Having scooped ‘Nursery Stock Grower of the Year’ at the Grower Awards 2016, the Bransford Webbs Plant Company have been crowned ‘Ornamental Grower of the Year’ - a prestigious award sponsored by ICL’s Levington Advance Solutions.
The trophy was presented to Bransford Webbs managing director Geoff Caesar by Stephen Squires, business director of ICL UK & Ireland. The UK Grower Awards, organised by Horticulture Week, were held at London’s stylish Grand Connaught Rooms.
“The Bransford Webbs Plant Company is a worthy winner,” says Stephen Squires. “Constantly investing, innovating and adopting new technologies and management techniques, the company continues to improve productivity, its product offering and customer service while reducing waste.”
Three years on from the completion of new despatch and office facilities, at its site near Worcester, Bransford Webbs is seeing proven improvements to efficiency, communication and customer satisfaction.
A further 5,000sqm of glasshouse erected last year has increased the nursery’s ability to directly control its growing environments. Meanwhile a new water recycling system captures all the rainwater from the glasshouse and warehouse roofs and stores it in a reservoir to irrigate crops. A new 60KW solar energy system installed on the warehouse roof is anticipated to provide around half the business’s electricity requirements.
“As a direct result of our active R&D unit, the production team has trialed over 200 varieties in the past year alone resulting in 20 new introductions,” says Geoff Caesar. “We aim to have a constantly evolving plant range and to this end have our own in-house Hebe breeding programme. This is resulting in the launch of two eye-catching new collections to the garden centre market this year- Red Wine and Summer Drinks.
“Our production team works closely with ICL’s technical sales manager Steve Hughes to identify the right products and specifications to match individual crop needs. ICL’s grow, nurture and protect programme – recently rebranded Levington Advance Solutions – is helping us maximise each crop’s potential.
“Meanwhile leaner working practices introduced across the site have enabled us to further increase our productivity and quality, improve our integrated crop management systems and reduce wastage.”