Fair binned after lack of interest

Lack of committed growers forces new plant fair to be canned.

A new trolley fair has been cancelled after potential exhibitors failed to commit. The Plant Bureau, organised by former grower Phil Smith, was to run six Dutch-style fairs at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, but lack of interest has forced Smith to halt plans (HW, 5 December). He said 30 growers would make the show viable but while 70 verbally committed only a few paid deposits. He said: “The problem can’t be the cost. It’s not expensive — you could get 30 shelves for £250 — but maybe March was too early. Maybe it’s apathy or not knowing what to expect. But this is what garden centres want and it’s been successful in Holland. I could have filled it with Dutch product but that’s not the remit.” Smith added that with traditional shows being more “flying the flag” than sales events his fair could have been “one of the best- selling plant fairs in the UK”. The “committed few” included Johnsons of Whixley, Notcutts and and Baginton Nurseries. The first fair was due to be on 7 March. Smith added that he will take another look at fairs later this year after talking more to growers.

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