Horticultural engineering, glasshouse and energy specialists CambridgeHOK have appointed highly-experienced commercial grower Alan Frampton to lead the firm’s sales in the south of England.
The East Yorkshire firm is a specialist in planning, designing and building commercial glasshouses and indoor and vertical farms, whilst also offering expertise and consultancy in efficient energy solutions and systems.
Its team offers a full business case consultancy to investors and growers, supporting clients through the entire process until sophisticated growing facilities – many using fully automated climate control and irrigation systems – are established and operational.
Mr Frampton, joins with decades of experience in the growing sector, having established what was to become the UK's leading flower growing operation, Donaldsons Flowers, in 1987, maintaining its market leading position for more than 20 years.
In that time, from a 70,000 metre square high-tech glasshouse, the business supplied all leading UK supermarkets, including becoming the biggest English flower supplier to Sainsburys, which was buying most of the flowers grown by the business in the south, from Alstroemeria to Sweet Peas.
Appointment made as CambridgeHOK enjoys record-breaking year
Patrick Harte, Head of Commercial at CambridgeHOK, says his appointment comes at exciting times for the business, which is experiencing significant growth in a number of work areas, is on course for its best ever financial year, and is now keen to strengthen its position in the south.
“We are delighted to have brought somebody with Alan’s experience, success, contacts and understanding of the industry to our business. He has impressed us with his enthusiasm for the role and we know he is going to be a fantastic addition to the team as he brings a wealth of knowledge,” said Mr Harte.
“Alan has excellent contacts and relationships within the industry and that can only help us building our sales and marketing presence. He will work closely with myself to develop a strategic relationship in the south of the country to further enhance our reach across the country.”
Mr Frampton says he is excited to be joining CambridgeHOK and says he feels the business is ‘in the right space at the right time.”
“I’ve spent my life in the glasshouse and horticultural sector and in all my years I have been heavily involved in both the commercial side and growing side,” he said.
“Growers like to speak to growers as you have to understand them and the challenges they face from production to sales and logistics. This is something I have lots of experience in from growing and distributing flowers across the world.
“I am really excited to be joining at this time. The business has really excelled over the past decade and it is in a really good position at present and has an excellent team.
“It also has some excellent partnerships with other businesses and suppliers which have enabled it to become a true one-stop-shop for growers and investors, which is crucial in the modern growing world.
“When people are investing so much into growing facilities they need to know that the technical side is going to be of the highest quality, and that it will be as energy efficient as possible. That is what CambridgeHOK can offer and that is a message I am looking forward to taking to potential clients.
“Energy production will be a big focus moving forward as only by bringing cost production down and through systems such as CHP, LED lighting and turning waste energy into heat and electricity will we beat off the competition from imported products, and of course, presently, demand for home grown produce is higher than ever.”
Strawberry farms developments have highlighted company’s expertise
Over the past 12 months CambridgeHOK has emerged as a genuine leader in the UK strawberry growing market.
It is currently building two large glasshouse facilities, including a new six hectare glasshouse for Beeswax Dyson which will be able to produce 750 tonnes of strawberries at any one time.
That success has come as its vertical farming business has risen from from a turnover of just £250,000 in 2015 to close to £8m last year.
It also has a growing reputation for its energy expertise, helping companies identify the most efficient ways of generating heat and power to run growing facilities and make significant long term savings.