Pudsey and Chelsea Pensioners were the guests of honour at the annual Mr Fothergills Press Day that this year celebrated 40 years of business.
On the 17th August 1978 the company was created by Brian Carey and Jeff Fothergill. Jeff's surname was chosen for the company's brand and the 'old boy character' was born.
The objective was to create a friendly and established feel. This certainly worked as many people are surprised that they've not been around much longer, convinced that they remember their parents buying Mr Fothergill's seeds years before it existed. In fact compared to other seed brands Mr Fothergill's is a relative youngster but it was the injection of new ideas and application of its youthful enthusiasm for selling seeds that has driven the company from a tiny start-up to one of the largest packet seed suppliers in Europe.
A printed declaration of seeds per packet, foil sachets and pictoral packets of British native wild flowers are just a few of the things that where pioneered by Mr Fothergill's and are now taken for granted.
Over the past four decades Mr Fothergill's has added other brand names to its portfolio and now operates three brands in the retail market with Mr Fothergill's, Johnsons and Country Value. They have also worked in partnership with well-known organisations and personalities to produce separate specialist seed ranges including; The Royal Horticultural Society, Sarah Raven, Jekka McVicar and David Domoney. They have also been keen to support charities where ever they can and currently raise funds through product sales and other activities for Greenfingers, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Plant Heritage, The RSPB and The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust.
Management of the company has now changed to a second generation with John Fothergill and David Carey taking over the reigns as joint managing directors so it remains a wholly family owned and run business.
David & John said "We feel lucky to be working in an industry that ultimately creates joy, satisfaction, relaxation and purpose (to name but a few things) across such a wide spectrum of people. Service, quality, choice and innovation are the four cornerstones of our business that shape what we offer and how we work with our customers. Something that we will remain focused on for the next forty years and hopefully beyond".
The 1970's Garden
The Modern Garden
The Mr Fothergill's trials team have created two gardens on the Suffolk trial ground this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary. They have been designed to show the shift in trends over the years with a typical small garden of the 70's with neat formal lines of bedding versus an up to date small garden that incorporates flowers with fruit and vegetables, upcycling and area for relaxation.
See GTN Xtra's photo gallery below of the Mr Fothergills trials that were seen by over 50 gardening journalists as a key part of the teams efforts to drive consumer pull through during this autumn and next spring. Retailers can see the full range of products for next year at Glee.
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