Supply chain efficiency project Horticulture Wales arranged a shared stand at Four Oaks Trade Show this month to give Welsh growers the chance to exhibit as part of the annual event in Lower Withington, Cheshire.
Decked out with Welsh flags and other patriotic branding, the Horticulture Wales stand hosted plants from two nurseries, Quinky Young Plants from Cilgerran on the Ceredigion-Pembrokeshire border, which produces a range of alpine plants and herbs, and Pottles Premier Plants, an 4ha nursery based 200m above sea level in Holywell, Flintshire, which specialises in hardy nursery stock such as shrubs and climbers.
Charles Warner, owner of Quinky Young Plants, and Mark Pottle, director of Pottles Premier Plants, joined more than 430 other exhibitors at the show, which is now in its 44th year and well-established as the UK’s premier gathering for the ornamental plants and flowers industry. A third of exhibitors at the event – plus many of the thousands of buyers, landscapers, retailers, and garden centre representatives in attendance – are from overseas.
Karen Rodenburg, project development officer for Horticulture Wales, said: "Our shared stand was the perfect way to fly the flag for Welsh-grown plants to a truly international audience. Despite facing some pretty stiff competition from some of the larger nurseries exhibiting at the show, our Welsh theme and branding really helped us stand out, while the quality of the plants generated a great buzz, with the growers’ product lists and catalogues flying off our shelves.
"Both of the participating nurseries went away with plenty of strong business leads and a number of firm orders, while they were also able to make lots of useful contacts and find out about the latest plant industry trends and products."
Mark Pottle said: "We’ve already received some orders from the show. It was also good to be involved with another Welsh grower, to share our ideas and perspectives, and fly the flag for Wales."
Charles Warner said: "The event was a real game-changer for us. I couldn’t have been more pleased at the response to our plants."
Horticulture Wales provides focused, expert support to enhance the efficiency of businesses involved in both edible and amenity horticulture supply chains within Wales. The Horticulture Wales project has received funding through the Supply Chain Efficiencies scheme of the Rural Development Plan for Wales. This scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.