Hampton Court Flower Show garden retail exhibitors reveal Brexit views

Garden centre retailers and suppliers say to keep calm on Brexit, despite possible short-term price rises.

Martin Breddy at Squire's garden
Martin Breddy at Squire's garden

Show exhibitor Squire's Garden Centres managing director Martin Breddy said on pricing: "I think in the short-term there might be some impact from what's happened to sterling, but it's impossible to say in the medium-term. I think we should keep a sense of calm. We're really confident we can continue to offder value to our customers and I'd expect to be able to do that once we have a new government and things settle down."

Show exhibitor Mr Fothergill's Ian Cross said on potential price rises: "In the short-term it will do looking at the state of exchange rates. But like everyone else I have no idea longer-term. About 80 per cent of what we sell is bought in dollars or euros. The worst thing is the uncertainty."

Show exhibitor from Perennial and Briers John Moseley said: "There will possibly be a bit of an effect on prices but movement on prices in garden retail is never bad. We've had very flat pricing for many years."

HTA chief executive Carol Paris said: "It is too early to tell. We are still in the EU and bound by the same regulations for a minimum of two years, realistically likely to be more. There will undoubtedly be price fluctuation whilst the currencies move but this will hopefully settle down."

RHS horticulture advisor Guy Barter said: "Brexit offers an opportunity for a more focused plant health regime - taking advantage of our island geography."

Crohn's disease garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin said: "There will be a talent drain. All week I've been talking to young people and more often than not they want to leave the country."

Majestic Trees' Steve McCurdy said: "The big plus for me is pests and diseases. [Chief plant health officer] Nicola Spence can introduce fair and reasonable controls. I hope she rates different nurseries 1-3 stars across Europe and that will dramatically reuce pests coming in."

Rolawn's Jonathan Hill said: "The housebuilding industry seems to be slowing down but people still need places to live. And in a recession, if there is one, people invest in their properties."

Gardman said last week that industry retail prices could rise 15 per cent.

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