As the warm Gulf Stream sweeps in from the Atlantic Ocean to the South West of Ireland it protects the area from severe frosts and provides unique climatic advantages that are ideal for foliage production. The area has a relatively even temperature range and also over 2000mm of rain per annum. This probably explains our pale skin and tendency to drink too much alcohol in the wet months but also is ideal for lush, long, fresh foliages! The soils in the area are high in organic matter and have not been abused due to traditionally low intensity farming. Through our own production and our network of dedicated growers, we now have over 350 acres in the ground split evenly between HQ in Kerry and our Wexford farm. As part of our commitment to reducing our chemical usage we moved our production to a bed based system in 2015. All plants are now planted into a biodegradable fabric that protects the plants from weeds in the first 4-5 years as the plants get established. This has led to a 70% reduction in chemical use and allowed our production teams to have a much more manageable maintenance program.
We also have 25 acres of Eucalyptus planted in Calabria, Italy. After many years of trialling we are sure that the South of Italy produces the best quality Eucalyptus in the world. It also has a far longer season than the rest of Europe and we feel so strong on this we have decided to take on 25 more acres in 2017 which is going into the ground this Autumn!
We also work really closely with a network of growers across Europe who we believe share our commitment to quality, service and sustainability. Every week we are supplying product from Portugal, Italy, Holland, Poland to our customers across Europe. Every November we harvest over 1.5 million stems of Noble Fir from Scotland which is hand graded for the mixed bouquet market. In total we sell over 35 million stems of foliage per annum to markets in the U.K., Holland and the greater EU. This will rise to 50 million stems in 2019 (or close to 1 million stems per week!).