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British Agapanthus spreading roots in Europe

Just five years ago, Fairweather's Nursery starting exporting their Agapanthus young plants, and since then, the exports have been increasing year after year. Currently, export already makes up 30 percent of their business, and this British company is eager to increase further in the coming years. In order to enable their growth, they are going to expand their production under LED in the winter months and they are also looking into opportunities to expand their greenhouse.

Patrick Fairweathers and Sharon Lowndes at the IPM Essen in Germany in January 2018. 

Wide assortment
In Agapanthus, Fairweather's Nursery is one of the leading producers in the UK, and they offer a large variety of Agapanthus types: they hold the national collection of Agapanthus. "In the UK, this means that we possess the largest collection of Agapanthus with over 400 cultivars," explains the company's Sales Manager Sharon Lowndes.

According to her, this is also one of their main strengths and therefore one of the reasons that their exports are growing year after year. "The agapanthus is a well-known plant, but many countries are not able to supply so many different types of the plant. We are able to offer Agapanthus in every shade of blue and white and in different heights. The most popular varieties all over Europe are currently Northern Star, Lapis Lazuli, Purple Delight and Snow Crystal."

Expanding markets
Over the last five years, Fairweather's Nursery established markets in France, Germany, Italy and Spain and are still expanding in these markets. In France, they have established quite a good market. "We have had a very successful Salon du Végétal in Nantes, France, last month." They see a lot of potential to grow in Italy. In this country, Xylella is a real issue and they are looking for new products. For us, this is an opportunity to expand our presence in this market."

LEDs in one of the propagation greenhouses.

Expanding greenhouse
In order to keep up with the demand and realize their aim to keep expanding, they are increasing their production. Last year, they installed LED lights in one of their propagation greenhouses to increase the production, improve quality and make better use of winter labor. The results of tissue culture plants weaned from the laboratory were satisfactory and made them decide to double the acreage production under LED lights. "Plants established very evenly under lights that extend the day to 14 hours with 50 µmol of light intensity. This enabled the nursery to produce one or 2 more crops from the same space during the year."

For more information
Fairweather’s Wholesale Nursery
Sharon Lowndes
Tel:+44  01590 612307
Fax: +44 01590 612519

Publication date: 7/2/2018
Author: Elita Vellekoop



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