Conifer group considers an awareness event extension

The HTA's British conifer group is considering extending National Conifer Week to become National Conifer Month next year.

During the group's AGM at Ashford Nurseries in South Staffordshire, it was decided that a month-long event would further boost the campaign, with the possibility of launching either National Conifer Month or the National Conifer Festival at next year's HTA National Plant Show in June.

Garden Works' John Connel, who produced the Conifer Merchandising Guide and recently joined the conifer group steering body, said: "The idea is to create more awareness and education around the campaign earlier and the view was that the National Plant Show was a good place to do that."

He continued: "It is a case of 'watch this space' and all will be revealed at the National Plant Show."

He added: "National Conifer Week was perceived as a success but the retailers would say it's not keeping up to pace with the likes of grow your own.

"There was a broad agreement that there was an opportunity to change the perception of conifers by changing the point of purchase. We are going to work to start getting the trade more engaged with it."

Commenting on the AGM, Connel said: "It was one of these magic meetings - I think the retailers helped the growers group see there was still an onus for retail to do something.

"The group does deserve to reposition itself. It's British, all about old-school growers waking up to the fact that they have something relevant to today's consumers and retailers saying we better do a better job - they can't keep relying on grow your own."


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