Calling all businesses in garden retailing to sign HTA/RHS/NFU petition
The HTA have created a lobbying alliance for horticulture with the NFU and RHS.
Boyd Douglas-Davies explained to GTN Xtra their 3 objectives:
"Our first objective is to get govermnent agreement to a Plant Scrappage Scheme that would provide help for growers, landscapers and retailers who will lose seasonal plant stocks. We've included into our calculations that stocks which can be maintained for sale later in the year are maintained but that prompts our second ask of government.
"We need the government to confirm that ornamental plant workers at growers, landscapers and retail are allowed to travel to work through the lockdown. Apparently there have been instances in Scotland where workers at Pentland Plants have been turned around on their way to work. I suggest all plant workers travel to work in their uniform to make it obvious that they are heading to work and there is also a letter template on the HTA website that members can adapt and give to their employees.
"Thirdly, we want horticulture to be allowed to be at the frontline of getting back to normality as part of the fresh produce industry."
"The HTA are co-ordinating a campaign to raise awareness of the situation within our industry and are asking for as many signatures as possible to send an open letter to the government.
"We need to add as many industry signatures to the letter as possible but we need to be quick. Please send an e-mail to Boyd Douglas-Davies via BDD@britishgardencentres.com with your name, business details and "YES", nothing more needed, if you are happy to add your signature"
An idea of the scale of the issue facing young plant growers can be seen in this video from Bruce Harnett at Kernock Park Plants in Cornwall.