Consumer expert and renowned horticultural researcher, Dr Richard Gianfrancesco has been appointed to the key role of Growing Media Product Manager by William Sinclair Horticulture – maker of the leading J. Arthur Bower's, Growing Success, New Horizon and DeadFast brands of growing media, fertilisers and sundries.
Previously a UK and global business manager for environmental consultancy, Thomson Ecology, Dr Gianfrancesco is best known for his earlier work for Which?, the consumer champion, where he spent 12 years (2001-2013) in senior positions including a five-year stint as Head of Research for 'Which? Gardening' and most recently as Head of Science, Statistics and Social Research across the entire Which? organisation.
An ecology graduate from the University of Sheffield, he went on to obtain a PhD in plant and soil science.
In his new role, Dr Gianfrancesco has responsibility for ensuring that the company's range of growing media is aligned with the needs of consumers through constant product innovation and enhancement. He will also work closely with Sinclair's two highly experienced Technical Managers, Paul Smith and Andrea Marshall, using the company’s new trial grounds to develop and assess new formulations.
Welcoming him to the company’s advanced new Ellesmere Port growing media production facility, Sinclair Marketing Director, Simon McArdle said:
“Richard will be a great asset to us. He uniquely combines scientific knowledge with many years of research into consumer gardening needs. He will be instrumental in ensuring that we achieve our twin goals of being the most consumer-focused gardening supplier and the supplier of choice for high quality peat-free compost. This market will go peat-free and Sinclair will be its leader.”
Dr Gianfrancesco said: “I am delighted to join such a long-established, reputable and progressive British company, especially at this time when Sinclair has already made a huge investment in growing media technology and is pioneering a new era in peat reduction.”
A keen beekeeper and allotment gardener, Dr Gianfrancesco, 42, is married with two children. He is the author of the practical gardening book, 'Grow Your Own Food' (Apple Press).