Mr Taylor has been involved in the horticulture sector for more than 20 years, specialising in soft-fruit agronomy and production, previously holding positions at a competitor and Berry Garden Growers Ltd.
“I have previously also managed progressive soft-fruit farms, and before I even got into horticulture, had various practical roles in general agriculture. Changing jobs, moving companies, and leaving colleagues, friendships, and loyal customers behind to start again is never easy, but after meeting with Hutchinsons and discussing ideas, plans and the opportunities available, I knew it was the right thing to do.”
Having been involved in the sector for two decades, Mr Taylor understands how the situation on farms has changed over that time, and the pressures that growers face – knowledge that is key to making a difference in his new role. “We’ve moved from a situation where one application of some products would keep a crop clean for the duration of a season, and shelves were abundant with such products, to a period now when agronomy and advice from knowledgeable and diligent people is more important than ever, due to restricted farm budgets and the reduction in crop protection solutions. Those issues aside, there is also the fact that plant protection and bio-control products need sourcing and supplying from somewhere, so helping the customer ensure they get what they need, when they need it, through building strong relationships is key, as is supporting colleagues with their commercial aspects.”
Mr Taylor recognises there will be many challenges ahead, but believes that this makes the industry an exciting one to be in. “Hutchinsons will help in every way possible. Foremost by giving growers the day-to-day support they need on-farm, to ensure that they can grow a first-class crop, whether that is fruit or cereals. We can also complement that by offering many other services, such as soil health and farm mapping with Omnia.”
Hutchinsons’ director Mike Hutchinson adds: “David brings a wealth of experience, and we are very pleased to welcome him into the team at Hutchinsons. He will enhance the level of service that we are able to offer growers and will also support other members of Hutchinsons horticultural team.”
Mr Taylor will be based in Herefordshire, although his commercial support role will take him all over the UK. The Hutchinsons specialist horticultural team advises on all types of top-fruit and soft-fruit, hops, vines, ornamentals and other horticultural crops, both protected or outdoor.