Meeting Brexit concerns

Reading through more than 200 responses to Horticulture Week's snap poll of horticulture professionals' reactions to the outcome of June's EU referendum, the depth of concern over issues such as potential labour shortages, increases in input prices and the risk of return to recession is crystal clear.

What is also clear is that over time opportunities too will come to the fore - indeed a number of players in the ornamental production sector indicate they are already eyeing the opportunity market changes may usher in for import substitution.

Another certainty is that to meet what political consultant Mark Glover describes as "the biggest legislative upheaval in British political history", the horticulture industry needs to ensure its voice is heard clearly and swiftly - and that the voice represents the unified view of all relevant professional bodies. Single voices will be lost in the noise of this legislative upheaval.

Over the coming months Horticulture Week will uncover, highlight and monitor the key issues as they emerge, starting this issue with our "sector-by-sector" breakdown identifying the key opportunities and challenges for each segment of the horticulture market. We will also monitor and give a platform to the views and concerns of practitioners - again starting in this edition with the results of our first post-referendum poll.

Meanwhile, we will continue to bring expert guidance and advice on the issues, starting this week with Mark Glover, who outlines the Brexit process and the issues requiring the most urgent attention by the industry.

As one of our respondents to our post-referendum poll pointed out, the long-term impacts of Brexit won't be realised until the negotiations have been completed for Britain's exit. Our respondent also advised: "The best option for our sector is to engage with the negotiations and make whatever is agreed work."

Advice with which it is hard to disagree.

- kate.lowe@haymarket.com


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