Garden retail industry high on agenda of All Party Parliamentary Gardening & Horticulture Group meeting with Defra secretary Hilary Benn

The garden retail industry was high on the agenda when the All Party Parliamentary Gardening & Horticulture Group met Defra secretary of state last week, with HTA director general David Gwyther telling Benn garden centre leaders can help Government get messages on greening the UK and healthy over to the public.

Gwyther, speaking to HW after the annual meeting between Benn and horticulture leaders including BALI chief executive Sandra Loton-Jones, Royal Parks chief executive Mark Camley and MPs Ann Cryer, Bob Russell, Brian Donohoe and Brian Jenkins, said: "Hilary Benn is now saying he does appreciate the contribution of the industry to his environmental objectives, so there is a certain amount of continuity.

He added: "We suggested to Mr Benn that an ornamental task force be set up to match the new fruit and veg task force. He said he regards our regular meetings as an ornamental task force.

"We were comfortable with that and offered the help of the garden retail industry to get the meesage over and to meet the fruit and veg task force to encourage more grow-your-own and to encourage sales of seeds, plants and trees and other equipment."

Gwyther explained how this could happen through the membership of the HTA retail management group.

He added that Hilary Benn wanted to see the plan happen.


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