RHS hosts first international trials conference

The RHS is to host the world's first international trials conference under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science.

International Trials Conference 2011 will take place at RHS Wisley on 5-7 July and will bring together global stakeholders to discuss approaches to plant assessment.

RHS acting director-general Gordon Seabright said: "It's the first time there's been an international conference for all the people working in this field."

Director of science and learning Simon Thornton-Wood added: "In the past 10 years we have seen a globalisation of plant development and supply that is bringing new and quite exciting developments. It's not about regional and national concerns - we need to be talking around the world."

Thornton-Wood said he envisaged participation from "extreme ends of the production chain".

The RHS hopes the conference will provide a platform to highlight its trials work and that of other organisations around the world carrying out similar work.

"Hosting the conference at Wisley will be a great opportunity for sponsors of the conference to present themselves to plant enthusiasts," said Thornton-Wood.

"We will be offering pavilions for sponsors, so they are engaging with the conference, and people who are making the pilgrimage to Wisley anyway. The other thing we want to do is to use (the conference) to bring the participants into contact with our plant committees."

Participants include the University of Georgia's Allan Armitage, North Carolina State University's John Dole, Reading University's Martin Emmett, Great Dixter Garden's Fergus Garrett and Zaden BV's Elisabeth Sahin.

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