A six-month review by consultant John Hall, concludes the BPOA's "marketing, promotion and political representation opportunities need highlighting and reinforcing".
"The roles carried out by committee members and BPOA officers should be redefined", after "concerns...expressed about the current governance, separation of powers, transparency and general structure of the BPOA", Hall's review suggests.
Meanwhile the Home Grown Users' Group has "mixed views as to the current value".
The BPOA is "capable of doing a great deal more and providing added value," and to increase "stagnant" membership (which is about 75) Hall suggests adding cut flowers growers and allied industries, says Hall.
Hall adds: "Many believe that internal communication could be better and should also be more
outwardly focussed. Specifically; there’s a strong case for better communication with others in the Industry; including other groups, organisations, political bodies and the Press. In order to spread the load; new ways of running the Association should be considered."
He says: "Current subscription bands and rates should be reviewed to better reflect the
differences between the sizes of individual businesses."
The NFU subidises the group and this is believed to be increasing.
The review says: "Coordinating the views of the protected ornamental sector through the NFU is seen as vital, but communicating information up and down the pipeline does not always work well. Communication with other industry bodies is also raised by some members. Generally, it is felt that the BPOA is not pro-active enough in communicating with the outside world."
In his review Hall adds that the BPOA should be:
- More pro-active on a regional/local basis.
- Looking outward - promoting to the outside world; including: customers, retailers, allied businesses and other stakeholders.
- Direct engagement with retailers: garden centres, sheds and supermarkets.
- Running a promotional campaign with retailers.
- On recruitment, is there the opportunity to realign finances to provide monetary incentives for key officeholders?
Hall says: "If the BPOA is to become more outward looking and to have a closer relationship with
retailers, customers and the outside world; then a more user friendly name needs to be found."
Hall would not discuss the findings. BPOA chairman Greg Hill, chairman delegate Kersten Catella, treasurer Tim Kerley and NFU's Amy Gray will be making recommendations in the form of an action plan in October based on Hall's findings.