HDC 'Home Grown' project aims to promote local angle

Growers who want to promote plants grown in British nurseries will be able to download the "Home Grown" logo from the HDC website material starting this month.

There are various formats of the logo, which can be used on plant labels, and a consumer leaflet and PoS material will also be available.

The Home Grown initiative, spearheaded by growers Bill Godfrey and Morris May, received £10,000 of funding from the HDC in July.

HDC communications manager Scott Raffle said growers have already shown a lot of interest in the local-branding project: "The idea has captured the imagination of both consumers and growers.

"We have had many calls from growers wanting to use the symbol to promote their plants in their local area."

Stephen Sands, director of Impetus Marketing, which was responsible for the test market and national launch of the project, said the wording of the leaflet is being changed to emphasise the benefits to the local economy, rather than claiming that British-grown plants are environmentally friendly.

"Claiming an environmentally friendly tag is quite complex. It opens us up to discussions about how far lorries are travelling within the UK and even the kind of fuel used. We are focusing on the local-supplier angle, as our market research showed that many consumers wish to support their local economy and have concerns on the risks of importing plant diseases."

Market research carried out by Sands found that 91 per cent of consumers asked said they would be more likely to buy plants bearing the "Home Grown" symbol than the same plant without the branding.

Growers will need to pledge that they produce British-grown plants, using the definition of "Home Grown" on the HDC website. The definition is being finalised and it will appear online later this month.

Sands said: "Businesses can't just import plants, water and feed them for two weeks and then sell them on and use the Home Grown logo. Attaching this logo will add value to products, so growers will have to be growing according to the (HDC) definition."

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