Rosebourne Shortlisted for Food and Farming Awards

ROSEBOURNE: We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for Retailer of the Year at the Food and Farming Awards 2019!

The Retailer of the Year Award recognises a retailer or foodservice outlet that has supported British agriculture and demonstrates a sourcing policy which favours British produce.

The Food and Farming Awards brings together the very best of the British food and farming industry. The awards recognise and reward excellence, foster innovation and create a can-do environment that inspires creativity and sharing of best practice in the industry.

The winners for each category will be announced at an awards ceremony at the House of Commons on Friday 6th December.

Fingers crossed!

Corby + Fellas are delighted to be working with the team at Arboretum – our first European Garden Centre.


Pictured (l-r) Steven Fellas, C+F Head of Projects, Fergal Doyle, Arboretum COO and Matt Chrisostomou, C+F Head of Technical Support

Boyd Douglas-Davies appointed as HTA President

GCR Joe Wilkinson:

The AGM of the HTA, which took place at Glee, saw the appointment of Boyd Douglas-Davies as HTA President.

Boyd Douglas-Davies, CEO of Hillview Garden Centres, has taken over the Presidency from Adam Taylor of Taylors Bulbs who has come to the end of his two-year tenure in the role and moves to the role of Immediate Past PresidentBoyd has over 30 years of experience in garden retail. After training at Pershore College Boyd spent 20 years at Webbs of Wychbold during which time the business continuously grew and was recognised as one of the UK’s best garden centres. As CEO of Hillview Garden Centres he operates eight garden centres across middle England. A well-known figure in the industry Boyd is a trustee of the Greenfingers Charity and founder of Garden Re-Leaf Day.

The AGM also saw the following appointments:

  • The ratification of James Barnes as Chairman.
  • The ratification of the re-appointment of Bob Hewitt as a Director of the Board.

Immediate HTA Past President, Adam Taylor, comments,

“I feel extremely proud and privileged to have been able to serve the association over the last two years which has seen great change, both internally and externally. It has been an exciting, occasionally challenging, but always immensely rewarding experience and I would like to thank the HTA Board and Committees for their support, along with the team at Horticulture House. I would like to welcome Boyd to the President’s position and wish him all the best for his term of office.”

As outlined in the Annual Review there have been many accomplishments throughout the year. Mostly notably, three key areas include:

  • Plant health and biosecurity – leading the plant health agenda by launching the Plant Health Management Standard and ‘Plant Healthy’ toolkit.
  • Recyclable plant pots – driving forward the introduction of recyclable plant pots potentially saving 8,000 tonnes of plastic going to landfill.
  • Industry value – for the first time quantifying the value and contribution of the industry to enable us to raise our profile with Government and decision makers.

HTA President, Boyd Douglas-Davies, comments,

“I feel that this is a very exciting time for the industry – yes there are lots of challenges but with this also comes lots of opportunity. Sustainability is a key area that the industry is working hard on which is hugely important. Let’s not forget we are producing a great product in the shape of plants or ‘clean air machines’. We need to shout about this from the roof tops to ensure that the buyers of the future continue to come to us for great products that have a positive impact on the environment.”He adds, “I look forward to taking the association through the next two years and encourage all members to play an active role in helping to shape the organisation for the future – ensuring the needs of the industry evolve with the challenges and opportunities that come our way.”

Members from across the sector who attended the AGM received the finance reports and annual review and re-appointed BDO as auditors. With regard to membership subscriptions for 2020, an average percentage increase of 3% across all bands, in line with inflation, was ratified.

Dougal Philip, Vice President of the Benevolent Fund, provided a report on activity across the year and encouraged all to help raise awareness of this valuable and underused resource which is available to HTA members and their staff.

The minutes of the AGM will be available to members on the HTA website in due course.

Prior to installing Corby & Fellas WinRetail system in 2015 Klondyke and Strikes Garden Centres didn’t have an EPoS or a Retail Management System. The company hadn’t had enough confidence in the available systems to make the considerable investment required in hardware, software, training and service across our 22 centres in Scotland, Northern England and Wales

However, in 2014 we decided that we would reconsider our position, so we began the process of evaluating systems to see if things had changed to our satisfaction. We invited several vendors to submit proposals; eventually coming up with shortlist of two candidates, both of whom were well established IT companies with experience of supplying systems to garden centres. We asked both organisations to visit our head office in Polmont to give in-depth presentations of their software, to answer questions from our senior management team and to explain how they could satisfy our needs.

Corby & Fellas impressed us on several counts:

  1. They had installed systems into garden centres that had no previous experience of running a Retail Management system. This included Hillier Garden Centres, a long-established business with an ethos very similar to our own.
  2. C&F design and develop their own software (WinRetail) and are not supplying a third‑party package. This gave us the confidence that they were ‘masters of their own destiny’ and had the flexibility to enhance and modify the system to meet our specific needs.
  3. They had an enviable record for providing high quality support, which was borne out by the enquires that we made amongst their existing customers.
  4. All their customers, to whom we spoke, were happy that they had made the right decision in selecting C&F and WinRetail.
  5. They are a well-established and stable company, having been in existence for 35 years, with a loyal and well-trained work force.

In early 2015 we installed several pilot sites. This was a condition of our contract with C&F; had we not been happy with the pilot sites we had the option of going no further. I’m pleased to say that the pilot sites went well, and we began a full roll-out in the summer of that year.

We have now had the benefit of running WinRetail for over four years now. The system and the service that we receive are both excellent and the introduction of WinRetail has been of great benefit to Klondyke.

Therefore, I have no hesitation in recommending Corby & Fellas as provider of first-class retail systems.


Congratulations to our Head of Development, Gary Powley on 30 years with Corby + Fellas! Thank you Gary, heres to the next 30!

Win £100 Haskins Gift Card 2019

Jobs for September

There is plenty to be done in September while you’re enjoying the last of the summers sun, harvesting crops and tidying up plants will keep you busy this month.

Get planting: Now is the time to start planting your autumn bedding such as winter flowering pansies.

Be prepared: Cover any ponds before autumn leaf fall, this will save you the job of having to remove all the leaves from the ponds later.

Ready, set, tidy: Get your garden looking neat for when autumn hits, this includes tidy finished flowering perennials, pruning climbing roses and shrubs.

Looking after your lawn: Do essential lawn maintenance to avoid waterlogging. Scarify and aerate your lawns and don’t forget to feed it with an autumn fertiliser.

Final chance: Now is the last chance to sow grass seed before winter starts.

Get picking: Harvest those long-awaited apples and blackberries. Pick off any rotting fruits from pear, plums and apple trees.

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Corby + Fellas are proud and honored to provide our WinRetail System to over 50% of the UK’s Leading Garden Centre Groups

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