Defra convenes horticulture industry summit

Defra horticulture head Katherine Kelliher is setting up a summer round table event at Defra on behalf of Defra secretary of state Owen Paterson, for the horticulture industry to address competitiveness and skills.

Kelliher was at the National Plant Show this week, being shown round on a factfinding tour by HTA’s Raoul Curtis-Machin, Carol Paris and David Brown and RHS’s Sarah Cathcart.

She said she was going to organise a round table for the industry after Paterson asked her to scope out the industry’s issues following his visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May.

Kelliher said careers in horticulture for young people, importing and exporting plants and linking edibles and ornamentals more closely could be on the agenda .

HTA representative David Brown said: "The secretary of state is particularly interested in attracting people into the industry, competitiveness in the industry and skills and training."

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