UK nurseries register renewed interest at IPM

The IPM show in Essen (28-31 January) saw record visitor numbers and renewed interest in UK nurseries.

Plants for Europe owner Graham Spencer said he met record numbers of plant breeders and the "vibe was positive" despite troubles in the German market.

First-time exhibitor Patrick Fairweather, who owns Fairweather's, said he had 75 leads and hopes to convert around 10. He was surprised there were not more growers than David Austin Roses, Guernsey Clematis, himself and Whetman Pinks on the Commercial Horticulture Association stand.

Fairweather added that he had to convince German growers that his agapanthus is hardy but there was "a lot of interest" from Europe, Australia and the USA.

Guernsey Clematis Nursery sales manager Lindsay Reid said she had a similar number of leads to Fairweather's and spoke to existing customers about possible order increases. She added that an improved US economy could help exports. On exhibiting at IPM, Reid said: "The critical factor is if you're set up for export."

Seiont Nurseries manager Neil Alcock said he finds it more useful to make appointments than to have a stand at the event. He met growers from Australia, the USA, New Zealand and Europe and now exports more than 15 per cent of production.

Farplants, Florensis UK and Syngenta UK were among the UK nurseries seen visiting the show.

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