Internet seed sales are on the up, conference hears

Peter Seabrook has identified trends emerging from the first International Home Garden Conference, hosted by Fleuroselect in Leiden, the Netherlands, last month.

The writer, who spoke at the garden retail event, said: "It should come as no surprise that sales of plants and gardening lines are at best static in garden centres today - their big increases are coming from food halls, catering, clothing and the like."

He added: "Internet trading is taking a steadily increasing slice of the garden trade, with our seed companies gaining big increases year on year via the net."

He said the US Home Garden Seed Association's presentation showed how overheads are low for start-up seed retailers that supply the home gardener and farm shop growers, particularly with organic seeds and heirloom cultivars.

It was mentioned that methods for printing seed packets with QR barcode squares that can be read with a mobile phone are coming in.

Industry bodies Pieterpikzonen in the Netherlands, Tezier Home Garden in France, Dutch-based Sahin, garden brand Japanese Takii, German supplier Gartner Potschke and Burpee from the USA organised the show. Elizabeth Sahin was among the speakers.

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