The leading Irish plant producer Fitzgerald Nurseries Ltd has just been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious Irish Laboratory Awards 2014. The awards which take place in December 2014 recognises excellence and achievement in the industrial Irish laboratory environment and includes entrants from across a wide range of business sectors. Fitzgerald Nurseries, the only plant production company to enter the awards are hoping that their state of the art micro propagation unit will be awarded the accolade of Laboratory of the Year. Competing against large multinational corporations the company has previously been awarded category winner in the Irish Times / Intertrade Ireland Innovation awards 2011 for uniqueness in systems and processes.
Developed in 2004 by Pat Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Nurseries Ltd the MyPlant laboratory has become a leader in the production of new and unusual niche market plants from tissue culture. Whilst primarily used to propagate plants in the exclusive MyPlant, Irish Primrose and EverColor ranges production from the laboratory now also includes mother plants for the innovative sweet potato varieties developed by Louisiana State University. Fitzgerald, who is the exclusive European head licensee for the university sweet potato program is predicting production of over 1,000,000 units in Europe for 2015.
Commenting on being shortlisted for this award Fitzgerald said: ?It?s taken a long time to establish a leading micro-propagation laboratory in very challenging times so it is very satisfying to be shortlisted for such an award and to be recognised by those outside the horticultural industry for our technical excellence. Innovation in horticulture needs to be recognised and rewarded if we want to develop a strong and dynamic industry.?
Fitzgerald, who currently produces 1.2 million of micro propagated plants annually in his laboratory and exports to 27 countries believes that there is further opportunity for the application of micro-propagation in ornamental horticulture and stated that ?being shortlisted for these awards will hopefully increase awareness of our new plants and methods.?