The meeting at Neame Lea was well attended by members from all over the country interested in seeing the nursery and discussing the recent developments there.
Starting with apresentation of the recent activity of the Home Grown Users' Group given by Simon and Tracey, there was then an opportunity to ask questions. David asked about the funding of the promotion to date and Simon answered him that a lot of preparatory work has been done and now the group is well set up to develop in line with grower needs. There is a draft plan for activities in the next year and that will be discussed with a partial budget being prepared so that the funds can be raised to fulfil the total programme.
The nurseries at Neame Lea in Spalding are developing with a new glasshouse that will also house a large working area with flower processing and cold storage possibilities. David Ball gave us a view on the business developments that have changed this company and prompted the development of the new 40,000m2 nursery and how it fits in their overall production programme. Kees Greeve (Floris Berghout) who are managing the construction as a turnkey project on behalf of Neame Lea spoke about the technical innovation and the nursery design.
Buffet lunch was kindly sponsored by Beekenkamp and Modiform.
After lunch there was a tour of the nurseries.
Business developments at Neame Lea- David Ball
David entertained the meeting with his own views on the development of the business and how he came to be running it after determining that his career probably laid elsewhere after his university studies. He is a convinced grower's son now who has a great appreciation of the potential of the industry to deliver for the multiples business and can see a developing future in working closely with them.
In his brief, potted history of the nurseries' development, he paid tribute to his father, Tony, as a great grower and to Cor Schrier who, as his his first boss at Neame Lea, had sent the young graduate out with a hosepipe to learn how to work a nursery for himself. He also gave credit to Richard and Andrew who are his management team with Julie Pike, company secretary, who is one of the original employees of the company.