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Author Topic: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range  (Read 15327 times)

Gerry Webster

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2011, 08:59:52 PM »
Thanks for the link David. I've emailed these people to ask how they justify using the 'John Innes' name. I'll post their reply - if any - here.
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David Nicholson

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2011, 08:02:45 PM »
Copy below of an Email I have sent to the John Innes Manufacturers' Association. Like Gerry, I will post any reply here as I will also post any reply I receive from the manufacturer of the J Arthur Bowers range.

I would urge any Forumist who is concerned about the quality of their JI Compost to complain similarly. The Web Site for the JI Manufacturers' Association is given in reply 28.

...

Dear Sirs,

I am currently in correspondence with the manufacturers of the above range
regarding the quality of their product. I have complained that I needed to
sieve the product in order to remove large pieces of wood and other
non-composted materials to render it fine enough to use as a potting
compost. I am content at the moment to let the manufacturer respond to my
complaint.

 With my complaint I have submitted two digital images, one showing the JAB
compost and the other a JI compost produced by FA Smith Ltd of Green Ore
near Wells Somerset. The two are as different as chalk and cheese. The FA
Smith sample is fine but shows an excellent loam, sand and grit content
exactly as I would expect from a John Innes compost. The JAB compost, in my
view, has a minimal loam and grit content and, in my view should not be sold
as a John Innes compost.

Today I purchased a bag of Westland JI No 2 to compare. It is a nice fine
friable mix but certainly does not feel to have much of a loam content not
is any grit discernible.

It is my view that all manufacturers should be obliged to disclose the
percentage content by volume of loam, sand, grit and peat (or peat
substitute) in their products and thus allowing consumers to make properly
informed choices. It seems to me that manufacturers are free to avoid the
quality issue.

I would welcome your comments.

David Nicholson
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Gerry Webster

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2011, 08:21:24 PM »
David - older gardening books gave a procedure for  assessing the quality of JI. Place a quantity in a screw-top jar, part-fill with water & give a good shake. Allow to settle. The ingredients will form distinct layers - grit-sand on the bottom & peat on the top -  which allow one to estimate the relative quantities of the components. It seems that in the old days manufacturers skimped on the peat, nowadays it seems to be the loam (or what passes for loam) which is in short supply.

The JI Manufacturers Association website seems to suggest that anything which is made by one of their members is entitled to the name irrespective of the constituents.
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David Nicholson

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2011, 08:24:20 PM »
Gerry I tried the old test on JAB and Westland, result: little discernable loam. Perhaps not the most scientific of tests but it gives a very good idea!
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

David Nicholson

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2011, 07:57:03 PM »
Extract from a letter received from William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd, the manufacturer of the J Arthur Bowers brand after I had provided a sample (of the compost Mr Booker in case you read this ;D  ) and the product code from the bag in question

"............. The compost was made in September last year when we had a problem with a broken screen. Although we were extra careful with checking compost which was being produced it appears that some of the peat had not been broken down in the production process. This had then found its way through the screen and into the compost mixes. Obviously this should not have happened and I would like to apologise for you getting some compost which was sub-standard. During October 2010 we closed the factory for maintenance and repaired the broken screen. We do not like our customers to be unhappy or to receive substandard compost and therefore I am enclosing £15 vouchers for you to use against future purchases of our products of your choice."............

A stock response I'm sure since this is not the first poor bag of this product I have bought. I shall use the vouchers to buy more and if necessary will complain again.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Gerry Webster

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2011, 08:40:44 PM »
William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd/J Arthur Bowers seem to have trouble with screens. A few days ago I bought bags of 'Sharp Sand' & 'Grit Sand'; whereas the former contained substantial amounts of  grit,  the latter contained almost no grit at all.
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David Nicholson

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2011, 08:45:53 PM »
Complain Gerry, I don't see why we should let them off the hook for inferior products.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Neil

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2011, 09:37:34 PM »
The Sale of Goods Act 1979 covers you.  See here http://www.oft.gov.uk/business-advice/treating-customers-fairly/sogahome/;jsessionid=36BB8855A0339D3D2D6A596A1A3A9165

Most reputable companies will try and sort it out, as if a person is not satisfied there will tell at least 10 others about there poor experience of that company.  But if there get a better than expected response from them they will tell 20 people.  So it is in their interest to go the extra mile and keep you on their side.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 09:40:23 PM by Neil »
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Gerry Webster

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2011, 05:45:16 PM »
This information on the composition of J Arthur Bowers JI 3 is from the Sinclair website:

"COMPOSITION/INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS
Chemical characterisation of active components: Loam, peat, composted green material,
limestone, grit and nutrients Including potassium nitrate, sulphate of ammonia, mono ammonium phosphate and trace elements."
The presence of "composted green material" might raise a few eyebrows.

The following is the reply I received from the John Innes Manufacturers Association with whom I raised this issue:

"I can confirm that I have been in touch with Sinclairs’ representative on the John Innes Manufacturers Association about their product, J Arthur Bowers John Innes. He immediately checked their website and was as surprised as you to discover the reference to ‘composted green material’.  This was an error and I can assure you that the website is being carefully proof read as a result!
 
I will bring your concerns to the attention of JIMA to ensure that our standards are maintained.
 
Kind regards
Innes"
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David Nicholson

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2011, 08:40:06 PM »
..... so, there is no "composted green material" in it? And I'm The Duke of York!!!!! ;D

I haven't had a reply yet from JI Manufacturers Association.

Today I used the vouchers William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd sent me following my complaint about the quality of J Arhur Bowers JI No 2. I obtained 2 bags of No 2 and two bags of No 3 and if it is of the same quality as that I complained about I shall complain again.

It takes little time to fire off an Email and if we don't complain we shall continue to get very poor value for money. If you are are a JI user and you're not satisfied with the product you're using do please complain.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Martin Baxendale

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2011, 09:37:49 PM »
I bought some Homebase own brand JI No. 2 the other day ready to start repotting and it was pretty good. No big lumps, good loam content.
Martin Baxendale, Gloucestershire, UK.

Gerry Webster

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2011, 09:48:38 AM »
I wonder who makes the Homebase JI? Is it a rebranded version of one of the mainstream products?
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ChrisB

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2011, 01:32:37 PM »
I know we are not able to use peat based composts any more, but these manufacturers knew this ten years ago, so they've had ample time to sort out what they are going to sell us, and uncomposted chunks like those David showed have been in my composts this year too.  I don't believe it has anything to do with a broken sieve as the same stuff I bought up here at various times this year have been roughly the same.  I reckon they are just having a laugh myself because they know the vast majority of customers won't bother to complain.  Good going David to get a bit of money out of them, especially when they are now charging so much more for a bag of compost.  Now, have I got the strength to start writing complaint letters, hmmm.  A friend uses compost from B&Q that they say is much better, but that store is about 25 miles from here.  Has anyone used any of the Levington products this year yet?  If so, what do you think of them?
Chris Boulby
Northumberland, England

Gerry Webster

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2011, 02:02:55 PM »
Chris - I'm currently repotting using Levington JI. Although I haven't got around to assessing the loam content, it doesn't look too bad -  only a few lumps of hard peat & a small amount of unidentifiable fibrous stuff - & seems identical to the Levington JI I had last year. As regards B&Q, my local branch only stocks Westland JI - one of the 'mass-market' brands. I regularly use Levington Multi Purpose but only for digging into the soil before planting herbaceous material, so I have no idea how it behaves in pots.
Gerry passed away  at home  on 25th February 2021 - his posts are  left  in the  forum in memory of him.
His was a long life - lived well.

ChrisB

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Re: J Arthur Bowers John Innes range
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2011, 07:25:05 PM »
Thanks Gerry.  I only use my multi purpose to mix with sand, grit, perlite etc for various plants.  Rarely would I use it 'neat'.  Maybe I'll try a bag then.  The compost at B&Q was their own brand, so its anybody's guess what it really is...
Chris Boulby
Northumberland, England

 


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