Strengthening the links of the supply chain was the theme of the Horticultural Trades Association conference this week.
In one of his last duties as president, John Little opened the Manchester event and told delegates the focus would be on supply chain management and building closer working relationships between suppliers, retailers and customers.
“If we can work together and stop looking only at our own businesses, we can reduce costs to everyone’s benefit.
“It is always valuable to hear from outside the industry and we are developing a culture of forming commercial partnerships,” he said.
Director general David Gwyther added: “Improving productivity and supplier-retailer relationships is the key to staying competitive.”
Delegates heard from HTA members, suppliers, former ASDA chief executive Archie Norman MP and psychologist and business analyst Dr Kevin Money from Henley Management College. Also speaking at the event were garden designer, horticulturist and broadcaster David Domoney and Horticulture Week editor Pete Weston.
Guest at the conference dinner was Brian Donohoe MP, secretary of the Westminster All Party Horticulture & Gardening Group. Entertainment was provided by TV personality Ruby Wax.
One of the highlights was the presentation of the Association of Professional Landscapers Awards, hosted by Domoney, who said: “The awards recognise the high standards of APL members and their commitment to customer satisfaction. We have seen some first-class work and there was really very little to choose between the entries.”
Notcutts Landscapes has an impressive record in the awards in the past five years and added three more to its collection this year, bringing the total to 17.
Notcutts general manager Jason Lock said: “Winning three APL Awards this year is a great honour. The awards reflect not only the professionalism of the designers but of the whole Notcutts team.”
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