Rose sector gets together to monitor trials and projects

Industry issues discussed at UK's largest rose forum

Rose growers, suppliers and retailers discussed industry issues at the UK’s largest rose forum last week. Most of Britain’s biggest rose growers gathered at Cambridge-based plant sciences company NIAB for the event, which focused on the Rose Merit Trial. The pilot project tests all types of garden roses for floral performance, disease resistance and other factors. A NIAB certificate is awarded to new rose varieties that perform well. The certificate aims to promote the growing of new roses with commercial merit. Head of ornamental crops Elizabeth Scott said: “It was time something was done to help the rose industry. It is essential for us to get feedback from the industry to carry out relevant research.” NIAB ornamental plants specialist Adrian Pickett welcomed any input the industry could give. Harkness Roses owner Robert Harkness said: “NIAB’s work is essential to combat issues facing growers, suppliers and retailers.” The present trial is a two-year project, with further trials being planted each year. Varieties can be submitted on the rootstock on which they will be sold. The trial was established in response to a request from rose breeders via the British Association Representing Breeders.

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