The South West Growers show, established in 1974 has been run by various parties including the BGLA (a subsidiary of NFU) and The Grower magazine. For the past nine years, the show has been organised by South West Growers Show Ltd., a company set up by local growers including representatives from Jackson Plants, Weetree Nurseries, Talaton Plants, Kernock Park Plants and XL Horticulture. Kirsty Lane also of XL administered the event successfully for several years, but decided that 2017 would be the last show she organised due to other work commitments.
In the past few months Kernock Park Plants Managing Director, Bruce Harnett approached the committee to enquire about the status of the show going forward and a suggestion was made that Kernock should administer the show. After some consideration Bruce agreed with the committee that Kernock would take on the running of the show in its entirety for 2018 onwards.
Bruce said, “ We see this as a great opportunity to support a show that benefits growers and suppliers to the region as well as the many customers in the area. To help those visitors to touch base with their suppliers, see new products and engage with new potential suppliers. Having talked to many exhibitors of the show over the years, it’s clear that shows such as this are a vital platform to be able to see many customers and potential customers in a short space of time”.
The show will be held once again at the Matford Centre, Exeter on Wednesday 3rd October 2018. Caroline James who will lead the administration said, “For 2018 we’re keeping the same format for the show and holding prices at last years levels as an added incentive for as many exhibitors as possible to attend. We’ll be sending out emails to all recent exhibitors to re-register for this years show. After that, we’ll be drumming up the interest from the all-important visitors.
Kernock Park Plants has a long history with the South West show. Richard Harnett, who established Kernock Park Plants in the 1980’s says “I remember the first show that was held at the Rougemont Hotel in Exeter. At that time it was run by the South West Electricity Board due to their links with horticultural lighting.” He continued… “It was more of a conference with just a few stands back then and I was invited to talk about tomatoes and glasshouse type and orientation.”
Les Lane, past chairman and owner of XL horticulture showed his support for the new organisers when he said, “I’m happy to say that I’ve been involved with the show since it began and have to say it’s brilliant to see this vital show for the south west in the capable hands of Kernock Park Plants. We’re sure that they will make a great success of the show.” He added “I’m not sure there’s a more cost effective method for exhibitor or visitor to be able to link up and keep up with industry happenings.”
Andrew Janman, Area Sales Manager of BHGS, (formerly JFC Monro) said “The South West Growers Show has been a regular fixture in our diary since the early days. It has established itself a great showcase of the breadth and depth of the horticultural sector in the south west. It affords a unique opportunity for suppliers, growers and customers to meet under the same roof, exchange ideas, and look at new developments in the industry. By its continuing presence in the calendar the show demonstrates that horticulture is a vibrant and important contributor to the economy of our region.”
Bruce Harnett added “We aim to bring a show where exhibitors from many sectors of horticulture are keen to attend and visitors eager to come along. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible at the show in October.”