Membership up at British Protected Ornamentals Association

The British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) has reported a 24 per cent rise in membership this year.

The organisation has been promoting its Home Grown initiative throughout the year by attending trade shows, growers' meetings and RHS events at Hampton Court Palace and Tatton Park.

It has also moved into the retail phase of the campaign this year and has conducted trials of Home Grown products in Manor Nursery and Altons garden centres.

Its AGM and conference on 7-8 February at the Hellidon Lakes Hotel near Daventry will include a marketing seminar on the supply chain over the next 10 years. This will give information on the Home Grown concept and how it can be used for promoting sales of ornamental plants from BPOA members.

On the second day, a technical seminar on tracking down business efficiencies will focus on energy use and potential savings.

This will include a presentation by Melanie Horscht of the Research Institute Hannover Ahlem of her work at the ZINEG low-energy greenhouse project in Germany.

The main objective of the project is to reduce the consumption of fossil energy and carbon emissions for crop production in greenhouses to zero, using a system-oriented approach combining technical innovation and technical arrangements in cultivation.

The annual chairman's dinner will be followed by guest speaker Dennis Espley, former chairman of the Garden Centre Association, and an award presentation chaired by Peter Seabrook.

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