, DELIVERY / C&C, TABLE ORDERING

XERO, QUICKBOOKS, SAGE INTEGRATION Café & Restaurant Module

Sales v Weather Reporting

• Ability to track stock/plant location • Front-house and backroom stock segregation

MOBILE APPS Web Integration

• Searchable plants database with images

7 Day Support

• Fully featured loyalty and discounting schemes • HTA gift card integration • Web-store integration (incl. Shopify) • Mobile / tablet apps (table service, click & collect, etc) • Label & tag printing *All prices exclude VAT and are subject to change. All EPOS systems & software require a compulsory support contract.

COMPLETE EPOS SOLUTIONS • Over 20 years’ experience in the EPOS business • Over 1,000 live systems across the UK • Software developed in-house

www.imagesoft.co.uk Registered in England & Wales: 9450326

Advert template.indd 6

sales@imagesoft.co.uk

01202 698610

Registered address: 1 Avon Road | West Moors | Ferndown | Dorset | BH22 0EG

02/12/2021 11:48


G o i n g G reen B u si n ess

HOW ARE GARDEN CENTRES

GOING GREEN?

W

Their plantarias may be awash with green, but how do garden centres’ sustainability actions match up?

hether you deem COP26 a success or a gathering for greenwashing, one area in which it excelled was bringing climate change once again to the fore. Even starker warnings were issued about the perilous impact taking little or no action could have on the planet, and world leaders were forced to make significant commitments to play their part in lowering global temperatures. But it’s not just our prime minister who has the power to reduce greenhouse gases emitted in the UK. The retail industry is arguably one of the biggest in uencers for change from small, independent stores to nationwide or even global chains, each wields the ability to change the way consumers – well, consume.

www.gardencentreretail.com

Going green.indd 19

Whilst there’s perhaps a long way to go and many more changes to be made, the garden retail sector has been adapting to a growing demand for sustainability, well before COP26 took place. From plastic to peat, from solar to suppliers, garden centres have been seeking more sustainable solutions.

Putting plastic aside

One of the biggest changes directly impacting consumers is retailers pulling plastic but it’s also one of the biggest challenges, says Lisa Looker, Haskins Garden Centres’ brand director. Garden centres are under pressure to switch black plastic pots for a material which can be widely recycled, unlike black plastic which is difficult for recycling machines to sort – but finding alternatives is not easy. “Whilst many of our suppliers are making headway in producing more recyclable pots, there remains much inconsistency as to what local authorities can offer in terms of kerbside recycling

for our customers at home”, says Lisa, who says Haskins is tackling the problem with a pot return scheme. “Customers can recycle pots at our centres to help alleviate this issue and we promote reusing pots for gardening and community projects.” Coolings has switched to taupe pots on the nursery, but chairman Paul Coolings says there remain obstacles with local authorities. “Our managing director Gary Carvosso is still battling with local councillors in Bromley and Sevenoaks to enable the taupe pots to go into the kerbside collections for recycling.” Taupe can be recycled at specific recycling centres, though, so director Ben Thompson says Garsons is putting pressure on its suppliers to provide stock in taupe pots and is welcoming returns of plastic plant pots/trays which it can reuse or send for recycling. 

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

19

01/12/2021 13:39


B u si n ess G o i n g G reen Garsons has also swapped plastic carrier bags for ones which are 100% compostable; even prior to this, it was using its plastic carrier bag charge as a source for change, donating nearly £7k of the proceeds to the Marine Conservation Society. Customers can purchase Garsons’ ‘bags for life’ and can utilise recyclable paper plant sleeves too. In restaurants, Garsons has scrapped its plastic straws for paper and has introduced refill stations with chilled filtered tap water and in its farm shops, it has pledged to remove plastic punnets. Complementary biodegradable cardboard punnets are now offered across 90% of the farm, with the remaining 10% made up of previously ordered and manufactured plastic punnets which are soon to be discontinued. Yorkshire-based chain Langlands is focusing on recycling and eco-friendly packaging by introducing compostable takeaway containers and wooden cutlery in its cafes and using recyclable pots in its nursery, amongst other measures. “Here at Langlands we understand the environmental and business benefits of

becoming environmentally sustainable, says Steve Adams, manager of its Shiptonthorpe garden centre. “It is a long process; we aimed to start with simple changes that will add up over time.” Small changes can make a big difference. Hillier, for instance, is working with its greeting cards supplier to remove plastic packaging, with all of its Christmas cards this year being plastic packaging free. This is one of many initiatives to reduce its reliance on plastic: Hillier introduced kerbside recyclable nonblack plastic pots in 2019; recycles all waste plastic pots, plastic trolley wrap, and plastic skins from polytunnels; and has switched disposable plastic to compostable materials in its restaurants as well as using glass bottles for soft drinks. The garden centre chain has partnered with sustainability certification Planet Mark, as has Garsons. Hillier says it wants to empower customers to make informed choices about purchases and so is developing icons for statements such as ‘bee-friendly’, ‘plastic-free’ and ‘made in the UK’.

Selecting stock

Hillier and Garsons are both starting to locate eco products in more prominent positions within their stores and are sourcing more environmentally friendly products. “Our eco product portfolio is growing,” says Thompson. “We have multiple products across all departments that are environmentally innovative and progressive, such as planters made from used tires, socks made from recycled plastic, crisps in compostable packaging and a range of reusable food storage solutions like beeswax wraps. We mindfully seek and build relationships with suppliers that are active with their sustainability credentials.” Langlands is also looking to highlight more environmentally friendly products within its stores, with them having their own area for the new season, and is increasing its range of peat-free alternatives next year. Peat is one of the more controversial points for garden centres find out more on page , but the majority are reducing its usage on their nurseries and stocking peat-free composts on their shelves. “Reducing peat has been a key priority for Dobbies and this year we accelerated our aim to be peat-free by six months to the end of 2021,” says Marcus Eyles, Dobbies’ horticultural director. “We are also working with nursery suppliers to produce a roadmap for an annual reduction in peat-use. “In June, we launched our own brand peat-free compost with added John Innes, and we have built on our peat-free range

©Bents

20

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

Going green.indd 20

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 13:40


G o i n g G reen B u si n ess

©Dobbies

throughout the year, now offering a full range of peat-free composts.” Perrywood has increased its range of peat-free composts too and has been running a campaign this year encouraging customers to share peat-free successes. In its own nursery, it has reduced peat content and is striving to improve this further. Plants from Hillier grown in peatfree compost will show this on their label and peat-free products will soon be at the front of its compost displays. At Bents Garden & Home, managing director Matthew Bent says the company is eager to play its part too. “We are committed to helping achieve the national peat reduction targets wherever possible, sourcing peat-free or peat-reduced products and encouraging the use of alternative soil improvers such as our complementary coffee granule station, topped up with used granules from our dining destinations.”

Growing green

There’s more to plants than peat, though. “We also believe in growing locally and grow, nurture and care for over 60% of

www.gardencentreretail.com

Going green.indd 21

our plants on our onsite nurseries located just next door to the centre,” says Bent. “Not only does this ensure our plants are the freshest and highest quality prior to sale, but it also reduces travel miles in their transportation.” Garsons is also implementing sustainable practices behind the scenes on its farm and nursery. It prefers to use biological methods for pest control, for instance. “Phacelia owers are grown adjacent to sweetcorn because it is a favoured host for lacewings, which feed on the sweetcorn aphids. For strawberries, raspberries and runner beans natural predators control several important pests. In orchards, pheromone traps are used to attract and monitor moth populations, reducing the need to apply controls.” Across its pick-your-own farm in Esher, Garsons has ensured biodiversity is encouraged, such as featuring 50 acres of traditional river ood meadows which are not fertilised and so are rich in native ora. Water reduction has been a focus too. “We have proudly halved our water usage for over 20 years. Irrigation for the farm and garden centre plants is provided from the River Mole and advanced methods are used to retain moisture and reduce evaporation,” says Thompson. To reduce its own reliance on mains water usage, Hillier is looking to trial rainwater harvesting from Hillier Garden Centre Newbury and Three Legged Cross. Coolings is already collecting rainwater runoff from its greenhouses and grows nearly half the plants it sells, which chairman Paul says has both environmental and financial benefits. Alongside this, Bent has a purposebuilt 3.5-million-gallon reservoir which collects runoff water for reuse throughout the centre, and Haskins is utilising urban drainage and rainwater harvesting for its plants across its Snowhill site.

Working with waste

When it comes to waste, it’s not just water to consider. Langlands sends its waste

products to be recycled, from wooden pallets and scrap metals to cardboard and plastic wrapping. It places food waste in compostable bags which are also sent on to be recycled. Earlier in the year, Dobbies partnered with surplus food app Too Good to Go, which allows users to search for local businesses with unsold produce. At Dobbies, customers were able to purchase a ‘Magic Bag’ of this produce from 43 of its foodhalls across the UK. At Garsons Esher Farm Shop, fresh produce no longer fit for sale is delivered to a charity which uses it to cook meals for those in need, and remaining non-food sale stock is given to charity or used as prizes in fundraisers. And at Hillier, orchard trees about to be grubbed out are potted at its container nursery, often going on to be used to form community orchards. It is also adding additional recycling streams to reduce the waste from its sites that goes to landfill.

Efficient energy sources

As well as changes on site, changes to the sites themselves have a significant impact on emissions. “As a family of growers, we know exactly how important it is to respect

Fresh produce no longer fit for sale is delivered to a charity which uses it to cook meals for those in need, and remaining nonfood sale stock is given to charity or used as prizes in fundraisers and protect our environment. So, when we designed our buildings at Garsons Esher in 2015, we incorporated lots of energy efficient and environmentally friendly features to ensure we take care of the planet for years to come”, says Thompson. These features included low-energy under oor heating, which heats the space evenly from the ground up, and thermal mass created by using concrete to help store heat for minimal temperature variation. New buildings also have yearround ground source heat from coils of water-filled plastic pipe under farm fields. “Automated opening roof vents and windows along with large folding doors are linked to a weather station to manage natural ventilation intuitively, with temperature and rain sensors,” explains 

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

21

01/12/2021 13:44


B u si n ess G o i n g G reen Thompson. “We’ve designed the buildings to make the most of natural daylight and added energy-efficient sensor-controlled lighting to light the space as necessary.” Perrywood installed three new air source heat pumps earlier in the year, which it says produce enough heat for the under oor heating in its main shop, its coffee shop and restaurant, and its garden shop. They save an estimated 79t of CO2 emissions a year. askins’ Snowhill site saves significant emissions each year, too. “Thanks to the lighting, heat recovery ventilation

We’ve designed the buildings to make the most of natural daylight and added energyefficient sensor-controlled lighting to light the space as necessary systems, natural ventilation measures, photovoltaic panels and high thermal and solar efficiency of the building fabric at Snowhill, the building produces less than 40% CO2 than the Building Regulations Target mission Rate,” says ooker. “We are committed to continual improvement in this area and for the first time this year we will submit a Streamlined Energy & Carbon Report to provide a benchmark to monitor our future improvements.”

Switching to solar

Solar panels, like the ones used by askins, are becoming an increasingly popular choice for garden centres. Twenty percent of the annual electricity at Haskins’ new Snowhill Centre in West Sussex is powered by solar panels, saving 77t of CO2 each year, says brand director ooker. illier is in the process of adding solar panels to its Newbury and Three egged Cross centres, and Coolings has ordered a “substantial solar array” for its south-facing shop roof. Bents also recently completed an installation of 167 solar panels to its

22

©Perrywood

buildings, which Bent says he hopes will provide 2 -2 of the company’s overall energy supply and allow it to operate selfsufficiently at certain times of the year. “With additional plans for even more green investments and developments Bents aims to be over self-sufficient at all times in the coming years. “The new initiative is the latest addition to our Six Green Footprints, which have formed the basis of our commitment to the environment and world around us since their launch in 2 . The Green Footprints outline our commitments to recycling, water efficiency, healthy living, social responsibility, trading fairly and responsibly, and protecting our environment.” illier is looking ahead too, adding hybrid and electric cars to its eet and installing electric vehicle charging points at its head office, whilst looking at how it can install charging points at its garden centres too. Coolings has already committed to adding electric car charging

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

Going green.indd 22

points to three of its four sites by spring 2 22, with bolder ambitions still. “Retrofitting green infrastructure does not become environmentally efficient until the old kit is near the end of its useful life; however, it is a must-do when rebuilding from scratch,” says Paul. “Our second site in Knockholt was rebuilt in 2 with many environmentally favourable features and is still performing very well. Planning permission is being sought to rebuild Coolings Potted Garden Nursery with the aim of making the site carbon neutral by 2 2 .” As we said before, there’s still a long way to go, but garden centres across the UK are upping their game. From plastic reduction year-on-year, to energy-saving initiatives, to goals of becoming carbon neutral, the garden retail industry is eager to be green, not just in its stock but in its practices. ou an find out more about hat ea h o the garden entres dis ussed here are doing ia their ebsites. ◗

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 13:48


A n d rew B u rto n B u si n ess

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

W

Andrew Burton of Malcolm Scott Consultants on the expert measures it can provide to help garden centres increase their green credentials and support environmentally aware customers

ith gardeners’ behaviours increasingly being driven by concerns for the environment, the COP26 summit having generated high awareness of the widespread responsibilities needed, and the long-awaited Environment Bill becoming law, businesses are under more pressure than ever to demonstrate their commitment to ecology and the protection of the planet. With many households steering clear of plastics and excess packaging, those with gardens have begun to tailor their plans to encourage more wildlife in a bid to counteract biodiversity loss and the risks it poses to the food chain and environmental resources, and garden centres are well placed to help educate and support their customers in their endeavours. In October this year, the HTA published a detailed report on market trends and gardeners’ attitudes to sustainability, reporting that over the last 20 years consumer concern with the environment has peaked with coverage of natural disasters but was not sustained, and declined slightly during the 2008 economic crash. Now, consumer concern with the environment is at record high and exceeds pre-pandemic levels. Even during the pandemic concern with the environment remained at levels broadly

www.gardencentreretail.com

Andrew Burton.indd 23

consistent with peaks over the past two decades.

Now, consumer concern with the environment is at record high and exceeds pre-pandemic levels At Malcolm Scott Consultants, we are fortunate enough to have an experienced in-house team of environmental consultants, accredited by the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), enabling us to provide detailed surveys, seminars and guidance for our clients to enable them to strengthen their green credentials. By definition, BNG is the approach taken to development, and/or land management, which ensures that the natural environment is left in a measurably better state than it was prior to the project being undertaken. It has been an important factor for some years, with businesses keen to state that they’ve taken it into account when undertaking projects, and with the Environment Bill having been set as law, and the introduction of Metric 3.0 earlier this year, it will no longer be enough to

claim steps have been taken; actions have to be tangible and lasting, with changes being measured. Our colleagues were involved in the development of Metric 3.0, working to explore BNG approaches and developing a range of good practice guidelines for businesses and developers to follow in order to demonstrate the steps they were taking, with the aim of creating lasting, proven gains in habitats that will aid the recovery of ecosystems and the benefits they provide. This gives us exceptional insight into the requirements, and the team is keen to share its research and knowledge with clients so that it can benefit future BNG contributions. As we move into 2022 with a more determined focus on BNG and environmental responsibility, we will be looking to work with clients to help them recognise the negative impacts on habitats arising from their actions, and calculating how much and what kind of new or restored habitat is required to ensure BNG within a project, so that centres and retailers can in turn share their measures and successes with their customers to demonstrate their commitment to the environment. For details, contact Andrew on andrewb@malcolmscott.co.uk. ◗

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

23

01/12/2021 16:14


B usiness Sto re D isp lay

A GREEN SHOWCASE Old Railway Line created this store display to highlight sustainability and promote wildlife in every department throughout August, to educate customers and generate interest and spark conversation

How did you produce the display?

We gave each department a target to come up with an idea that ties in with our theme. They had time to plan and prepare their ideas in the week coming up to implementing it, we then held a competition for the best display.

Vegan food wraps from Kitchencraft

Local honey Locally sourced honeycomb

Model bees n o ers

Have you linked the sustainability theme throughout your store?

We created some interactive ‘quiz’ boards around the centre asking questions like ‘How many local suppliers do we stock in our farm shop?’, with three aps to lift to reveal the correct answer.

How did you educate customers about what you had put together?

We used a lot of in store POS, quiz boards and social media to highlight our general theme and each departments display. We tried to capture the photos with members of the team in them as this creates a more relatable post.

Did it encourage sales/interest?

Yes, in all areas. The bonus was the interaction we had from children which wasn’t expected but they seemed to recognise themes, like the ocean plastics display, instantly. oldrailwaylinegc.co.uk ◗

24

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

Store display.indd 24

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 16:11


Sto re D isp lay B usiness

Till area

Garden care

• Bug Hotel display with products from Tom Chambers • Toy bugs from Key Craft • Bee ornament props from Smart Garden

• Composting products for customers to re-create at home • Props that are compostable • Two Farmers Crisp range which comes in compostable packets

Plant display

• Wildlife-friendly plants • Peat-free displays

Pet area

• Dog toys and leads made from re-cycled plastics from Ancol

Gift area

• Products made from recycled plastics such as throws from Hug Rug, toys from Big Jigs and rugs from Walton & Co. to highlight the ocean plastics problem

www.gardencentreretail.com

Store display.indd 25

Looking to the future “Since this project last year, we now promote sustainability in each department all year round. We have started stocking FILL in our Farm Shop, which is a ero plastic, re-fillable cleaning products brand, and we are looking to expand on re-fill ero plastics where we can throughout the centre next year.”

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

25

30/11/2021 13:57


B u si n ess C ateri n g F o c u s

ZERO WASTE As the Government moves towards tackling single-use plastic, how can garden centres make steps towards zero waste – and why?

O

ver 15,000 disposable cups filled the entirety of a Kent coffee house’s oor earlier this year. All in a bid to protest the local council incinerating the cups along with general waste – due to the waterproof plastic lining they contained – Otto’s Coffee ouse and Kitchen took an even bolder stand by banning takeaway cups completely. It’s not the first caf to ban such items – nor will it be the last. Prior to COP26, the Government brought forward changes to help improve and strengthen the nvironmental Bill. Among these amendments are measures that would allow ministers to introduce charges on all single-use items, not just

26

plastics. Following in the footsteps of the plastic straw ban and carrier bag change which has “cut sales by in the main supermarkets” according to efra, these new powers will mean any single use item destined for landfill can be targeted. In line with this and closing early next year, efra currently has an open consultation on banning the supply of commonly littered single-use plastic items. These include single use cups, polystyrene food and drink containers and cutlery. Change is certainly afoot. Old Railway ine is one garden centre that has taken these changes into its own hands, recently introducing refillable cleaning products into its homeware department to promote ero plastic waste and eco chemicals. Though it has only had this in place a few months, the customer response has been hugely positive, and it is looking at how it can expand this offering further. Find out on page 24 how each of its departments offered sustainable products – from

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

Catering focus.indd 26

toys and recyclable pots to ero plastic or safer chemicals. The Sustainability Store, a concession offering at Summerhill Garden Centre in ssex, takes this concept even further. Owned and run by a mother and daughter, customers can take their own containers to the store where they can fill up on

We have a lot of regular customers now that come and do a ‘weekly shop’ with us household essentials from household cleaning supplies to dried foods, sweet treats and planet friendly gifts ideas. Customers who stumble across the store empty handed needn’t worry either, as it provides some of its own, alongside paper bags for food items, free to use. “We have a lot of regular customers now that come and do a ‘weekly shop’ with us which is great,” explains Alexandra. “ ou get the odd few people who come in and don’t understand or have any interest in the concept. We try and speak to them about what we are trying to achieve because realistically this is the future of shopping, we can’t continue as we are with the amount of plastic waste we are producing ” The environmental benefits and necessities are obvious, and they should drive change, but they aren’t the only benefits to making moves towards ero waste. The National Resource Consortium NRC has a lot of experience in waste and recycling management. Formed by 2 independent waste processing firms with a desire to offer organisations a new approach to their waste, it recently implemented a blueprint solution across Frosts Garden Centres to reduce waste and increase recycling – resulting in an increase in recycling of over and

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 16:22


C ateri n g F o c u s B u si n ess

Taking care of waste

It’s important to have all the waste produced segregated as much as is practical. The following would be the type of standard system any restaurant should have to manage their waste most effectively, according to NRC. • Food Waste – sent to Anaerobic Digestion to be turned into a high nutrient digestate that replaced fertili ers on fields and the residual methane is converted into green electricity • Glass Waste – for all the bottles generated • Mixed Recycling – mainly for cardboard but also for any plastics that are generated if they are still used • General Waste – for any packaging contaminated with food, for black bag waste including paper napkins, sachets, straws, cups etc. a reduction in costs of circa 20%. Indeed, Paul Jackson, consortium director at NRC argues: “Despite some of the solutions requiring more cost or initial outlay, the products will cost less to procure without the packaging, so over time it could make sense. “More customers expect their service providers to embrace and install greener practices – at some point it will be essential for garden centres of offer a greener proposition or their customers, will go elsewhere and their competition will leave them behind.” At Frosts, for example, implementation of pot and tray recycling for its customers has translated to higher footfall – while dropping off these items, customers often bought more products. And it’s not just customers to keep in mind, according to Paul: “Making these changes will take the teams on a journey too – and with this they will change their

www.gardencentreretail.com

Catering focus.indd 27

own behaviours and in turn push for more change and less waste – it can start a shift in thinking,” he explains. So, how can you make these changes and where do you even start “The first place to is to get the catering team involved in the initiative asap – especially the restaurant manager and the head chef, as these individuals lead the teams that need to make any behaviour changes and need to adopt and new practices,” Paul tells us. It’s also important to be clear about what you are trying and willing to achieve. “Are you trying to be the greenest restaurant you can be, are you trying to reduce cost, are you willing to achieve a single change that generates the biggest impact?” Paul asks. Next, there are two key areas to focus on: kitchen waste and restaurant waste. In the kitchen, recycle food preparation waste, make sure your chefs are focussed on waste reduction and measure unsold and waste food. “It’s better to segregate food waste than to put in the general waste bin, there are tools and systems that allow teams to measure their waste production, and if it’s not selling don’t make it or reduce the amount you make,” Paul tells us. Indeed, Dobbies recently partnered with Too Good To Go which lets people buy surplus

There are tools and systems that allow teams to measure their waste production, and if it’s not selling don’t make it or reduce the amount you make

food and drink from restaurants, grocery stores, pubs and producers to stop it from going to waste. In the restaurant, try moving to traditional cutlery and crockery rather than plastic or packaged products – can you also move away from plastic bottles to cans as well as sachets? “Sandwiches in cartons just make waste and there are water products now sold in cans which are more recyclable. Sauces, and salt or pepper sachets are not easily recyclable and often contaminated – dishes or glass bottles produce less waste.” This drive must come from the top, else how can you expect staff to get on board, but ultimately, moving towards zero waste can be achieved if you are willing to put the effort and initial cost in to achieve your goals. ◗

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

27

01/12/2021 16:32


Follow Dream Garden on Instagram @dreamgardenmagazine

Glasshouses supplied, erected, dismantled. Bespoke structures. Expert reroofing in polycarbonate and composite panels. All aspects of glasshouse work and refurbishments. Maintenance, cleaning. Gutter and door replacement.

Tel: 01724 734374 Fax: 01482 648032 Email: info@newcenturyglass.co.uk Web: www.newcenturyglasshouses.com

New and second hand aluminium benching: Fixed, Semi rolling, mobile and sales benches.

VALEKA BV • Heliniumweg 14 • 3133 AX Vlaardingen, The Netherlands Tel: +31-10 599 74 02 • info@valeka.nl • www.valeka.nl

Advert template.indd 7

02/12/2021 14:45


DECEMBER 2021/JANUARY 2022

PRODUCTS 30

GIMA GIMA’s approach to encouraging and promoting sustainability

32

PLANT FOCUS plants@work explores the benefits of the peace lily

33

LOCALLY SOURCED FOODS What are the benefits of sourcing locally?

35

GETTING TO KNOW CBD products suitable for garden centres

37

ADD VALUE WITH Vegan products – expand your customer base

38

PEAT FREE Preparing for a peat-free future

40

LATEST PRODUCTS Green gardening tools for eco-minded customers

43

MEET THE BRAND OASE

Products cover.indd 23

02/12/2021 15:32


G I M A Sustainability

A GREENER GIMA

T

GIMA celebrates the return of its awards, as well as members’ increased focus on sustainability

here is a lot to talk about on the matter of sustainability, which is topping the agenda across so many industries. At GIMA, we’ve been working on initiatives to encourage members to shift to more sustainable solutions – one of these being via our 40 th Annual GIMA Awards held at the Celtic Manor Resort after a two-year hiatus. It was so good to be back with everyone after a time of unprecedented challenge and opportunity and wonderful to see how the industry has continued to grow and develop, even when faced with such adversity. The awards are where we celebrate the innovation, dedication and passion that keeps the gardening and outdoor industry moving forward – be it product development, marketing campaigns, point of sale or packaging – and 17 worthy winners were announced over the course of the evening. The calibre

30

GIMA.indd 30

of entries was exceptionally high and, once again, proved that garden retail is one of the most exciting sectors to be a part of. This year, we introduced a new Sustainability award category and, as suspected, it was hard fought by a raft of impressive entrants. Our finalists included Phoenox Textiles, Hygeia, Primeur and West Country Soil Improvement, but the winner on the night was Dalefoot Compost, described by the judges as “a company that has sustainability and the environment at the very heart of what it does. As well as delivering a great peat-free product, Dalefoot’s peatland restoration work makes the company a very deserving winner of this inaugural Sustainability Award.” The judges recognised that

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

companies like Dalefoot are leading the way in their field by setting a high industry standard and doing so much to preserve our natural environment and ecosystems. Finalist West Country Soil Improvement (WCSI) is a JV Energen company where sustainability has been key to its evolution since it pioneered the introduction of green gas into the UK National Gas Network in 2012. Founded in 2018, WCSI became the first business to bag the digestate by-product as a 100% peat-free

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 11:14


Sustainability G I M A

The GIMA Plastic Packaging Pledge

Soil Enricher for sale to garden centres. We are increasingly seeing a host of new and existing members launching natural and organic products to meet the growing demand for these types of solutions. I’ve no doubt that we’ll see many of these brands on retail shelves next year and featuring in the 2022 GIMA Awards. Other award entrants and finalists also demonstrated superb eco-friendly credentials in different areas. Recycled

I’ve no doubt that we’ll see many of these brands on retail shelves next year and featuring in the 2022 GIMA Awards materials are increasingly important in the manufacturing process and the quality is higher than ever. Primeur made the shortlist for its products, made using recycled tyres, whilst another category entrant, eco-Pak, constructs its agship Glasglo product here in the UK using glass recycled from used televisions. British manufacturer, Phoenox Textiles, makes its Hug Rug range from recycled bottles, recycles its own water and waste in the manufacturing process and uses renewable energy to power its machines. We also had a new Sustainable Packaging Award which was won by Wildlife World for its Cotswold Granaries Wild Animal Food packaging. Other finalists in this category include o elock for its Superho e packaging itax’s

www.gardencentreretail.com

GIMA.indd 31

Organic Feeds packaging and the Westland’s Peckish Natural Balance Range. As we head into the New Year, the issue of plastic packaging will start to become urgent, with the government’s new Plastic Packaging Tax due to take effect from April 2022. GIMA has been working hard to raise awareness on this issue and launched the UK garden industry’s first Plastic Packaging Pledge with the objective of minimising the adverse impact of all types of plastic packaging used in the garden products supply chain. The tax will apply to any plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content, so companies could find themselves with rather a large bill if they don’t upgrade to more eco-friendly packaging solutions wherever possible. Sustainability award finalist, ygeia, has also taken this to heart with its Goulding Tomato Nature Safe Seaweed 2 refill boxes – a concept that reduces plastic waste by kg per refill box used, and encourages shoppers to ‘refill’ existing bottles by bringing them to the store. Sipcam also has a ‘refill’ system for its ecofective® range, designed to provide solutions to gardening problems without negatively impacting the environment. If companies need more advice on how to reduce plastic packaging, they can visit the dedicated section on the GIMA website for more information. This includes Training and Information webinars delivered by experts in the field of single-use plastics, materials technology, legislation, labelling and a other relevant topics. On 17 February, GIMA is also due to host a Member’s Day on Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations. ◗

Recognising that many of its members rely on plastic packaging for the safe storage and transportation of their products, the GIMA Plastic Packaging Pledge has been developed with the objective of minimising any adverse impact from all types of plastic packaging used in the garden products supply chain. The pledge uniquely establishes a set of achievable targets for all GIMA members to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic packaging and to improve the rates of recycling and reuse, including targets which align with the government’s proposed plastic tax. To support GIMA members in meeting the pledge targets, the trade association has put in place a range of resources and access to specialist expertise. The programme will kick off with a series of online training webinars in late January, whilst a dedicated webpage, providing support and advice for members, has been made available as well. The GIMA Plastic Packaging Pledge states that, by 2025, member companies will Remove identified ‘problem plastics’ • Eliminate unnecessary plastic packaging • 100% of all plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable • 70% of all plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging

www.gima.org.uk/plasticspackaging-pledge

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

31

01/12/2021 11:21


P ro d u c ts P l an t F o c u s

Plant Focus plants@work explores a peace lily and its air purifying properties

Best placed in a bright spot out of direct sunlight

Latin name: Spathiphyllum Height can range from 40cm to 100cm Plants in the aroid family, such as Spathiphyllum, are best at improving indoor air quality, especially at reducing VOCs and carbon dioxide

Plants that originate in dark tropical conditions (such as rainforest oors are able to photosynthesize extremely efficiently and therefore able to use more carbon dioxide from the air

In spring and summer, feed fortnightly with a liquid house plant food Plants with healthy roots and good soil will have the biggest impact, and those that are the fastest growing will also be the most effective.

Growing conditions: moist but well-drained, acid, alkaline, neutral

32

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

plant focus new.indd 32

Deadhead spent blooms and dust or wipe the leaves regularly to ensure they photosynthesise well

Plants with hairy or slightly sticky leaves are able to trap particulates on the leaf surfaces, including fine particulates. But indoor plants will need to be cleaned

Water regularly, keeping the compost moist but not wet

Bacteria in the soil that live amongst the roots are able to break down some volatile organic compounds OCs and convert them into substances useful to the plants.

www.gardencentreretail.com

02/12/2021 15:06


L o c ally So urc ed F o o d P ro duc ts

SOURCING LOCAL A

We e plore hy it ould be benefi ial to business to sour e produ e lo ally and ho you an best shout about your o ering

self-proclaimed “home of delicious discoveries”, Squires recently expanded on its great collection of food halls when its Wokingham garden centre got a revamp. The food hall now contains a butcher and a bakery, along with sweet and savoury treats. But one element integral to this new food hall is something Squires has kept at the core of its business from its humble beginnings in the 1980s when it was part of Heathlands Farm – local produce. Back then, it was part of a large growing operation that supplied fruit to retailers with a popular farm shop on the site. “Supporting local suppliers and working closely with the local community has been at the heart of our philosophy for more than 85 years,” explains Sarah Squire, chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres. And Squires isn’t the only one. Gordale, based in South Wirral, is “local and proud”. All of its produce – from cakes, fresh eggs, and beer – is all supplied from within 8 miles of its garden centre. Indeed, it’s a route that many garden centres take, but what are the benefits of doing so Perhaps the most obvious reason, and some would argue the most important in this current climate, is the environment. “Local producers have a greater focus on sustainability and so are much better at sourcing and packaging as responsibly as

www.gardencentreretail.com

Locally sourced food.indd 33

possible, which, combined with the low food miles between finished product and garden centre means that they are a better choice for the environment too,” explains

Local producers have a greater focus on sustainability and so are much better at sourcing and packaging as responsibly as possible Jill Nicholson, who runs Gordale alongside husband Peter Nicholson. What’s more, this could ultimately benefit your business, your community, and your customer base too. “Garden centres are at the heart of local communities and so it’s important to support local producers and businesses to strengthen the local economy,” argues Jill. “As larger stores with a wider customer base, garden centres give local producers an outlet where there is a bigger exposure to help them to grow and develop. In

turn, their presence in our stores is a benefit to our customers as we are able to offer unique products which are of high quality that are not widely available.” Certainly, by making yourself the source for popular produce, it gives customers a reason – or at least an additional reason – to visit, and an edge on any competition. For Gordale, the response has been hugely positive, allowing its customers to shop in one place for interesting and sometimes unusual products that they wouldn’t find elsewhere. “They expect quality from us anyway and these products fit that re uirement,” ill tells us. “They also really appreciate that we are supporting local businesses and not the multi nationals who they see buying from far away and often taking profits out of the community, reinforcing our commitment to the local economy.” Squire’s customers also appreciate its support of the local community. “By focusing on locally sourced produce at our food halls in 

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

33

01/12/2021 16:43


P ro duc ts L o c ally So urc ed F o o d Wokingham and Frensham, we bring the best local food and drink together under one roof. This reduces food miles and keeps the very best avours right here in our community. Our customers really appreciate the fact that we support local producers,” Sarah says. But once you are sourcing locally, how do you make the most of it by alerting visitors as well as potential customers? Gordale markets in store, highlighting local products alongside maps to show distances and locations of suppliers. This stretches to its online presence too: “We try, where we can, to cross pollinate local supplier goods in our coffee shops, and replicate this information in our online messaging,” Jill adds. Gordale even goes one step further, planning events around its offering. “We do food tastings of local suppliers’ products, we hold a farmer’s market with a top local chef doing cookery demonstrations with local foods and we have local suppliers attending our Christmas evenings selling cheeses, chocolates, cakes, meat, vegan, gluten free, eggs, pies, jams, chutneys,” Jill tells us. Sourcing food locally has always been good for the environment and community, but it seems that now customers are more on board with it than ever before. It might just be time to get behind your local community, so your customers get behind you. ◗

34

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

Locally sourced food.indd 34

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 16:44


C B D P ro d u c ts

GETTING TO KNOW

CBD

What is CBD? Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid – in other words, it’s one of more than 100 active ingredients in the cannabis plant which can be extracted and used in its own right.

Does it produce a ‘high’? “CBD has no psychoactive effect,” says Nick Tulloch, founder of Voyager Life, a company which launched towards the end of 2020 with a range of CBD and hemp products. “When isolated from the cannabis plant,

With a growing interest in CBD throughout the UK, Nick Tulloch from Voyager Life helps to answer some FAQs about what CBD exactly is, and why is it legal to sell a derivative of the cannabis plant

it is actually a white crystalline powder, so could be straight out of Breaking Bad, but its effect is quite different.” Why is it considered to be a wellness ingredient? “It’s a natural anti-in ammatory, meaning it’s very good for pain relief, for anxiety, for promoting a natural sleep – and it does this by stimulating certain parts of our body through our own endocannabinoid system,” explains Nick. Our bodies produce endocannabinoids as part of this system, which monitors a variety of bodily functions, such as appetite, pain, stress and sleep. Which products can feature CBD? Thanks to modern technology, CBD can be isolated from the cannabis plant and can be used to produce a range of

www.gardencentreretail.com

getting to know.indd 35

We can create a modern, recognisable product from cosmetic cream through to an edible product which have all the enefits of ut without the side effects of other aspects of the hemp plant products, from tinctures to gummies to face creams. It’s even been added to beer and soft drinks by some companies. “We can create a modern, recognisable product from cosmetic cream through to an edible product which have all the benefits of CB but without the side effects 

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

35

02/12/2021 11:21


P ro d u c ts C B D

of other aspects of the hemp plant,” says Nick. Voyager Life – which has an online store, three brick and mortar stores in Scotland, as well as various stockists – sells CBD lines but also products made using hemp seed oil; the cold pressed seeds of the hemp plant, which is said to have a number of health benefits too, such as being a natural source of Omega 3. The oil is used in products such as hand cream, but the hemp plant’s fibres are also used by Voyager to create makeup removal pads, dog leads and collars and yoga mats. “What we are trying to do with our products is create an oral range, a topical range, a muscles and sports range, and then also products made out of hemp, so that there’s something for everyone.” How do you know a CBD product is safe to sell? “The hemp plant is a controlled substance, but pure CBD itself, when taken out of the plant, is not and has

The hemp plant is a controlled substance, but pure CBD itself, when taken out of the plant, is not and has never been a controlled substance never been a controlled substance. But there are still rules and regulations CBD products need to follow. Fundamentally, it needs to be properly labelled; you need to identify the allergens, the ingredients, the distributor – these are just standard UK labelling laws.” Retailers also need to keep an eye out for the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and a CBD product can contain no more than 1mg of THC for it to be legal. “I’d always advise retailers to ask CBD suppliers for a lab report to make sure they contain ideally zero THC, but certainly no more than 1mg.” Thirdly, regulations changed last year for orally consumed CBD products – they were nominated as a ‘novel food’. So, check the label,

36

the lab report and that the product is registered as a novel food. What claims can brands and retailers make about CBD? “You cannot make health or medical claims about CBD. We can say that it’s a natural antiin ammatory and that it can help with pain relief and sleep, but we cannot say ‘take this three times a day and it will help your sore knee’. We cannot link products to a condition. What we can do is talk anecdotally, talk about the research behind CBD, and sell it as a health and wellness product, in the same way you’d sell Vitamin C.” Is staff training required to sell it? Voyager ensures its staff are well trained in CBD, and it offers free online or face-to-face training to its stockists as well. “It’s important that staff are reasonably well trained so that no inappropriate claims are made. CBD is also a fairly new product and if a retailer is going to get the best experience for their customers, then staff need to be able to answer questions such as whether it can get you high or how much to take. I always advise customers to not start at the maximum dose to give them the exibility to move up if they need to; very often, a small amount is sufficient.” oyager also provides lea ets and posters which show where CBD can be effective in the human body. Where should it be stocked? “Different stores will have different layouts, but generally I’d say to stock CBD towards other health and wellbeing products. But we also produce candles and soaps which could fit nicely in a gift section. CB is about making people feel better about themselves and operate to the best of their ability, so it is about health and wellness but at the same time it can be a great gift for someone.” ◗

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

getting to know.indd 36

Products Hemp & Nettle CBD Soap

Hemp seed oil is known for being highly moisturising with antiin ammatory properties. So, together with nettle powder – which is known for its ability to relieve and improve skin irritation – they make the perfect calming pair. Fragrance-free and supplied in fully biodegradable packaging, this is an ideal natural soap for gentle but deep cleaning of hands and arms after a day in the garden. £9

CBD Gummies

Voyager gummies are made with natural colours and fruit avours and each jar contains 30 gummies in a combination of watermelon, apple, lemon and mango. The gummies are gluten-free, allergenfree suitable for vegans and are accurately formulated to deliver the precise desired amount of CBD in each gummy with no hemp aftertaste. Take them on the go or following activity as a delicious way to assist with in ammation, aches and pains. Maximum three per day. £40

CBD Cooling Cream

Voyager’s bestselling CBD Cooling Cream contains a huge 800mg of CBD in an airless pump dispenser. This potent formula blends the power of menthol and camphor with CBD in an easy-absorbing cream that can be used anytime and anywhere for fast relief – ideal following a day of pruning, weeding or planting. With a fresh and uplifting scent, it can be used regularly on arms, legs and body to soothe aching and sore muscles and joints the natural way. £30 www.voyagerlife.uk

www.gardencentreretail.com

01/12/2021 15:15


V eg an P ro d u c ts B u si n ess

ADD VALUE WITH…

VEGAN PRODUCTS V

Grow your customer base by appealing to long-standing vegans or those looking to make the switch

eganuary is just around the corner. And if last year is anything to go by, thousands of people will be looking to cut meat and dairy from their diets for the entire month of January. Whilst veganism is nothing new, its popularity has soared in recent years, and not just for animal welfare purposes. Animal agriculture is responsible for at least 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions globally and is the leading cause of deforestation. “There’s so much more awareness now of the impact that animal farming is having on the environment,” says Toni Vernelli of Veganuary. “Most people you speak to are trying to cut back on eating animal products and are looking for recipes and products to help them with that.” Last year was Veganuary’s most successful year yet. In 2014, just over 3,000 people signed up to go vegan for a month. In 2021, nearly 600,000 people across the globe signed up. In just seven years, the campaign has skyrocketed, and Toni says this growth is expected to continue going into 2022. So, how can garden centres get involved? Both on their shelves and in their cafes, Veganuary is a good time to introduce vegan ranges, says Toni. “There are so many people looking for these products for the first time, and anyone who’s been curious about veganism is trying these products during January. “Because you have so many people going out specifically looking for vegan

www.gardencentreretail.com

Vegan products.indd 37

items, or hearing veganism talked about in the media making more people curious about it, then it makes sense to have a separate vegan section for the month and really signpost vegan items.” Veganuary offers businesses a free toolkit to help with store displays, with its logo and campaign posters. And whilst Veganuary might be the best opportunity to introduce or highlight vegan products, garden centres may want to consider stocking vegan options the rest of the year too. But Toni says a separate display or stand isn’t necessary. “Every other month of the year, it’s better to mix your vegan offerings in with everything else, and just put a green ‘V’ to let vegans know it’s suitable for them but it won’t put others off from buying it.”

Garden centres may also want to add alternative milks to their café. At least one vegan cake on the menu would go down a treat too. “Vegans will travel for cake, but the key is to make sure that the food tastes good and appeals to everyone.” It doesn’t necessarily need to be prepared separately from non-vegan food, either. “For someone who is vegan for environmental reasons or to stop animals suffering, cross-contamination isn’t usually a big concern. We know that it can be very difficult to keep things separate and we’d rather see vegan options on the menu.” Small, simple changes can make your garden centre an attractive vegan proposition and bring in a new audience. For more information, get in touch with the team: www.veganuary.com ◗

Add this to your shelves: Oat M!lk Chocolate Bars Choc Affair British-made using the finest Colombian chocolate, Choc Affair’s Oat M!lk range, comes in four avours classic oat m!lk, salted caramel, lemon & raspberry and orange & rhubarb. Choc Affair’s confectionery is handmade, sustainably sourced and palm oil free. It’s wrapped in recyclable packaging too. RRP: £3.25 (per bar) www.choc-affair.com

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

37

30/11/2021 13:24


P ro d u c ts P eat F ree

PLANNING FOR

PEAT FREE

A deadline has been set for retailers to remove peat from their ranges. What role is this ban playing in tackling climate change? And what peat-free products can replace the existing lines?

P

eat has well and truly fallen out of favour. For decades, campaigners have fought for it to be banned from compost, with little success. But earlier this year, the government finally said the words they have been waiting for – sales of peat compost will be banned. Admittedly, we still have to wait three more years, but from 2024, garden centres will have to find alternatives to peat-containing products. Commercial horticulture has until 2030 to remove it from production. So, what’s behind the furore? Why is it necessary to stop selling peat? And are there enough peat-free products out there to make it viable Since it first became widely used in the 60s, peat has been a key component of compost. The partially decomposed vegetation or organic matter is not only easy to dig out but is lightweight to transport when dry and has proven to be a useful addition to growing mediums to help plants grow. But it wasn’t long after it became popular that people started to realise the damage using it was causing. “Peat is the ideal basis for good quality potting composts, but there are significant environmental downsides,” says Mike Burks, chairman of the Garden Centre Association, which has seen its members already increasing their ranges of peat-free products and reducing the volume of peat that they sell. “These include peat bogs being environmentally important habitats; they play an important role in soaking up water, helping reduce ooding, and most importantly they are sinks for CO2. During the extraction process, CO2 is released into the atmosphere with a significant impact on climate change.” Unfortunately, peat bogs have been rapidly disappearing from the UK

38

Peat free.indd 38

landscape, removing not only a substantial amount of carbon stores but also habitats for certain species. Boasting such impressive environmental credentials, the restoration of UK peatlands has become a priority. The government has pledged £50m to restore at least 35,000ha of peatlands by 2025. Its commitment follows a series of blunders, though, such as the failure of a ‘voluntary ban’ by 2020.

Unfortunately, peat bogs have been rapidly disappearing from the UK landscape, removing not only a substantial amount of carbon stores but also habitats for certain species

Melcourt SylvaGrow Multi-Purpose Compost Melcourt Industries Ltd

“There are some excellent peat-free composts and soil improvers available, but there is a shortage of materials to fully replace peat at this stage,” says Mike. “However, a large proportion of multi-composts which contain high quality materials are currently being used by gardeners as soil improvers, so there is some room for education to make sure that gardeners use the right product for each task in the garden to ensure that the quality materials stretch further. There is much research going on using new

SuperSoil The Real Soil Company

Melcourt SylvaGrow Multi-Purpose is an awardwinning, 100% peat-free compost. It is packed in 50L and 15L pack sizes and 30% of the packaging is made from at least 30% recycled plastic.

100% natural, peat-free, organic and veganic SuperSoil has been created to help plants get off to the best possible start, without causing environmental damage. An early investment in plant roots will lead to substantial rewards when it comes to harvesting.

RRP £8.99 for 50L packs Launch date Available now www.melcourt.co.uk

RRP £8.49 to £135 for bulk bags Launch date Available now www.therealsoilcompany.co.uk

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

www.gardencentreretail.com

30/11/2021 14:04


P eat F ree P ro d u c ts

materials too, but those will take time to get into the supply chain.” There has been a significant move away from selling peat products, though, says David Denny, HTA Futures & Sustainability manager. “Twenty years ago, almost all the volume of growing media was made up entirely of peat, and in 2020 the proportion was 41%. We expect this trajectory to accelerate as more and more retailers specify peat-free ranges and manufacturers bring more peat-free ranges onto the market. “However, the lack of availability of alternatives such as wood fibre – which is in huge demand due to subsidies for bio-mass power stations as we transition away from coal and gas energy generation – make it difficult to move away from peat as quickly as the industry would like.” But with a deadline looming, garden centres need to find a way. “Not only will this be a legal requirement in the face of hefty fines, but it will also become increasingly difficult to source peatbased products as compost and soil manufacturers seek alternatives ahead of the ban,” says Simon Hedley, managing director of The Real Soil Company, which supplies peat-free SuperSoil. “In the build up to 2024, a general reduction in demand and stock of peatbased product will see a natural shift to going peat-free for consumers. With readily available green waste compost, loam based and varied organic mixtures including wood fibre, bark, coir and plant derived digestates, the market

Wool Compost for Potting Dalefoot Composts

is already saturated with high performing, viable options to appease the growing demand of eco and sustainability minded gardeners. Garden centres need to stock the products that the new wave of ecoconscious customers want, which is also in line with upcoming legal re uirements – it’s a double win.” To help garden centres and customers move away from peat, the Responsible Sourcing Scheme has been set up. “This will allow gardeners to identify the environmental and social soundness of the product in each bag using a red through to green dial on the packaging,” explains Mike Burks. “Labelling with a product score will begin to appear on compost bags in 2022 that will inform consumers about the environmental and social impact of the product on display, helping consumers make an informed choice,” adds David Denny. “The scoring is based on an assessment of different components that go into a bag (not just peat) and is an important part of the industry’s work to ensure that peat-replacement is done in a way that ensures the product becomes environmentally and socially more responsible over time.” The garden centre industry is clearly already ramping up its actions to reduce its peat usage and work towards the 2024 goal. To help, we’ve found some of the best peat-free products on the market. ◗

Harmony Gardens Southern Trident Ltd

IN NUMBERS

2024 35,000HA

SALES OF PEAT COMPOST TO BE BANNED FROM

AT LEAST

OF PEATLAND TO BE RESTORED BY 2025 THIS AMOUNTS TO JUST

1%

OF THE UK’S PEATLANDS

£50M

PLEDGED TO SUPPORT THIS RESTORATION

PEATLANDS STORE THREE TIMES AS MUCH CARBON AS FORESTS IN THE UK

13%

OF UK PEATLANDS ARE IN A NEARNATURAL STATE

DAMAGED UK PEATLANDS EMIT

10M TONNES OF CO2 PER YEAR

Biochar Soil Improver Carbon Gold

Endorsed by the Eden Project, this is a bestselling peat-free multi-purpose compost. Made from sheep’s wool blended with comfrey and bracken, it is packed with natural nutrients, so no need to add extra feed, and is moisture retentive.

All products in the new-for-2022 Harmony Gardens range by Southern Trident Ltd are made exclusively from choice environmentally responsible by-products and recycled raw materials, and the company has now achieved carbon neutral status.

A compost or soil/substrate additive that brings a permanent and physical change to soil’s health and structure after one use. It promotes root development and improves aeration, water-holding capacity and nutrient retention, and provides a refuge for beneficial microbiology.

RRP £7.95 to £8.95 Launch date Available now www.dalefoootcomposts.co.uk

RRP £7.99 Launch date January 2022 www.southerntrident.com

RRP From £7.99 for 1L Launch date Available now www.carbongold.com

www.gardencentreretail.com

Peat free.indd 39

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

39

30/11/2021 14:09


L atest P ro d u c ts G reen

GREEN GARDENING EasyMix 2-in-1 Composter Hozelock

EcoLine Range GARDENA

This new tumbling composter allows gardeners to easily recycle their kitchen and garden waste, helping to prevent food waste going to landfill whilst improving soil uality. The enclosed lockable lid prevents pests and unpleasant smells, and the design enables users to roll the drum to distribute compost with ease. Two uses in one, the reservoir under the tank also collects the compost juice and the innovative ‘Click & Spray’ hose applicator allows gardeners to use this li uid to feed plants.

The GARDENA EcoLine range makes gardening greener than ever. Made from more than 65% recycled plastic with fully recyclable packaging, users can take care of their garden and the planet. The GAR NA co ine range features a spray gun, secateurs, hose connection set, hand tools and a sprinkler – with warranties from five to 2 years.

RRP 6 . Launch date March 2022 www.hozelock.com

RRP From 2. to 22. Launch date Spring 2022 www.gardena.com/uk

EcoGro Booster EcoGro The EcoGro Family is a range of eco-friendly, chemical-free and natural plant foods, based on the by-products from crop based bio-gas production on coGro’s farms. These products are specially formulated for their specific use coGro Booster is for seedlings, fruit and vegetables; EcoGro Bloomer is for owering plants, EcoGro Ericaceous is for acid-loving plants and new for 2021-22, EcoGro Lawn Power helps lawns ourish. RRP . Launch date Available now www.ecogro.co.uk

Autumn Lawn Treatment DJ Turfcare

GARDENA Water Meter AquaCount GARDENA The easy-to-use Water Meter A uaCount can let users know exactly how much water is used each day, season and even by plant. The versatile meter can be attached to a hose end and spray gun or to a sprinkler. RRP 26. Launch date Spring 2022 www.gardena.com/uk

TuffGrass DLF Seeds (Johnsons Lawn Seed)

Available in 10kg bags which treat an area up to 200m2, Autumn Lawn Feed is an organic-based fertiliser which has been created for use during August to November to destroy moss whilst also stimulating strong roots and providing grass with 100 days of food to encourage a greener, thicker, stronger and disease-resistant sward throughout winter and long into spring.

Tuffgrass tackles ugly patches that appear after four-legged friends use grass as their toilet. By incorporating naturally dog urine-tolerant fine-leaved dwarf perennial ryegrass, scorched yellow patches in lawns have been consigned to history while lawns sown from Tuffgrass have excellent drought-resistance and stand up well to low temperatures and snow.

RRP 2 . for kg bag Launch date Available now www.djturfcare.co.uk

RRP 6. Launch date Available now www.johnsonslawnseed.com

40

LP green.indd 40

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

www.gardencentreretail.com

30/11/2021 14:16


G reen L atest P ro d u c ts

OUTDOOR Nassau Social Plastic ® LifestyleGarden®

Glasglo & EcoStone Deco-Pak

Every Nassau chair will be made from the equivalent of 175 recycled plastic bottles, with each chair directly contributing to communities in locations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Haiti. LifestyleGarden® has set a target of five million plastic bottles to be recycled through its Social Plastic ® range in 2022.

Glasglo are translucent tumbled glass stones, pot topper stones and cobbles made from recycled televisions; EcoStone Rubber Chippings give new life to former tyres, recycled into chippings that provide safe play areas and act as a weed-suppressing mulch, while EcoStone Sea Shells – sourced from a whelk processing factory – transform pots and terrariums when used as a dressing, and provide natural slug control in borders, too.

RRP TBC Launch date Available soon www.lifestylegarden.com

RRP From £19.00 Launch date Available now www.deco-pak.co.uk

Pila Lechuza These stackable mix-and-match planters and storage units are available in six contemporary colours. Each planter comes complete with Lechuza’s selfwatering system. All Lechuza planter liners are made from 100% recycled* material, and the company processes 990t of recycled plastic each year. RRP From £28.99 Launch date Available now www.lechuza.co.uk

Maryland Border Primeur The new Maryland design boasts a significant number of environmental and application benefits. Primeur’s co Garden Maryland border is built for longevity, and is backed by the company’s merchandising display units to drive sales in-store. RRP £16.99 Launch date Available now www.primeur.co.uk

Eco Pot Rainbow Set Green Tones

HD Deck Pro Composite Prime

Green Tones eco pots are made from bamboo fibre, an innovative composite that mostly comprises bamboo recycled from end-oflife products such as chopsticks, placements and even scaffolding. This ‘Rainbow’ collection features its 10 most popular colours in attractive, Kraft packaging.

Composite Prime’s HD Deck Pro is a sustainable decking alternative to timber. The product combines FSC® certified hardwood our and recycled plastic to produce a durable, natural-looking decking product that does not rot, decay or splinter and requires minimal maintenance. Each square metre of the HD Deck Pro contains the equivalent of more than 3,000 plastic bottle tops and Composite Prime has saved million plastic milk bottles from landfill.

RRP £9 Launch date Available now www.greentones.co.uk

www.gardencentreretail.com

LP green.indd 41

RRP £89.51 + VAT per sqm Launch date Available now www.composite-prime.com

PET

The Friendly Squid Goodchap’s The dog toy that’s cleaning up the coast. The Friendly Squid is a handmade, 100% cotton rope toy from Goodchap’s. Buyers will be helping supply equipment and aiding litter picking volunteers all across the UK. RRP From £12.50 Launch date Available now www.goodchaps.co.uk

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

41

30/11/2021 14:22


L atest P ro d u c ts G reen

GIFTS Hedgehog Mix Tin Seedball

A native wild ower mix to help support UK hedgehogs. A wild ower patch is a great addition to creating a hedgehog friendly garden, providing shelter and attracting insects for food. Proceeds from the sale of each tin go directly to supporting the People’s Trust for ngendered Species in its hedgehog conservation work. RRP £6 Launch date Available now www.seedball.co.uk The Carrot Who Was Too Big for His Bed Willsow Read it, then plant the book to meet the main character. Pages are made of recycled paper eco-biodegradable inks. RRP . Launch date Available now www.willsow.com The Plant A Tree Kit The Den Kit Company Collect a tree seed and follow the instructions within – perfect for aspiring tree cultivators.

INDOORS Pula Planter Ivyline

Suitable for the indoors and outdoors with a stone composite and frost resistant properties, Ivyline’s Pula planter looks great both in a garden and inside a home. Also made from natural and recycled materials, this is a statement piece that sits effortlessly anywhere and oo es luxury. RRP From . Launch date February 2 22 www.ivylinegb.co.uk

Coffee Logs bio-bean Limited Coffee ogs are planet-friendly fire logs powered by coffee. esigned for wood burners and multi-fuel stoves, they burn 2 hotter than kiln-dried wood logs. Made in the UK with recycled waste coffee grounds collected from coffee shops across the nation, Coffee ogs are a sustainable fire fuel that reduce waste and generate less greenhouse gas emissions compared to the grounds going to landfill. Coffee ogs are the only winter fuel made by a Certified B Corporation.

RRP 24. Launch date Available now www.thedenkitco.com

Glove My Dog Sniffe & Likkit This is a deluxe, super soft natural bamboo towel made of a special blend of bamboo fibres, using patented green technology called ‘Tamboocel’. Unlike traditional fabrics, bamboo has an ultra-fine microporous structure that gives it superior benefits over cotton, which can harbour malodours and takes ages to dry . nvironmentally friendly, this is highly absorbent and fast drying. RRP 24 Launch date Available now www.sniffeandlikkit.com

42

LP green.indd 42

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

RRP 6. Launch date Available now www.coffee-logs.com

Vibes fold coupe Elho This pot from lho is made with recycled plastic and is itself recyclable. What’s more, the manufacturing process uses wind energy. The sophisticated design is an elegant addition to any home, with the pot coming in a range of on-trend colours butter yellow, delicate pink and more. RRP 6.4 Launch date Available now www.elho.com/en

www.gardencentreretail.com

30/11/2021 14:25


M eet th e B ran d L atest P ro d u c ts

MEET THE BRAND

OASE

Andy Bond, national sales manager for OASE, shares how the manufacturer is stepping up its sustainability and the aquatics trends we can expect to see over the next few months How was OASE founded and vivarium and AIR terrarium, how has it grown? providing professional products OASE was founded in 1949 for commercial use. as a repair workshop for agricultural machinery under Who is OASE aiming the name August Wübker its range towards? Söhne OHG. The company People looking for quality. We developed the first aim to supply our consumers agricultural pumps through professional retail in 1959 and, in 1966, establishments that can offer Organix developed the first fountain the high level of service you’d and underwater pumps. The company expect with an OASE product. was renamed and began its journey bringing ground-breaking solutions for How does OASE ensure, as a company, water gardening and ponds to users both that it is environmentally friendly at home and abroad. Today it boasts 18 Our German locations have been running subsidiaries and seven manufacturing sites exclusively on green energy since 2020. around the world, and is operational in We also employ climate-neutral printing more than 100 countries worldwide. for all of our packaging and product catalogues. Our OASE catalogues, price What products does it now supply? lists, yers and instructions for use are all All products required to look after water in produced at print shops that work with the garden, including pumps, filter, U Cs, FSC-certified materials. liner, lighting, fountains and decorative As part of our internal ‘NoPlastic’ initiative, employees regularly review all elements with a good/ packaging and reduce any excessively better/best offer under the used material. We also ensure the Pontec/OASE/OASE availability of spare parts, to encourage Pro for Water people to repair rather than replace. Gardening brands. A full range of products for aquatics, including aquariums, What about products? internal and external filters, We focus on long-term reliability and pumps, lighting and fish food. durability for our products and back this OASE’s good/better/best offer up with a guarantee of up to five years. We in this category is Eden/OASE/ put real emphasis on spares and the ability OASE Pro for Indoor Aquatics. to repair products rather than having biOrb for design/lifestyle to replace them. We have always been in aquatics, as well as EARTH market leaders in low energy consumption FiltoClear www.gardencentreretail.com

Meet the supplier.indd 43

products and are always actively seeking to further improve efficiency with each product update. And, Organix of course, our Organix range is the only MSC-certified fish food available. What is a growing trend in aquatics and how is OASE responding to this? High-end aquascaping is one trend that we have seen growth in and believe this is only getting bigger. In response, we’ve launched the ScaperLine aquarium, with soils and specialist fertilisers. Smart technology is another growing trend. For 2 22, the OAS Control – previously known as AC lectronic A uarium Control for Indoor GC lectronic Garden Control for Water Gardening – provides users with one app for controlling OASE technology. What can we expect from OASE over the next few months? In total, there are over 200 new product SKUs launching for 2 22. There will be plenty of other exciting developments too, including less plastic within our packaging and, also the roll out of new branding, which should give a much clearer and cleaner brand impression. ◗

Contact OASE

Tel: 01256 896 886 Email: uksales@OASE.com Website: www.oase-livingwater.com

Garden Centre Retail December 2021/January 2022

43

01/12/2021 16:02


Advert template.indd 8

02/12/2021 11:50


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.