Seeds of Italy asks world leaders to boost grow-your-own take up

More than 60 world leaders have been urged to create new laws to encourage grow-your-own produce at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

After successfully sending seeds to the prime ministers, presidents and King who attended April's G20 summit in London, Seeds of Italy has now sent out letters and seed packets to the key negotiators at the world's largest ever meeting on climate change.

The letters are designed to promote the importance of growing your own fruit and vegetables and call on leaders to bring in new laws to encourage it.

Seeds of Italy director Paulo Arrigo said the move was not just a marketing exercise. "We are building on our successes earlier this year," he added. "When (business partner) Andrew Collings said: 'I'm going to send out seeds to the G20,' I said: 'all right, good luck' because I didn't really understand the relevance. I don't think either of us expected the reaction we got."

The company received replies from 20 world leaders including personal letters from Gordon Brown and Prince Charles and letters from the offices of Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The firm has had its best ever year, building on the success of G20 with a 30 per cent increase in sales for 2009.

To continue the momentum it is due to release an Easy to Grow range of varieties in January. The range includes 12 different vegetables, each variety selected to make things as easy as possible for the first-time gardener.

Arrigo said the company was hoping to capitalise on the changing demographics of vegetable growers because the company's regular contact with the public through food and flower shows had made it realise that there is still a lot of potential to attract new people to the grow-your-own market.

"If you look at an allotment now, a lot has changed. You have yummy mummies, young families and even young people out there. I had a guy with a Mohican and a lip ring come to my stand the other day to talk about growing vegetables."

Arrigo said the range of seeds available in garden centres could overwhelm some customers who are put off by the jargon of more traditional seed ranges.

Seeds of Italy's Easy to Grow range is designed with simple instructions and the point-of-sale material will focus on attracting customers to a website for more information on how to get the best results, he explained.

Arrigo added that he was determined to entice the "Facebook generation" into gardening.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Garden centre profile: Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester

Garden centre profile: Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester

High environmental standards, community work and support for local suppliers are all lessons for the wider garden retail industry, Matthew Appleby discovers.

How can garden centres reduce plastic use?

How can garden centres reduce plastic use?

Garden retailers are under pressure to use less plastic as the Government's new 25-year environment plan seeks to introduce a wave of measures to reduce pollution.

Will peat use be taxed or banned?

Will peat use be taxed or banned?

The Government has made strong statements on peat reduction in its new 25-year environment plan, published in January.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles