Last year's tough trading conditions a common theme at AIPH event

The tough trading conditions of 2013 were a common theme for ornamental grower representatives from across the globe at the spring meeting of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) in London earlier this month.

AIPH delegates
AIPH delegates

AIPH reported most countries reported difficult trading conditions throughout 2013 but optimism for improvement for 2014. 

Poor weather throughout Europe last year hit producers but better weather and an improvement in the economic conditions for many countries is responsible for a better outlook.  

Productivity improvements are a focus of attention in Asian countries with the need to make efficiencies and improve systems to drive up profit margins.  Price pressure seems to be less of an issue for the landscape supply industry in Japan where there is a shortage of many plants as the country replants after the earthquake and prepares for the Olympics.  

NFU advisor Dr Chris Hartfield outlined how the industry was working with policy makers in the UK, including how it is defining and working towards sustainable growing media. 

Delegates from The Netherlands outlined the Responsibly Produced Peat initiative which facilitates the ongoing use of peat but only from sources with minimal environmental impact. 

In Australia, where peat is not used in growing media, the industry has to deal with other issues such as concerns over the potential presence of Legionella longbeachii in growing media.

It was clear that only the UK is pressing for the use of peat for horticulture to be eliminated, says AIPH.

The next meeting for AIPH members is the Annual Congress which will take place in Qingdao, China from 8-11 September 2014.

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