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Fibre Dust LLC welcomes international ag consultant Dr. Hugh A. Poole

International Agricultural Consultant, Dr. Hugh Poole, has joined leading coir processor and organic substrate manufacturer, Fibre Dust LLC, he revealed to HortiDaily at IPM Essen last month.

Poole has worked for a variety of agricultural firms over the years, including Speedling, Syngenta and SunGro Horticulture, but it is his 15 year working relationship with Fibre Dust President Sam Ahilan that tempted him out of retirement.

His position within the company will see him taking on new roles to oversee the quality assurance program for the company, and also providing technical support and product development.

Fibre Dust manufactures a variety of coco peat products for both the amateur gardener and commercial greenhouse operations, and Hugh Poole believes the renewable substrate will eventually take over from Rockwool.

“I think Rockwool has served its purpose, and certainly the world wants more sustainables; something natural they can dispose of at the end,” said Hugh, with the suggestion that coco peat will eventually supersede rockwool in the future.

Dr. Hugh A. Poole and Sam Ahilan at the IPM Essen Last month

“As we understand coco [peat] more, and how we can work with it, we can duplicate the capabilities of rockwool and so I think there’s a brighter future there [for coco peat], than there is for rockwool,” he said.

With a background in International Agricultural Development and experience of working in over 30 countries during his career, Hugh is keen to roll out Fibre Dust products internationally to both the developed, and developing markets.

“I’m hopeful to get out and see it in application because that’s the only way you can really get a feel for it. It doesn’t mean you need to spend 100% of your time in the field but you need to understand what the challenges are,” he said before adding, “You need to ask questions and you need to be listening to answers because they don’t always tell you what the problem is, so I hope it’s a combination of both.”

“But I can’t do everything,” he said. “I have to find ways to multiply my effectiveness through the organisation and so I’ll probably be more involved in developing strategies and material.”

One of the biggest issues the company face is convincing field growers to move away from soil and start growing in root cubes, says Hugh, “especially when a lot of their equipment is already designed to work in fields, so part of the challenge there is to be able to integrate best practices for the blocks or boards, and new practices.”

“There’s going to be a lot of competition and it’s going to come down to who can serve the customer best,” said Hugh.

“We’re open to partnering,” he went on. “Sam’s going in different directions, he’s slowly built up his capacity so he can expand his production so that opens up new opportunities and obviously as you expand you want to fill those opportunities,” he concluded.

“We welcome the opportunity have Dr Hugh Poole on board with Fibredust LLC , a fast growing coir company with multiple sites in India and Srilanka” said Sam Ahilan, president of Fibredust LLC. Having worked with Dr Poole for last 15 years, his knowledge can certainly benefit many of our existing and new customers. He will play a vital role on “ Quality Assurance, providing Grower Solutions and new product development”. He will visit our manufacturing sites in India and Srilanka to provide technical assistance to our operational and quality control teams on a regular basis.

For more information:
FibreDust LLC
Sam Ahilan
34 Lazy Valley Road
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Office: 860-659-4333
Fax: 860-633-1444

Publication date: 2/11/2014
Author: Shelley Antscherl



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