In This Issue
HTA Chairman calls on industry to celebrate efforts of 2020 and look toward 2021 from a position of preparedness
GCA Chairman's New Year message: "I am looking at 2021 with optimism"
New Year predictions from the "Bunker Booth"
HTA President says we must make sure we understand the modern gardeners needs
The GTN Xtra Top 100 Most Read Stories of 2020
No 1 Most Read Story 2020 - Garden Centres close their doors "We want to be part of stopping the spread of Coronavirus"
No 2 Most Read Story 2020 - Trading update from this weekend - UPDATED
No 3 Most Read Story 2020 - Garden centres in England and Scotland can stay open - now is the time to review Covid-19 safety
No 4 Most Read Story 2020 - Exeter garden centre stays open but cannot sell plants - Cherry Lane close all centres
No 5 Most Read Story 2020 - Dobbies remain open and social media gets heated
No.6 to No.10 Most Read Stories in 2020
Who will be the winners in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards? There's still time to enter before the New Years Eve closing date
GTN's Trevor Pfeiffer reviews 2020 with Peter Seabrook
The New Environmentalist - Nature will become ‘second nature’ to future generations
Over £7,000 worth of prizes to be won in GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Stax emerges strong from a trying year
Gardenex, PetQuip and the CHA launch new initiative following Brexit trade deal
The best of last week's
Decision to close Scottish garden centres ‘disappointing’
Local community saves Thetford Garden Centre from flooding
Record entries to popular Illumination Street contest
Christmas decorations made from natural materials
Get set for Garden Re-Leaf Day 2021!
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Garden Centre Photo Tours
Barton Grange Christmas 2020 - Exclusive GTN Xtra Photo Tour
Squires Badshot Lea - Christmas 2020
Perrywood at Christmas 2020 - with correct photo gallery now...
British Garden Centres open their 58th centre at Thatcham
Haskins Snowhill re-opens after £15m re-vamp
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HTA Chairman calls on industry to celebrate efforts of 2020 and look toward 2021 from a position of preparedness

James Barnes, Chairman of the Horticultural Trades Association has recognised the remarkable efforts of people in Britain’s horticultural industries and committed to getting straight back to business on their behalf in January 2021, urging the trade to do everything it can to be prepared for the new year in advance.


“As we reach the close of the year it feels important to reflect on just what an incredible challenge the last nine months have been,” said James.


“The industry has arguably had both the best and worst of times in one short time period.  A disastrous start to the spring season, followed by the relief of seeing garden centres classified as essential retail and the huge growth in new gardeners, has been followed by uncertainty and concern as we face post-Christmas lockdown. Throughout it all, it’s been heartening to see people pulling together to support one another.


"The resilience and agility of the industry to cope with crisis and change has been immense. Notwithstanding the light at the end of the tunnel that the roll out of vaccinations has provided, the post-Covid, post-Brexit world will have brought some fundamental change to the way we all live, work and do business. Although such change may ultimately reveal itself over many months and years, 2021 is likely to require an even greater level of agility, resilience and innovation.


"Sustainability, the environment and climate change will regain their prominence on the agenda going forward and the HTA will be at the forefront of promoting the industry as a key deliverer of the ambitions here and as an engine for economic growth.


"I think we can take confidence that the future of our industry is bright and that we can have the plans, the resourcefulness and determination to capitalise on this.” 


The HTA has been instrumental in engaging with government on the particulars of EU Exit and its impact on ornamental horticulture. These efforts have resulted in some wins, namely a four-hour deadline for inspections and rationalisation of the requirements for phytosanitary certificates. Concerns over fees were also heard and subsequently these are waived until April.


James Barnes pledged to continue efforts to secure other changes to new regulations by putting forward a six-point plan proposing modifications to the location of inspections, plant hierarchy and IT systems and engaging Government now and into 2021 with the aim of having a more efficient and cost-effective regime.


“Alongside the unprecedented effort and hard work that’s gone into navigating the fast-moving situation with Coronavirus, our members had to begin preparing for a new way of working from 1 January,” he said.


Urging businesses not to let this dissuade them from taking action, Mr Barnes reassured members, saying: “The HTA will resume our efforts to persuade government of the need for some changes and/or concessions to the areas of most concern, but we have to recognise that we have to do all we can to prepare in the meantime.”


If you haven’t already done so, there are five key tasks to complete before the end of December and retailers and growers alike are encouraged to act now to make sure they are as prepared as possible:

  1. Make sure you have the correct EORI number
  2. Check your arrangements from 1 January for making or deferring customs declarations.
  3. Make sure you are registered on PEACH and as a Place of Destination (POD) for importing plants – watch the PEACH tutorial and read the PEACH user guide
  4. If you export plants make sure you know the arrangements and prohibitions, including the recent announcements for Northern Ireland such as the Movement Assistance Scheme
  5. Check arrangements & terms with all your suppliers, both EU and UK based, and read all the information on the plant health portal and
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