Fedden USP tasked with improving horticulture productivity

Burnley-based Fedden USP has been enlisted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to help its businesses improve their labour productivity.

The board will launch three new strategic SmartHort centres and has hired Fedden to deliver a series of workshops which are designed to boost labour productivity by between 25 and 40 per cent for each attendee.

The centres will be hosted by fruit growers Haygrove in Herefordshire, Cambridgeshire plant propagators Volmary and Thomas Thomson fruit growers in Perthshire.

Neil Fedden, owner and managing consultant of Fedden USP will deliver a series of training workshops inspired by Lean business techniques used in the Japanese automotive industry. The workshops will cover the theory and applications of Lean, as well as how to use tools and techniques on a daily basis to build productivity improvements in areas such as lifting, dispatch, picking, packing and propagation.

Neil will present four days of workshops to a group of between 25 and 40 business leaders from a variety of horticultural companies over a 12-month period at each host site.

The workshops will focus on the best ways to make significant and sustainable changes within the companies attending and each of the participants will be supported in developing action plans for the implementation of Lean in their own business.

There is a lot of concern over labour availability and quality in this sector and lean improvements could prove vital to the future success of a company.

Workshop participants will also be given the opportunity to attend additional Apprenticeship Levy funded training on Lean/Business Improvement to gain a Level 2 national recognised qualification. This consists of a further six days of training and 12 days of onsite implementation support.

Neil said: “There is a lot of concern over labour availability and quality in this sector and lean improvements could prove vital to the future success of a company. The programme is open to all horticultural businesses and offers a unique opportunity to take part in a ‘live’ case study to see how lean tools and techniques can contribute to the success of a business."