Exhibitor body reports weak UK presence at German show

Businesses are missing out on opportunities according to Commercial Horticulture Association

UK horticulture businesses are missing out on opportunities in the German market. Commercial Horticulture Association (CHA) secretary Chris Wood, who organises exhibitions and sources funding for exporters, said he was “surprised” only eight firms stood under the CHA banner at the 1,350-exhibitor horticulture trade show IPM in Essen last week. Wood said the strength of the pound was putting off potential UK exhibitors. He added: “I’m surprised there are not more UK firms here because it’s such a big show, which aims at part of the market other shows don’t reach.” He said IPM had more eastern European customers than Horti Fair, held in Holland in November. Essex-based tree fern importer HSK’s managing director Phil Blackledge said it was tough to break into the German market. He blamed a lack of government support and showed independently because his two years of CHA funding had ended. Garden centre design and consultancy Associates & Clifford Long’s owner Clifford Long said that garden centre buyers were more interested in the Frankfurt gift fair ChristmasWorld, which coincides with IPM. The show also clashes with the GCA conference and Long said it was difficult to get to. Many buyers also stayed away out of respect for the Auschwitz liberation 60th anniversary. David Austin Roses director for licensing Tony Slack had a successful show, meeting many of his 35 licensees. The Society of Floristry exhibited for the first time and reported positive international feedback.

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