HTA publishes ornamentals plan

A new strategy for growers of ornamental crops has been unveiled by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA).

The HTA Ornamentals strategy, which is put together by members of the HTA Ornamentals Committee, HTA Retail Suppliers Group and HTA Amenity Suppliers Group sets out priorities and actions for the next two years.

They include:

- Promotion of best practice in promotion and merchandising of locally supplied products
- Continued collection and dissemination of market information
- Regional workshops on using social media and e-marketing to drive sales
- Development of an Autumn Gardening campaign – Plan it, Plant it this Autumn
- Establish a new Water Group to assess the impact of water restrictions on the sector
- Continue to run the HTA National Plant Show providing UK plant suppliers with a unique and exclusive opportunity to market to retailers
- Development of a Plantarea Improvement Programme and master class style training on merchandising
- To ensure that the BOPP scheme continues to meet the demands of multiple retailers
- To support the Kent University project to review the plant supply chain and identify a route to improving chain efficiency and profitability
- To continue to run the Nursery Business Improvement Scheme and offer access to the undergo the Lean process to make financial savings
- Develop new training modules according to the needs of the sector incorporating workshops with e-learning techniques
- Continue to vigorously represent the interest of ornamentals growers in all policy areas including peat, pesticides, water, plant health, invasive plants and research and development
- Service the requirements of the HTA Specialist Groups including HTA Seasonal Plants Group,

HTA British Conifer Group, HTA British Rose Group, HTA Cash and Carry Group, HTA Retail Packet Seed and Distance Selling Group.

HTA ornamentals committee chairman Geoff Caesar said: "Following two ‘normal’ spring seasons with good weather and the added benefit of a weak pound this latest season has shown just how vulnerable our sector can be. We need to be ready to adapt to these challenges and this latest strategy, put together and endorsed by the key HTA Committees covering ornamental horticulture, looks at the key areas of focus in order to achieve sustainable growth in the future."


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