The post-digital environment will see the horticultural sector dominated by developing technologies and AI. But sustainability remains of the utmost importance.
The horticultural industry contributes more than £24 billion a year to the UK’s GDP. It employs more than 550,000 people. Garden centres are booming, but how environmentally sustainable is the sector?
Large garden retailers have changed their business with cafés, adventure playgrounds and more. They also host local events to attract visitors all year round, whatever the weather.
Smaller retailers concentrate on their core business. They attempt to increase profitability by extending opening hours and delivery services.
Some nurseries are adapting fast and using AI to improve their performance. They’re reducing labour costs and increasing production by using automated sowing, transplanting and robotic spacing machines, automated watering, bench transport systems and biomass heating.
Most thrive by keeping on their toes and on top of overheads. But many still lag behind in technology. They prefer to outsource their printing requirements to specialist companies and designers.
In-house printing can decrease costs and increase control of results and resources. Garden centres have the option to choose and use sustainable materials.
Going green throughout the business can also be a very attractive USP. Nurseries and garden centres that want to print in-house need a versatile printing set-up. It needs to perform whatever the task and with the capacity to print on any surface and in any ink.
The OKI range of ultra-compact A3 colour printers produces professional results in-house.
The C800 Series can handle an unrivalled range of media in HD colour. From pre-cut media to eye-catching posters and expansive banners.
This range of printers can also print on waterproof and UV resistant media. It still maintains a professional finish and an exceptional colour vibrancy.
Beware the buycotters Garden centres need to nurture both their profile and their customer-base to keep business blooming. Bio labels and mineral oil-free inks are in increasing demand.
In the meantime, environmentally-aware consumers are buycotting. They study the green credentials of many of their prospective purchases before buying.
Robust and weather-resistant materials OKI’s Retail Solutions can produce colourful visual communications and targeted advertising in-house.
Self-adhesive pot labels, plant picture labels, loop lock labels, pot pointers and bed cards have to resist and survive all kinds of weather.
OKI LED printers can print on UV-resistant waterproof materials in different formats. Specialist materials are also available to help minimise environmental impact.
Some are derived from natural products like sugar cane, hemp and linen. Others from fully-recyclable materials such as polypropylene. Recycled materials, such as polyethylene terephthalate, can make great labels.
Mineral oil-free inks are replacing petroleum-based inks. Developed for use in the food industry to avoid contamination of food products and to conform with European Union standards, ‘veggie inks’ also lessen the ongoing reliance on fossil fuels. The drive for sustainability continues.