Suttons Seeds - Vegetable Seed Order Room at Reading in the 1800s

The History of the Seed Packet

Suttons Seeds started up in 1806 dealing mainly in agricultural seeds and flour sold in bulk to large estates. By 1852 Suttons were however selling seed in individual packets, filled and labelled by hand.

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Crimson Crush

Crimson Crush – The First Fully Blight Resistant Tomato

Many gardeners have at some point suffered the disappointment of seeing their entire season’s tomato crop being devastated by blight. This fungal disease likes warm wet weather and causes plants to quickly rot and die. With the spores being carried on the wind tomato blight can spread for many miles and although some blight resistant tomatoes are already available none have been able to fight off all strains of the disease. Until now.

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Suttons Seeds Management Buy Out MBO Handshake

Suttons Seeds Management Buy Out (MBO)

Fresh new beginnings for the 208 year old company.

The Suttons team are delighted to announce that former owner Limagrain through Vilmorin & Co, and the Torbay Council, with the Torbay Development Authority, have facilitated and supported the MBO of Suttons Consumer Products Ltd effective December 1, 2014. This is a significant agreement that combines the desire for Limagrain to find the right future for Suttons and the goals of Torbay Council to retain and promote business in the area. This deal ensures continued employment and growth for Suttons as well as providing a springboard for new business.

Multinational Limagrain has grown rapidly in recent years to be a world leader in the seeds and cereals industry. The direct to consumer activity of Suttons, became less central to their expanding core business and focus. However, as a French cooperative of grower farmers with a strong Corporate Social Responsibility ethos, Limagrain sought a strategic solution that would optimize the future prospects of Suttons, especially for its employees and their families. They have actively contributed to the MBO.

The MBO, lead by David Robinson, for 3 years Commercial Director now appointed Managing Director and Rufus Roberts, Operations Director, heralds a new era for Suttons Consumer Products and their team. Limagrain, while no longer a direct shareholder, will remain an important trading partner. Bernard Bejar, recent and popular MD of Suttons who was instrumental in the transition towards the MBO since early this year, will return to Limagrain in France.

The Suttons Group, which includes Carters and Dobies of Devon, will continue to operate from its current facilities in Paignton. David Robinson says ” Suttons have plans to launch innovative and new products, for both our faithful as well as new and budding customers, as we continue to focus on both direct to consumer and retail markets. Suttons is an exceptional household brand widely recognized for quality. Watch this space….innovation is the key “. Rufus Roberts, with over 25 years production and horticultural experience including 17 years with Suttons, is ” looking forward to consolidating our base business and adding new opportunities within this new dynamic as, together, we seek to build a solid platform with long term focus. This can only be good news for our loyal customers, suppliers and staff “.

The MBO was facilitated by Mark Greaves and Nick Woodmansey of Francis Clark LLP and Duncan Sykes and Adam McKenna of Foot Anstey. Mark Greaves, Corporate Finance partner at Francis Clark, said: “This is a critical next step in the evolution of Suttons, returning it to independent, local ownership. The management team is excited by the opportunities and we have been delighted to play a key part in the deal.”

Duncan Sykes, Corporate Partner at Foot Anstey added: “We were delighted to be involved in this transaction involving this significant regional business.”


Christmas Houseplant Care

So you’ve filled the house with lovely Christmas houseplants and now need to provide the care needed to keep them looking their best? Or maybe you plan to give a houseplant as a present and want to pass on some tips to help it survive? A beautiful flowering azalea or festive red poinsettia certainly makes a great gift and will last so much longer than a bunch of flowers – when cared for correctly.

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My Garden Diary

My Garden Diary. – Reminders for December 1914

In the Vegetable garden the chief duty is to prepare for the coming spring. When the ground is frozen hard wheel out manure, secure stakes, and prepare pea-sticks.

During favourable weather trench or dig vacant plots, mend walks, dispose of refuse either by burning or burying in trenches, and make warm borders light and rich in readiness for seeds.
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