BPOA celebrates growth

The BPOA has reached a record membership of 128 and will have greater influence in 2014, says chairman Ian Riggs.

He said the NFU specialist group will continue with the same office holders for 2014.

At last week's AGM and conference, prospective NFU president Meurig Raymond praised the BPOA's work. Riggs said: "Hopefull he will be elected president of the NFU and we will have a friend in a very high place."

He said policy issues, British Growers Look Ahead meeting, bursaries and research were key examples of BPOA work in 2013.

Technical committee chairman Chris Need said Pansy Mottle Syndrome research data analysis could throw light on the problem. He added that the BPOA had discussed its overlap with HTA technical committees given that more businesses produce a wider range of crops and that they would look at ways to work together in the future.

In addition, the BPOA is set to re-focus its marketing committee for 2014.

Executive officer David Fox said: "They're all volunteers so it needs to be something fo interest to the person on the commitee, otherwise, what's in it for them."

The commitee will run in focus groups, including a shows and events group that works on exhibiting at Four Oaks and GroSouth as well as sending flower towers to Tatton Park Flower Show and Southport Flower Show.

However the organisation said there were indications that the annual bedding competition at Tatton Park may be over.

Two new honorary members are Alan Davis and John Hawking. Ewan MacMillan and Andrew Fuller have joined the technical commitee. Phil Austen is leaving the management commitee.

Next year's AGM and conference is at Oxford Belfry on 20 January 2015.

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