GLAS trade show highlights Irish horticulture industry recovery

The GLAS trade show took place last week and attracted a record number of exhibitors and visitors, its organisers have said.

The show, which was held in Citywest Convention Centre, attracted over 130 exhibitors from Ireland and around the world.

Tom Hayes, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said: "As Ireland emerges from the recession I firmly believe we are witnessing improving consumer sentiment and an increased willingness to spend money on amenity plants and landscaping once again.

"To remain competitive every business must constantly seek to improve efficiency, to reduce costs and to maximise quality and service. GLAS provides the only one-day opportunity to meet all the key producers, buyers, suppliers and service providers to allow your business develop."

He added "Ireland is a small country with relatively small horticultural producers compared to our international competitors, to generate scale we need to increase co-operation between businesses within the sector. GLAS is a live example of this co-operation in practice and I would like to compliment all those involved in planning and organising this year's show."

Now in its fifth year the show is supported by Bord Bia and organised by Mediateam on behalf of the Kildare Growers Group.

XL Horticulturewon best new product for its BioLift Plant Health Product. BioLift is an easy to use liquid bio stimulant extraction derived from organic products with no chemical additives.

On winning the award Les Lane, XL Horticulture managing director, said: "XL Horticulture was delighted with to win Best New Product at GLAS." He added "With many premiership soccer clubs, top championship golf clubs in the UK and quite a lot of the top rugby clubs now using XL ProBio products and BioLift we are delighted that we can start of the sales of BioLift in Ireland with this prestigious win."

Best New Plant was awarded to Rentes Plants, based in Moyvalley, Broadford, Co. Kildare for its Deep Purple Dance Hydrangea as part of the Music Collection. Commenting on the winning plant judge Gerry Daly said: "The prize was awarded to this plant, a new one to the Irish market, with very considerable market potential, both as a garden centre product and for landscape use."

The award for Best Plant Stand went to O'Dowd Nurseries which was chosen by the judges for its "fantastic" floral display. The company specialises in growing roses, vegetable plants and spring, summer and autumn bedding plants, which it supplies to garden centres and to local authorities all over the country.

Best Product Stand was given to Westland Horticulture at the show. Westland specialise in the development and production of high specification compost, mulches, plant food, lawn treatments, lawn seed and control products as well as seed and potatoes. Visitors remarked that the stand set an example of how garden centres should aim to display products in store.

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