Smaller suppliers are key, says The Plant Yard

The Plant Yard partner Matt Graham has said smaller suppliers have an increasingly important role to play despite the rapid consolidation of the supply and retail sides of the horticulture industry. "We are often seen to be operating within the wake of big hitters," he said.

Plant Yard partner Matt Graham
Plant Yard partner Matt Graham

"The big retailers won't waste their resources on servicing new, small accounts and in our understanding big retailers are consolidating their supply base anyway. The larger suppliers see the rewards from the big retailers flashing away too brightly to say 'no'. Hence in time the larger retailers are likely to only be serviced by the larger suppliers.

"If the big-hitting suppliers are growing/trading product to service the big boy retailers, how can then the smaller independent garden centres be different when it comes to plant stock, if they are drawing from the same reserves?"

He added: "We smaller guys - supplier and retailer alike - must work together, listen and feed each other to truly create a difference. After all, big is certainly not better by definition - just bigger."

Graham will be taking part in a panel discussion on the arrival of "little and often" purchasing by planteria managers at next month's Garden Retail Summit organised by Horticulture Week.

Other topics to be examined at the event include the explosion of consolidation among garden centres and their suppliers, the impact of a volatile euro on the garden plant and product supply chains, the National Living Wage and how to grow the gardening audience.

The Garden Retail Summit takes place on 4 February at the prestigious Grand Connaught Rooms in London's Covent Garden, followed in the evening by the Garden Retail & Garden Industry Awards. The summit will ask what actions should be taken right now by garden industry professionals, whether suppliers or buyers, who are impacted by the many changes in the market.

The line-up includes senior executives from Blue Diamond, B&Q, Squire's, the Tillington Group, Hillview Garden Centres, Bransford Garden Plants, Bellenden Public Affairs, Growforth Nurseries, Management Today, mdj2 and Ovation Consulting.

- For full details and tickets, go to or email event manager Sarah Fournier at


Did you find this article useful? Why not subscribe to the magazine? Please call 08451 55 73 55 for more information or visit

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Regional showcase - GroSouth

Regional showcase - GroSouth

A wide range of exhibitors and speakers will feature at GroSouth to update visitors on all the latest industry topics, writes Matthew Appleby.



These tidy evergreen trees are not just for Christmas and come in a range of shapes and sizes, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Valuable tools to combat pests and diseases, improve soils and boost nutrient levels.

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

With the first entry deadlines for two of the industry's leading awards schemes looming, this is the perfect time to start thinking about which categories can best support your goals this year - and get cracking on those entries.

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

The Four Oaks Trade Show is a must on my calendar.

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

No one knows the changes that Brexit will impose on the UK over time. Some will surely be massive and they are already being guessed at. But there will be little changes too and some of those will ripple out over time to surprisingly large effect. I don't pretend to know what will happen, but it's fun to speculate.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.