Ornamental horticulture company Whetman Pinks is celebrating being named as a winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the UK’s highest accolade for business success. The citation refers to the Company’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to International Trade’.
Based in Ashcombe, near Dawlish, Devon, Whetman Pinks was founded in 1936 and employs 32 people from the local area. Whetman breeds and propagates hybrid Dianthus (Pinks) and exports to a worldwide market including mainland Europe, Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It is the only commercial Pinks specialist in the world.
As a first time winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the company is single-minded in its pursuit of excellence and customer satisfaction. Sales are achieved via trade shows – mainly abroad, publications and its wholesale catalogue as well as with the invaluable support of overseas intermediaries. Where it is uneconomical to supply directly or import restrictions exist, the Company negotiates to issue licenses to propagate.
Approximately 150 Queen’s Awards have been announced this year for outstanding business achievement in the fields of International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. MD Carolyn Bourne said that receiving the Queen’s Award would contribute greatly towards helping to promote the UK Ornamental Horticulture industry around the world.
She added that ‘the thrill and pride of winning comes as a wonderful boost to morale in these difficult times for the industry, where month after month of untypical weather has caused major problems to add to the woes of the recession. In a year which has included a Gold Medal at Chelsea, a regional Employer of the Year award and Overall Ornamental Grower of the Year Award, the Queen’s Award in her Jubilee year comes as a magnificent finale.’
Above all she expressed thanks to all her colleagues at Whetman for the hard work without which it would never have been possible.