Ornamentals body to use Home Grown label following EU ruling

The British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) has taken over the Home Grown label from the Horticultural Development Company (HDC) after the EU ruled that levy-payer money could not be used to fund a scheme promoting British provenance.

The BPOA marketing committee will re-launch the brand at the Four Oaks trade show in September.

NFU horticultural adviser Chris Hartfield told HW: "Levy payments are considered treasury money that can't be used to promote British produce. It was probably time to push it to the next level anyway.

"A lot of the work is done in terms of the development but we are still putting together how we are going to roll it out and how it's going to be funded. One of its fundamental principals is that it's a low-cost option for growers to be able to designate plants as British grown."

The brand will be open to non-BPOA members but Hartfield said there may be a "small administrative fee". He said the scheme could be successful despite limited funding but acknowledged that marketing "will always be the problem".

BPOA marketing committee chairman Ian Riggs said: "I'm really pleased it has come to the BPOA. I think it's very exciting and there is a lot of scope to use it. We will launch at Four Oaks - there will be some changes but nothing major."

The news follows a major PR campaign for the Home Grown initiative, which was rolled out earlier this year.

Press releases were sent to more than 300 national and regional papers and magazines to raise consumer awareness, and four grower workshops were held.

The Home Grown project was spearheaded by growers Bill Godfrey and Morris May and the logo was designed by Impetus Marketing. It received more than £10,000 of funding from HDC.


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