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Growers prepare for year of resilience rather than growth

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Growers attending the latest HTA Ornamentals Committee meeting on 19 September reported an extremely positive twelve months of trading with many citing record years. With so many variables on the horizon including biosecurity, Brexit, plastics and water it is certainly a difficult time for planning and looking ahead the consensus was that 2020 would be a year of resilience rather than growth.

As part of HTA’s ongoing commitment to keep members informed about Brexit the group heard directly from the lead officer from Defra’s EU Exit team who presented an overview of the changes around importing and exporting plant products if there is a no deal Brexit. The latest Brexit update, which includes key flow charts from Defra, can be found at www.hta.org.uk.

The meeting also saw the appointment of Martin Emmett, Strategy Director for Tristram Plants as the new chair of the HTA Ornamentals Committee, taking on the role from Geoff Caesar, who has stepped down after six years.

In his last meeting as chair Geoff Caesar, commented “Despite the usual fluctuations of the weather throughout the season it is encouraging to see that growers attending reported good growth this year with strong demand for UK grown stock. It was recognised with all the challenges ahead 2020 would be a year of resilience rather than growth. It was really useful to have a direct summary of the position around importing and exporting plants from the Defra EU Exit team.  I encourage all businesses who have not yet looked at what they need to do to prepare to do so urgently.”

He added, “I have thoroughly enjoyed the period I have spent chairing the committee and believe that having a strong trade association is essential particularly during a period of political uncertainly. It is healthy for the chair to change and I look forward to continue working with Martin and rest of the Committee in the future.”

Incoming chair Martin Emmett, Strategy Director for Tristram Plants commented, “On behalf of the Committee I would like thank Geoff for his strong and effective leadership in his role as chair. The Ornamentals Committee is a vital industry voice in these challenging times and I look forward to ensuring that the interests of the sector are effectively represented.”

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