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PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE WITH NEW HTA ORNAMENTALS STRATEGY.
A new strategy for growers of ornamental crops has been unveiled by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA). The strategy, which is put together by members of the HTA Ornamentals Committee, HTA Retail Suppliers Group and HTA Amenity Suppliers Group sets out priorities and actions for the next two years.
Economic conditions remain challenging for businesses across the UK and the nursery sector is not immune as has been demonstrated by the poor spring in 2012. Added to this technology is revolutionizing communications which has far reaching impacts across the supply chain right the way through to how the final customer finds and purchases products. Environmental issues continue to surface and EU policy making is still feeding through regulatory changes that will continue to affect the sector.
Through this latest strategy the key issues impacting on ornamental horticulture are identified from the day to day challenges to the longer terms ideas which will help prepare the sector for a more profitable future.
Key actions include:
- Promotion of best practice in promotion and merchandising of locally supplied products
- Continued collection and dissemination of market information
- Regional workshops on using social media and e-marketing to drive sales
- Development of an Autumn Gardening campaign - Plan it, Plant it this Autumn
- Establish a new Water Group to assess the impact of water restrictions on the sector
- Continue to run the HTA National Plant Show providing UK plant suppliers with a unique and exclusive opportunity to market to retailers
- Development of a Plantarea Improvement Programme and master class style training on merchandising
- To ensure that the BOPP scheme continues to meet the demands of multiple retailers
- To support the Kent University project to review the plant supply chain and identify a route to improving chain efficiency and profitability
- To continue to run the Nursery Business Improvement Scheme and offer access to the undergo the Lean process to make financial savings
- Develop new training modules according to the needs of the sector incorporating workshops with e-learning techniques
- Continue to vigorously represent the interest of ornamentals growers in all policy areas including peat, pesticides, water, plant health, invasive plants and research and development
- Service the requirements of the HTA Specialist Groups including HTA Seasonal Plants Group, HTA British Conifer Group, HTA British Rose Group, HTA Cash and Carry Group, HTA Retail Packet Seed and Distance Selling Group.
Geoff Caesar, Chair of the HTA Ornamentals Committee comments, "Following two 'normal' spring seasons with good weather and the added benefit of a weak pound this latest season has shown just how vulnerable our sector can be. We need to be ready to adapt to these challenges and this latest strategy, put together and endorsed by the key HTA Committees covering ornamental horticulture, looks at the key areas of focus in order to achieve sustainable growth in the future."
HTA Strategy for Growers of Ornamental Crops 2012-2014 can be downloaded from the HTA website www.the-hta.org.uk/ornamentalsstrategy