After just over three years as Non-Executive Chairman at Hayloft Plants Ltd, Martin Harvey is leaving the specialist multichannel garden plant company, to focus on growing his award-winning Bio-Gard business, which sells a range of waste water treatment products for domestic septic tanks under the Muck Munchers brand. www.muck-munchers.co.uk
Martin has said, “We’ve had three fabulous years here at Hayloft Plants, with tremendous growth in sales and profits. We had some very clear goals back in 2013 in terms of structure, positioning, systems, analysis and skills. Having supported those changes, seen core strengths develop over that time, you see that your personal scope and ability to make further significant developments diminishes. The Hayloft team has within it a very clear direction and vision, and the abilities to continue to drive strong growth.”
Derek Jarman, Director added ‘The removal of Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) from the Channel Islands in April 2012 enabled many of the Hayloft Plants plans to come to fruition under the careful direction of Martin Harvey. LVCR made it possible to grow plants in the UK, transport plants by ferry to the Channel Islands, pack at port, send back to the retail customer in the UK keeping the all sales VAT. This was subject to upper consignment limits which were £18 plus unspecified post & packing which was reduced to £15 plus P&P prior to the rapid removal of the scheme by the Treasury and HMRC, once they became aware that the horticultural need was no longer valid. LVCR started many years ago to help growers of fresh produce get their product quickly to market on the mainland without trade and economic barriers. Unfortunately, in the later years it was abused by many large retailers circular shipping consumer durables such as DVDs/CDs, health supplements, computer parts, garden plants and garden sundries.’
Yvonne Walker, Hayloft Brand Director, set-up the Company in 1993, operating from her converted barn home the ‘Hayloft’ upon the birth of her two children, Charlotte & Alexander. Yvonne was joined by Harriet Hardiman (and her two young children Hannah & Heather) and the two of them have seen the company prosper in the last twenty-four years to become one of the market leading garden plant catalogue brands. Hayloft differentiates itself from its rivals by offering varieties that are rare, unusual and exciting, focusing on recruiting new customers from direct response advertising, insert marketing, distributing catalogues, responsive websites and social media to its ornamental gardeners’ customer base. Under Martin’s tenure a Reader’s Offers department was established by James Edmonds which has rapidly grown to be one of the largest offerings in the UK.