HTA market information manager David Denny is to manage a supply chain research project on behalf of the ornamental sector's round table that met in September for the first time.
Members of the round table, which met with Defra minister Lord de Mauley, include the Horticultural Development Company (HDC), RHS, HTA, Horticulture Innovation Partnership, Chartered Institute of Horticulture, Lantra, the NFU and YoungHort.
The meeting was to find ways to increase the competitiveness of the sector by joint working. Attendees also discussed barriers facing competitiveness, opportunities for growth and attracting young people to the sector.
Denny said he will look at "production and consumption and to define the supply chain to the group". He will also map supply with demand and look at what opportunities there are for the industry to work together and with the Government.
The industry bodies have discussed barriers to competition, including market structure, perception of the ornamentals industry, skills and recruitment. They also talked about raising the industry's profile, increasing the export market and promoting the benefits of the ornamentals sector.
Lord de Mauley offered to support these efforts by communicating with other government departments about the importance of ornamentals in achieving their policy outcomes such as jobs, careers, import displacement/exports, health benefits, tourism and sport.
The round table agreed to develop a concrete action plan by 1 April 2015, with a further meeting scheduled for late in 2014 to cover:
- Promotion and perception of the industry, chaired by Carol Paris (HTA).
- Quality of employment opportunities, Martin Emmett (HDC).
- Supply chain, David Denny (HTA).
- Policy impacts and benefits, Chris Hartfield (NFU).
HTA Tender lined up
The HTA is to tender out a contract to electronic point of sale (EPOS) companies for a garden centre EPOS data-gathering project run by former Garden & Leisure IT manager Grant Davis and the HTA's David Denny.