About Us | Terms of Use | Part of

Diagnose plant problems and treat garden pests

Gardening News

General Help


Have a go...

Win and Save

Interactive Tools

Plant Doctor


Home / Gardening News /

Improving labour efficiencies in horticulture

A campaign has been launched in the UK to encourage the adoption of lean principles into horticultural businesses to help improve labour efficiencies in production.

The new AHDB knowledge exchange programme seeks to address rising labour costs and concerns about labour availability following Brexit.

As part of the first stage of the programme, a series of case studies is underway with lean consultants, MPL Ltd, visiting businesses to identify where there is scope to improve.

A broader survey will then be sent to growers over the summer to understand labour efficiency potential within a range of businesses to help paint a picture of the wider industry. Regional lean workshops are then planned for autumn 2017 and spring 2018 to share the results.

Debbie Wilson, knowledge exchange manager at AHDB, said: “Automation and robotics may offer longer-term solutions, but with increased pressures from rising labour costs due to the National Living Wage and concerns about availability of labour following the Brexit decision, many growers are looking for solutions to help with their labour costs now.”

Tom Hulme, from A C Hulme Ltd who is participating in the case study programme said: “Other than the weather, labour costs and availability are our biggest challenge but also our biggest opportunity.

“We signed up as we want to understand different ways to look at productivity and also benchmark ourselves against others in the industry. The visit confirmed that we are on the right track but need to stay focused on efficiencies.”

The LEAN programme is part of a series of projects AHDB is currently running to help improve labour efficiencies in horticulture.

AHDB Horticulture growers will receive the lean survey in summer 2017.


Latest News from

This story was published on: 01/09/2017

Latest Gardening News

Gardening Projects for November

Learn about How to Make Leaf Mould
Learn about  How to Plant a Fruit Bush
How to Make Leaf Mould

Difficulty: 2 / 5

How to Plant a Fruit Bush

Difficulty: 3 / 5

Learn about How to: Maintenance Pruning
Learn about How to take Hardwood Cuttings
How to: Maintenance Pruning

Difficulty: 2 / 5

How to take Hardwood Cuttings

Difficulty: 2 / 5

Gardening Ideas

Plant Specialists

Diagnose orchid plant problems and improve orchid care

Orchid Doctor

Diagnose fruit plant pests and fruit plant problems

Soft Fruit Doctor

Do a soil test to find out your soil type

Soil Doctor

Diagnose pest and disease problems with fruit trees and bushes.

Top Fruit Doctor

Gardening Tools

Learn which plant pests attack which types of fruit.

Fruit Pests

Learn when and how to prune different types of plants

Pruning Guide

Learn which plants will grow in your soil

Soil pH Guide

Learn when and how to plant different vegetable seeds

Vegetable Planting Guide