Sussex study is model for production sector

There are two things that really stand out in the West Sussex Growers Association (WSGA) study into the future of the glasshouse sector in this key region for protected cropping.

The first is the sheer dynamism of so many of its member businesses, which include world-class operators. That dynamism is reflected in those businesses' very healthy desire to continue to move their operations forward through expansion.

The second is just how powerful the group's decision to take the initiative and carry out research into the scale of the sector in its region - and the challenges facing it - will prove to be. Thanks to the figures unearthed by the research, for the first time representatives of the glasshouse sector in West Sussex - or, indeed, individual business owners - will be able to put the case for the sector's importance to the region to the relevant local authorities when seeking support for new developments, with the full weight of accurate, up-to-date information and relevant statistics behind them.

And they need it. As the report notes, in the food sector - where most of the planning applications for the largest glasshouses lie, due to the necessary economies of scale - developments are increasingly being turned down. This is despite the push that is coming from central government for increased production of vegetables and fruit by the UK's growers. WSGA's excellent initiative is a crucial first step in turning that around in the growing region of West Sussex.

However, there is potential for an even bigger legacy should the example set by the WSGA be taken up by growers the length and breadth of Britain. As we note in our report (see p3), planning is causing havoc with larger development in many parts of the UK, to the considerable cost of those seeking to drive their businesses forward.

It is a fact that politics today is a numbers game. Without the statistics to back your case, you don't count. But a report such as this could be generated for every key growing region around the country. Just imagine what a powerful addition to the production horticulture armoury that would be.

 


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

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

Phygelius

Phygelius

Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.


Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.


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

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

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.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles