Leading grower welcomes Paris HTA appointment but warns over legislative concerns

A leading grower has welcomed Carol Paris's appointment as HTA director general.

Bransford Webb's Geoff Caesar - image: HW
Bransford Webb's Geoff Caesar - image: HW

Bransford Webbs MD Geoff Caesar, who is also HTA ornamentals commitee chairman, said:

"We are positive about Carol Paris’s appointment. She's a retailer with her finger on the pulse and knows what’s going on in the industry and has been very involved in the HTA over the years. She's very able and knowledgeable.

"The HTA has been pretty responsive to growers about peat and water and even poor weather with marketing campaigns getting people into garden centres and Carol comes from the retail side and would want to make sure growers have a strong voice. She’s been very positive about British growers and British-grown stock.

"This year’s been tough for everybody but we've had the National Plant Show, British Plant Fair and British-grown branding on labels, all that are positives for us, whether business-to-business with buyers in garden centres or straight to the public."

He said the HTA needs to keep the pressure up on its policy lobbying:

"We don't want to get in the situation where European growers take a lead on us dealing with legislation and R&D.

"Peat comes into the legislation thing. The real worry comes if it is imposed upon British growers and British growers are expected to come into line with and not so much those in Europe.

"We all work towards delivery week numbers and that's the right thing to do and delivery needs to be right, which we can do with peat but with non-peat it’s far more difficult to hit quality and schedule. It would be a challenge and would be difficult if we were in competition with people not doing that."

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