BHGS can truly be described as the complete one-stop-shop for growers. A turnover of £22million in 2021 makes us one of the largest UK horticultural distributors and quite possibly the oldest! Established in 1908, Littleton & Badsey Growers (LBG) was one of the first ever grower co-operatives and in 2001 created the current BHGS Company.
Location and Logistics
With over 60 employees, BHGS has substantial warehousing at Vale Park in Evesham, Worcestershire, featuring a well-stocked showroom and busy retail outlet. The company has further depots at BHGS Chichester in West Sussex (formerly Monro South) and BHGS Hayle in Cornwall (formerly JFC Monro).
“Strategically located, we are able to supply customers across 28 counties from Wales, through the Midlands and large parts of Southern England” explains Julian Ackerman, BHGS sales and development manager.
“With a truly extensive portfolio of lines from packaging to crop protection covering chemicals, fabrics and polythene along with fertiliser and growing media, we have historically supplied large growers as well as retailers and the general public. Alongside garden centres, commercial growers and amenity and floristry sectors, we have a long history of supplying large estates, allotment societies and even village cricket clubs. A number of our customers are shareholders in the business thus giving it a family feel and loyalty is strong.”
Knowledgeable sales team
With an extremely low staff turnover, BHGS prides itself on its highly knowledgeable and experienced sales teams. “Regular training sessions with key suppliers keep our sales force up to date with new product innovations and industry trends,” says Julian.
“We have collaborated with ICL / Everris Limited - formerly Scotts Professional, Levington and Fisons - for over 40 years establishing good working and personal relationships which are important in our business. ICL’s technical team is always available to answer queries and advise on current and possible future developments.
“We were quick to see the potential offered by Osmocote controlled release fertilisers when it was first launched 50 years ago. Osmocote 5 is a timely development to help growers meet the nutritional needs of plants grown in peat-reduced and peat-free growing media.
“As UK professional horticulture moves to more sustainable growing media it has been extremely helpful to work with ICL and drawing on their considerable knowledge and experience of peat alternatives and having access to innovative products such as H2Gro, this then enables growers to optimise plant quality.
“With the help of companies such as ICL we are fully embracing Integrated Pest & Disease Management offering micro beneficials including Vine Weevil Seeka nematode products, and their expanding range of biorationals such as Vitalnova Guardian, Prime and Hicure. As a company, we stock an ever expanding portfolio of suitable products and have BASIS qualified staff available to advise on pest and disease control.”
“To maintain our position in the marketplace it has been important to evolve and diversify,” says Julian. “At BHGS we have recently added extensive irrigation services and a local floristry business to the company portfolio.
“When the pandemic struck we were quick to adapt our sales model and offer 'click and collect' services which helped create a focus and speed up the development of our
e-commerce platform. BHGS now provides a competitively priced service for many of our specialist professional lines on a nationwide basis and customers can place orders 24/7.”
Chairman Brian Barber (right) and Vice-Chairman Paul Jeanes
Appointed General Manager of BHGS in 2001, Brian Barber has played a pivotal role in our ongoing success and since his retirement from the post in 2016 he has continued to play an active role on the Board.
“Following Bill Arnold’s well-earned retirement as Chairman, a post he held for 35 years, we are delighted to welcome Brian to fill this important role,” says Julian. “Professional horticulture has exceeded expectations in recent times but in a constantly changing environment it is inevitable that future challenges will lie ahead particularly in relation to supply chains and inflation.”
“With his considerable knowledge and standing in the industry, together with his long career in horticulture, Brian is ideally placed to take BHGS forward. He is joined by Vice Chairman Paul Jeanes, previously a director in the business, who brings with him great experience, especially of the ornamentals sector.”