The first full-time secretary-general of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIHP) Tim Briercliffe, currently HTA business development director, says he expects to raise the group's profile after he starts in June.
Briercliffe, who was appointed last week, said he plans to focus on areas of common interest between the AIHP's international trade body members.
His move is one of three top-level changes at the HTA in the past six months. In August 2012, Carol Paris took over from director-general David Gwyther, who was in the role for 16 years. In February this year, long-serving marketing director Andrew Maxted was made redundant.
Briercliffe will retain his office at the HTA headquarters in Theale, Berkshire. "Carol Paris is doing a good job," he said. "You look at opportunities as they come up and consider them."
He added that he has built up good teams to take the many industry groups he chairs forward and is confident his replacement will manage his workload. Briercliffe leaves in mid June and will handover to his replacement before then.
As well as representing country trade bodies, the AIHP also runs Green City (formerly run by Plant Publicity Holland), which is developing in Asia and the AIHP approves horticulture shows such as Floriade. It includes environment, science, education, research, statistics and plant breeders' issues within its remit.
Kent bedding grower and NFU official Lionel Mills is UK AIHP representative. Briercliffe said he will make the AIHP work harder on behalf of UK and international horticulture.
Paris said: "Following Tim's decision, we have reviewed the management structure and will recruit for a horticultural manager to ensure the HTA fully understands and communicates the technicalities of the challenges faced by members. This post will work across the HTA and manage the sector strategies and committees."
Track record Briercliffe's work at the HTA
Tim Briercliffe helped to set up the HTA National Plant Show, the HTA technical committee and the amenity suppliers, retail suppliers, cash and carry, manufacturers, seasonal plants and seeds and distance selling groups.
He brought the Growing Media Association, John Innes Manufacturers Association, British Ornamental Plant Producers scheme and British Heather Growers Association under the HTA umbrella.
Briercliffe also helped to develop the Association of Professional Landscapers, HTA business improvement schemes, HTA Greening the UK campaign and Growing Media Initiative, and has been a spokesman on hosepipe bans, peat reduction and ash dieback.