In This Issue
Coolings buys Potted Garden Nursery at Maidstone
Supplier rebates to exceed £1.5m for Choice members
New Xylella e-learning module available from HTA
"Xylella is the most serious situation I have come across in 32 years in the industry"
Selby site is No.2 for Whitby garden centre family
Plants and Christmas boost September sales
Perrywood, Castle Gardens, Aylett Nurseries and Fron Goch win GTN's Greatest Garden Centre Awards
Hillview CEO 'shocked' to win HTA Pearson Medal award
Smart Garden wins 'Greatest Supplier' award again
Embracing change for the future of garden retail
Syngenta takes over Cultivation Street sponsorship
On the trail of berried treasure
Garden centre walkers smash target for charity
Haskins donates a host of golden daffodils
Seedsmen explore urban gardening trend at Paris event
Countdown begins for Garden Re-Leaf Day 2018
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Scotts fail with claim that Westland Safelawn advertising was misleading
It’s an orchid feed bonanza
Welcome to Thermidrome
Growing Media stays up 4% as bulb planting swells sales
Pansies rule supreme through September
Decorations get personal and Santa loo roll sales are up
Feeding for winter energy
23 Zest 4 Leisure employees take on marathon
Klass opens fashion concession at Longacres Ashford centre
Consumers more likely to buy from a name they recognise
Zapper app is the rewarding way to pay by phone
New role for Rachel
Get the balance right with Flopro
Bestsellers Top 50 charts every week
Buy your subscription to GTN Bestsellers
All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards 2018: entries now open
Another strong year for specialist coffee roaster Matthew Algie
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"Xylella is the most serious situation I have come across in 32 years in the industry"

The potentially catastrophic consequences for the UK’s horticultural industry of an outbreak of the bacterial plant disease Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) were spelled out in a stark warning to growers and retailers at last week’s HTA Futures Conference.


During a panel debate, Hillview Garden Centres CEO Boyd Douglas-Davies (right) described it as the most serious situation he had come across in his 32 years in the industry. It was a wake-up call that had resulted in his businesses starting to take plant health more seriously.


The disease has already devastated horticulture in southern Italy and has spread to Corsica, southern France and Spain. There is no known control and severely affected plants can die within three years. Thousands of plants on those regions have already been destroyed.


In the event of an outbreak in the UK, an exclusion zone of 10km would be imposed for five years. It has been likened to “foot and mouth” in horticulture, affecting growers, retailers and consumers alike.


Dan Munro (second left) from the UK’s Animal and Plant Healthy Agency said the disease was sure to spread and spread, with new cold-hardy strains posing a threat to the UK should it reach our shores. It could even be brought on the boot of a holidaymaker.


Douglas-Davies urged the industry not to wait for official action or it could be too late. “We have to act now as individual companies and be far ahead of the industry as a whole, which can only keep up with the slowest member. There is no time to wait for official bodies to do their bit,” he said.


The HTA’s Raoul Curtis-Machin (left) said businesses should take extra care in sourcing their plants and urged British growers to start growing more of their own material to ensure bio-security.  He suggested the HTA could support calls for some kind of official compensation scheme for businesses caught up in an outbreak.


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