Vivagreen the 2016 GISCF Winners
Since its launch in 2014, the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund has already witnessed great success. It’s first two winners have both gone on to enjoy great commercial success; going from new brands to established and growing suppliers within the garden retail market. This same success is expected to be achieved by the 2016 winners.
The lucky recipient of this year’s prize package is Dublin based, Vivagreen. Impressing the judges with its MossOff product, Vivagreen beat off stiff competition to secure this year’s win. As winners they will receive support up to the value of £6,000 to help with development and marketing costs associated with entering the UK garden retail market, plus a year’s full GIMA membership, and a wide range of business support tools.
MossOff is a multi-surface concentrate that offers a new and totally unique biocide-free way of controlling moss and algae on all outdoor surfaces. The unique technology is chemical free and completely safe to children and pets as well as plant life and even fish and ponds. The concentrate dilutes easily and is simply applied using a garden sprayer or watering can fitted with a fine rose. The product is also available in a separate variant designed to take advantage of the specific lawn care market and provide dual merchandising opportunities as well as maintain rates of sale throughout the season. Both products answer the growing consumer demand for garden control products that are easy and safe to handle but deliver consistent and reliable results. No special equipment is required to apply MossOff, consumers just need to choose a dry day so that the product has ample opportunity to dry to take full effect.
GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall said: “We’re incredibly pleased to confirm that Vivagreen is the 2016 winners of the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund. A truly innovative product, the judges were impressed with the simplicity of the product, as well as its dual-use that delivers results, whilst providing peace of mind for consumers. The fact that the product is also biocide-free and yet still beats chemical based competitor products, really stood out as a key USP. I’ve no doubt that Vivagreen will quickly become a core product for any garden retailer.”
In addition to choosing a winner, the panel also selected three highly commended companies. Those just missing out on the highly coveted title were:
- Kikka Digga with its namesake product, the Kikka Digga: The Kikka Digga is a digging attachment tool for all garden forks and spades, which adds a footplate lever to the tool itself. The footplate is designed to reduce the physical strain associated with digging, as well as improving posture. Made from super strong material, the Kikka Digga won't break or bend, and makes it easier to dig compacted or hard ground.
- easyMulch with its namesake product, easyMulch: easyMulch is a new, unique and innovative pelleted plant mulch made from natural organic British straw. It is easy to use and unlike most wood mulches easyMulch will not deplete soil nitrates. easyMulch pellets are made specially for garden plants, and are highly absorbent, retaining up to 300% water by volume. The pellets are pH balanced so will not have a negative effect upon the condition of soil. easyMulch can be used throughout the garden on borders, raised beds, planters and on fruit and vegetable plots, making it an organic, eco-friendly, carbon neutral alternative to wood, coir or artificial mulches
- Banbury Innovations with the Fabrik Wall: This textile façade can be fixed to any wall to create an instant show of colour. Using artificial plants, the Fabrik Wall can add greenery to any wall, offering an eye-catching addition or privacy where needed.
As the winner, Vivagreen is now set to receive funding and help with the development and marketing of their product, together with support from experts within the industry.
Meet Vivagreen. Q&A with Russell Walsh, co-owner of Vivagreen
Tell us a more about Vivagreen
Vivagreen was established over 25 years ago by myself and Garrett Walsh to exploit our unique formulation technology. We found a wide range of applications for the biodegradable ingredients which make them suitable for all sorts of uses where environmental impact is a critical factor. Our first success was in the manufacture and marketing of totally biodegradable ground pegs for use in the golf course sector, and from there we have also developed the technology for use in biodegradable waste sacks and liners. In essence the business is committed to developing more environmentally benign technologies that answer specific consumer needs and offer practical, affordable alternatives to conventional consumer products.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the journey of MossOff?
MossOff has been in development for several years and we’ve worked hard to perfect the formulation and the application to make it affordable and reliable. We’ve had a ready-to-use variant successfully on sale in Ireland in Woodies and a number of independent retailers for the past two seasons. We’ve also been trialling the product in its concentrate form with local authorities who love the fact that their operators don’t need special protective clothing, and they don’t need to exclude members of the public from treated areas. Inland Waterways Ireland now use MossOff at all their sites.
We test marketed the product in the UK last season with Scotsdales and Ayletts which has given us lots of very helpful insight. It was great to have the feedback from both consumers and the customer, Adam Wiggleworth of Ayletts who said "Customers increasingly search out product that is genuinely safe to their children and pets, and that's quite a challenge when it comes to keeping moss and algae under control. The great thing about MossOff is that not only is it safe, it's easy to use and effective too.” We trialled the product with our customers this spring and I am not surprised at how often they selected it over the conventional chemical alternatives. Genuine innovation in the 'control products' category is rare and with the tighter regulations we've lost many conventional products in recent years. MossOff is a genuine new opportunity to replace some of those lost sales."
Key to the launch of MossOff in the UK has been the official derogation from the Chemicals Regulation Directorate which means it’s not subject to the usual pesticide restrictions.
How did you hear about the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund?
We’ve been visiting Glee for the past couple of years, and working with Jane at Lawler Associates to help us develop our commercial proposition for Moss Off in the UK. Once we’d decided to exhibit this year, she alerted us to the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of our product so we quickly decided that we should enter. Of course, now we’re really glad we did!
What made you enter the award?
We can see that winners from previous years gained a huge amount of extra exposure and practical help in the early part of the business journey. We can really appreciate how the same assistance might help us with the commercial plans for Moss Off.
What does the ‘win’ mean to you?
Winning is a great endorsement for the work we’ve done so far and it’s reassuring to know that the judges can appreciate what we know to be a great opportunity for the UK market.
What can people at Glee expect to see from you?
We’ll be making sure we meet as many people from the UK retail sector as possible, and we’ll be explaining our introductory offer on Moss Off as well as showing the wider range of products based around our technology.
To find out more about Vivagreen’s range of environmentally friendly products go to www.vivagreengroup.com or e-mail the general enquiries office on firstname.lastname@example.org or call to speak to us on 020 7197 2317
Visit Vivagreen at Glee, NEC Birmingham (Hall 20 Stand A23) 12 – 14 September 2016
For further information on this press release please contact:
GIMA Press Office: 01959 564947 or email@example.com