Garden sales increase 24.9% year on year, its strongest first half since 2014, with a 33.7% growth in the warm months of April to June. The performance for online sales in the first half of the year has been a lot stronger than anticipated. Factors that could be influencing that include the extreme weather (both hot and cold), the Royal Wedding, World Cup etc. Despite the UK being hit with freak cold weather moving into spring, online retail sales grew 15.3% year on year between January and March, with the reduced high street footfall driving shoppers to home spending. (Source;- Barclaycard consumer spending figures/Capgemini IMRG eRetail Sales Index)
Hayloft Plants is experiencing similar growth and has strengthened the board by appointing Lukasz Laszkiewicz as Operations Director with effect from 1st August 2018.
Lukasz was born in a small rural village close to the town of Zamosc in the province of Lubelskie, Poland some 60km from the Ukraine border. He first came to work in England in august 2005 as a 21 year old lad through the agricultural labour agency Concordia working at Rickards Farm, Old Wives Lees, Canterbury, Kent picking hops and then cox and gala eating apples. He then transferred to the Isle of Wight working as a tomato picker for the Wights Salad Group until he returned home to Poland for Christmas.
On Valentine’s day in 2006 he was assigned to Hayloft Plants, one of only two Polish garden plant packers at that time and was present until early August when the seasonal work finished and he returned to Kent to pick the hops and apples.
During the last twelve years Lukasz has been a vital part of the development of the multi-channel garden plant retailer, Hayloft Plants Ltd. In 2006, all plant packing was carried out at Manor Farm, Pensham. Rapid expansion of the business means that packing is currently carried out at three locations surrounding the village of Pensham, all under the careful control of Lukasz. Seasonal staff are employed from the UK, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.
Lukasz is grateful to Concordia for their sponsorship of a two year graduate diploma in Rural Business Management and Supervision at Plumpton College, Lewes, East Sussex in 2008/9 which gave him many practical skill qualifications including competence in the safe use of pesticides PA1 and PA6.
Lukasz married his childhood sweetheart from the next village, Edyta, in September 2013 and purchased a house in the town of Evesham where they currently reside. Derek Jarman, Director said ‘Lukasz has consistently exceeded the expectations of the board and his appointment as a Director is long overdue. Plant packing volumes have grown dramatically in the last thirteen years and are expected to enter another period of rapid growth following the release of new Hayloft Plants websites by the end of September 2018 www.hayloft.co.uk and www.gardenshop.telegraph.co.uk’
Lukasz said that ‘He was proud to be appointed as a Director and would do his utmost to fulfill the appointment to the best of his ability’.
Stephanie Maurel, Chief Executive, Concordia UK Ltd said ‘Concordia is thrilled at the progression of Lukasz and at his appointment to the board at Hayloft Plants Limited. Concordia has worked with Hayloft for many years and is very pleased that from a seasonal agricultural role, it has been possible to support Lukasz and nurture his potential to develop into the role he is now in today.