Eddie Topping, one of the pioneers of garden centre retailing in the UK, sadly passed away peacefully with his family around him yesterday evening (Monday 6th September 2021)...
Eddie Topping, one of the pioneers of garden centre retailing in the UK, sadly passed away peacefully with his family around him yesterday evening (Monday 6th September 2021)
Eddie started his own market garden business in 1955, before setting up a landscaping company in 1957 and then opening the region’s first garden centre in 1963 in the grounds of the then Barton Grange Hotel. After 65 years at the helm of one of the UK's most successful garden centre businesses, Eddie Topping stepped down as Chairman of The Barton Grange Group back in March this year.
Prior to that Eddie could often be found in the garden centre chatting to staff and customers, he loved and cherished the business he had developed with his family.
Eddie was an influential character in the industry, as President of the Horticultural Trades Association and Chairman of the Garden Centre Association over the years.
Forever loyal to his Lancashire roots, Eddie always supported local charities and organisations in the Preston area and, in 2003, he was awarded the MBE for services to charity in Preston.
Eddie was also a past president of Preston North Rotary Club, of which he has been a member for over fifty years, and an Honorary Fellow of Myerscough College.
We will publish details of the arrangements later in the week.
Above: Guy and Eddie Topping in 2010 pictured for GTN's Generation Game interview.
If you'd like to add your thoughts or memories of Eddie, please use the comments link below or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll include them in the next issue of GTN Xtra.
John Ashley writes: Eddie Topping was the Garden Industry when I joined Fisons in 1972 he was HTA GCA and his own growing business. Always welcoming and supportive and helpful to newcomers to this new industry.Eddie was a people person and always a pleasure to be in his company. He will be missed but never forgotten. Guy is a chip of the old block so he never will be forgotten.May he rest in peace.
ClipGlove – Treadstone Product’s innovative range of gardening gloves – continues to gain awards and accolades, including three Gardeners’ World ‘Best Buys’ in December 2020...
ClipGlove – Treadstone Product’s innovative range of gardening gloves – continues to gain awards and accolades, including three Gardeners’ World ‘Best Buys’ in December 2020.
Glee 21 sees the launch of the brand’s new Pruner glove.
“We’ve been asked by many consumers and retailers to introduce a gauntlet style glove to the range,” explains Dean Winters, Treadstone’s Head of Brands, “and we think our customers will love this new addition.”
The new pruner glove features a mix of goatskin leather, artificial suede reinforcement and a comfortable fleece lining offer great protection against thorns. Available in two colourways and four sizes and with an RRP of £19.99, the new Pruner is sure to become a favourite with gardeners.
“We also wanted to bring some theatre to the Pruner glove,” adds Dean, “so we are providing retailers with a giant rose display stand that will grab consumers’ attention in store.”
The display features leaves, metal ‘thorns’ and a huge artificial rose flower.
The new Pruner glove is just one of the many new products Treadstone will be unveiling at the show on stand 8A49.
As part of the next stage in the brand's history, Phostrogen® has unveiled a rebrand and significant expansion of its product range...
For more than 60 years, British brand Phostrogen® has been delivering the performance that people need to get the most from what they grow, making them proud of what they have created. Despite many changes in gardening habits through the decades, one thing has remained the same – Phostrogen's purpose: to enable British gardeners to reap more from their endeavours.
As part of the next stage in the brand's history, Phostrogen® has unveiled a rebrand and significant expansion of its product range. Until now the brand has been famed for having one hero product – its All Purpose Plant Food. However, throughout 2022 the range will expand to 11 different products with the key introductions of new liquid feeds as well as organic options too, to offer a full range of products under one brand name.
The refreshed appearance blends heritage, provenance, and modernism, with clear signposting making it easy for the customer to see why the product is right for them, whilst providing the reassurance that the Phostrogen® name brings.
The hero product, Phostrogen® All Purpose Plant Food, has been the tried and tested go-to plant feed for generations because it works by providing all the important nutrients that plants need in one balanced feed, in a pure form, and with no wastage. Everything within the formulation is a plant nutrient, so consumers are paying for only what they need. It promotes healthy green foliage, abundant flowers and fruit and can be used on all ornamental and edible plants indoors and out, including seedlings and lawns.
New to the range is an organic granular version of All Purpose Plant Food, which promotes the same healthy, strong growth and is enriched with seaweed, for organically bigger plants, better blooms, and more vegetables – engaging with an organic-conscious customer base. Both products are also available in a liquid format.
Three further organic products complete the range, including Liquid Tomato Food, Ericaceous Plant Food and Lawn food, providing a complete package for all gardeners.
Members of the Garden Centre Association in the South Thames region are celebrating after picking up awards. Haskins Snowhill won the Destination Garden Centre title and Squire’s Hersham picked up the Garden Centre honours.
Members of the Garden Centre Association in the South Thames region are celebrating after picking up awards during a presentation evening at Haskins Garden Centre – Snowhill in Sussex.
The title of Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre category went to Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre (pictured above) and the Garden Centre category went to Squire’s Garden Centre – Hersham (below).
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “Our fourth regional awards meeting so far, and the first of this week. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable, and it was fantastic to see attendees engaging with the feedback and celebrating their successes with their teams. Plenty of notes were also taken to share potential improvements with team members who weren’t able to attend.
“I’d like to congratulate all of our very worthy winners and give a big ‘thank you’ to Haskins Garden Centre – Snowhill for being wonderful hosts and Phil McCann for inspecting the centres earlier this summer and for sharing his findings.”
GCA Inspector Phil McCann was responsible for inspecting member garden centres in the South Thames area.
He said: “The standard of all the garden centres in the South Thames region was superb. The standard of displays and quality of plants and products ensures customers at each centre are experiencing some of the best retailing in the UK garden retail sector.
“Haskins at Snowhill has recently been redeveloped and is a sensational destination. Availability of everything any gardener needs, experienced or novice, is under one roof and the plant choice and quality are superb. Just allow a few hours browsing time when visiting – it is hard to resist!”
Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre also won the Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity and the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer.
Phil adds: “Squire’s at Hersham exemplifies a caring attitude towards customers and brings quality plants to the fore. The choice is super and quality pervades the whole centre. And it’s all backed up with great customer service.”
Squire’s Garden Centre at Hersham also received the Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer.
Ben Harrison, Operations Director at Haskins Garden Centre and also Area Chairman for South Thames, organised the regional meeting.
He said: “On Tuesday evening, the GCA South Thames met for the first time in 18 months and I was thrilled to host it on my home ground at Haskins Snowhill and to welcome 85 attendees from garden centres across the area.
“We all enjoyed a fantastic presentation about best practice from our area inspector, Phil McCann, and it was lovely to have everyone together again to share ideas and hear his comments about our area’s centres.
“While everyone has worked incredibly hard over this difficult period, I’d like to thank all the team at Snowhill, who won Best Destination Garden Centre, as it represents many years of hard work transitioning from their old centre into the new one we have today.”
The North Thames area awards meeting was yesterday (Wednesday, September 1) at Perrywood Garden Centre in Sudbury with inspector Andy Campbell.
Alyson Haywood will then be presenting her findings today (Thursday, September 2) for the North East and North West region at Tong Garden Centre in Bradford.
The full results for the South Thames region GCA area awards are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:
Garden Centre of the Year: Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre (DGC) and Squire’s Garden Centre – Hersham (GC)
The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre
The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Hillier Garden Centre – Eastbourne
Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Thompson’s Plant & Garden Centre – Chislehurst
Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: Cooling’s Nurseries
The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Haskins Snowhill Garden Centre (DGC) and The Millbrook Garden Company – Staplehurst (GC)
Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Haskins Roundstone Garden Centre (DGC), Haskins Garden Centre – Ferndown (DGC) and The Millbrook Garden Company – Staplehurst (GC)
Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Haskins Garden Centre – Southampton (DGC) and Squires Garden Centre – Hersham (GC)
Tribiutes have been pouring in for Pat Coutts, the event director of Four Oaks Trade Show, who sadly passed away at the age of 76. The funeral will take place at Macclesfield Crematorium on Monday 20th September at 11.30am...
Tribiutes have been pouring in for Pat Coutts, the event director of Four Oaks Trade Show, who sadly passed away at the age of 76. She died peacefully at her home on Monday 30th August.
The Four Oaks Trade Show team said: "Pat led the show across five decades and was a pillar of the horticultural community, she will be sadly missed.
"Pat often said that 'horticulture is for life' and she was happy to dedicate hers to serving it, first working on the Four Oaks nursery then going on to build and evolve a successful international trade show for the sector, one that has a completely unique and special character, which is her lasting legacy to the industry."
Garden writer and TV presenter Peter Seabrook said: "The very sad passing of Pat Coutts will leave a large hole in horticultural circles. There are individuals in businesses and associations whose application to detail and dedication to the job in hand results in respect, success and brings style into our lives.
"Pat Coutts was a stickler for detail, so committed to all she did and always putting others first. My first visit to Four Oaks in the early days was as a peat salesman, carrying into the glasshouses bales and samples to set up the Bord na Mona stand. Hardly a year has been missed since and more recently my age made walking from the car park and being on my feet for two days a bit demanding. What happened? Pat sent me a note without any prompting to say a car parking spot was reserved for me by the office door, this lady looked out for everybody, exhibitor and visitor alike .
"What other horticultural event manager arranges morning coffee, packed lunches, afternoon tea and ice creams on hot days for exhibitors? Pat’s commitment to the success of all those taking part in Four Oaks trade shows was exemplary, always good humoured, a pleasure to work alongside and she will be sorely missed. Thank you, Pat it was my good fortune to have known you all these years and had the privilege of your friendship."
Neil Bragg said: "I knew Pat for more than 40 years and she was a wonderful person. She will be sadly missed. Her attention to detail was amazing, and she always looked after her exhibitors. She lived for the Four Oaks show, and it showed in so many ways."
Friend and former colleague Pat Flynn, trade association manager of the Commercial Horticultural Association, added: “As well as being a wonderful person, Pat was the ultimate professional. She worked incredibly hard and really cared about her exhibitors.
“Pat was always looking at ways at enhancing the exhibitor experience, including being the first show director to introduce free packed lunches on the exhibition stands.
“We worked together at Nexus Media in the late nineties, and it was a joy to be alongside her at events and shows. I spoke to her just over a week ago and she said she was hoping to leave hospital and spend time at home.”
Pat is survived by a son, Stephen, four grandchildren and a great grandson. The funeral will take place at Macclesfield Crematorium on Monday 20th September at 11.30am. Donations to Cancer Research, no flowers please.
In the North Thames region, Perrywood Garden Centre – Tiptree won Destination Garden Centre while Thurrock Garden Centre picked up the accolade in the Garden Centre category.
In the North Thames region, Perrywood Garden Centre – Tiptree (pictured above) won Destination Garden Centre while Thurrock Garden Centre (below) picked up the accolade in the Garden Centre category.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “The penultimate of our regional awards was just as busy as all our other evenings and we were delighted so many members managed to join us. We’d like to thank the team at Perrywood for hosting such a fantastic event that made everyone feel very welcome.
“It was wonderful to see so many members come together to hear our inspector, Andy Campbell, provide crucial feedback from his inspections, which we know our members will be able to implement for the future.”
Perrywood Garden Centre – Tiptree also received the Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity, the Environment and Sustainability Award sponsored by Savills, the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer and Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer in the DGC category.
GCA Inspector, Andy Campbell, was responsible for inspecting member garden centres in the North Thames areas.
He said: “Perrywood Garden Centre – Tiptree was incredibly strong across all the product categories and customer service criteria, with plants being central to the business. They exhibited a close attention to detail, combined with excellent retailing standards.”
Thurrock Garden Centre also received the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer in the GC category.
Andy added: “The team at Thurrock are constantly striving to improve what they do and develop the business, whilst being committed to delivering a high level of customer service throughout.”
The final award meeting takes place today (Thursday, September 2) at Tong Garden Centre where inspector Alyson Haywood will be presenting her findings.
The full results for the North Thames region GCA area awards are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:
Garden Centre of the Year: Perrywood, Tiptree (DGC) and Thurrock Garden Centre (GC)
The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Perrywood, Tiptree
The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Haddenham Garden Centre
Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Poplars Garden Centre
Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: Perrywood, Tiptree
The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Perrywood, Tiptree (DGC) and Thurrock Garden Centre (GC)
Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Perrywood, Tiptree (DGC) and Coton Orchard Garden Centre (GC)
Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Squire’s Garden Centre – Shepperton (DGC) and Coton Orchard Garden Centre (GC)
Robin Mercer, Managing Director of Hillmount, said: “Hillmount has taken a substantial hit this year on the cost of garden furniture and smaller items being delivered to the garden centre from China..."
Following a report by Which? that analysed 2,000 items and found a garden shed to be 155% more expensive year on year, due to a number of reasons including shipping, lack of available raw materials and the impact of COVID on production, Robin Mercer, Managing Director of Hillmount, said: “Hillmount has taken a substantial hit this year on the cost of garden furniture and smaller items being delivered to the garden centre from China.
“The main problem we’ve found is due to China stopping production for three months during lockdown last year as having a knock on effect on orders being delivered. Containers of furniture which we ordered in August 2020 with a delivery date of April or May are now only starting to arrive at the garden centre. We had one arrive last week and we are expecting another two within the next week or so. Then there’s the added headache of trying to find drivers to deliver our orders from the port to the garden centre.
“Manufacturing delays are a major problem but we have had to take the added issue of shipping costs on the chin as well. These costs have also risen astronomically with containers which would usually have cost $2,000 now being priced as high as $22,000.
“Demand too has been an issue as everyone in the world seemed to want a set of garden furniture and a barbecue all of a sudden when travelling wasn’t an option last year and although we are delighted that we have had more customers than we would normally have had in a typical summer, as more people have chosen to holiday at home this year as well, sadly the factors outside our control have, in some instances, not permitted us to be able to get customers their furniture and barbecues on time.
“We have held our prices for 2021 and absorbed the additional costs in relation to transportation, Brexit certification and manufacturing but from 1 October we will not able to sustain this and we will have to consider our pricing for 2022, as the current additional costs can be 1p for small items but for large items like garden furniture it is just mind blowing.
“We hope with the opening last week of Hillmount Cheshire that some of the burden of transportation and expediting customer orders on time etc will ease for us as a family business operating between GB and Belfast.”
Hillmount is an 80 year old, fourth generation, family business with garden lifestyle stores in Ards, Bangor, Belfast and Cheshire.
Glee 2021, taking place this year from September 14th-16th at the NEC, Birmingham, will once again host an invaluable seminar programme from The Stage theatre located in Hall 6...
Glee 2021, taking place this year from September 14th-16th at the NEC, Birmingham, will once again host an invaluable seminar programme from The Stage theatre located in Hall 6.
Content will include an inspirational mix of future trend forecasts, research into consumer buying behaviour and crucial business advice, along with a series of prestigious industry awards.
Even before the pandemic struck, all aspects of outdoor living were on an upwards trajectory and this growth has accelerated over the past year and a half, greatly benefitting garden retailers. Kicking off the seminar programme on Tuesday September 14th (11:00am – 12:00pm) will be a session entitled “The changing demographics of garden retail customers”, which will explore how the industry can continue to engage with new consumers and maintain the continuous cycle of growth in years to come.
Online channels have been increasingly crucial to this growth as coronavirus changed the way we do business, driving the shift from face-to-face interactions with customers to phone calls, emails, and social media. Retailers can learn how to adapt their businesses in order to unleash and maximise their online potential on Thursday 16th September (10:30am - 11:30am) with a dedicated session “How garden centres can adapt to a sustainable and successful long-term online strategy”.
Trends are a key driver of sales both on and offline, so retailers won’t want to miss the industry “Trend Update: Outdoor living trends for 2022”, taking place on Wednesday September 15th (3:30pm - 4:45pm). This session will provide attendees with wealth of new product and merchandising inspiration to help guide their buying at Glee this year.
The Great British Growing Awards winners, as voted for by the readers of leading consumer gardening magazine, Grow Your Own, will be announced during the opening day of Glee on September 14th (2:00pm – 2:30pm); the Glee Buyers Power List Awards will be revealed on September 15th (1:00pm – 1:30pm) followed by the Glee New Product Awards later that afternoon (5:00pm – 6:00pm).
New for 2021 – the first in-person edition of Glee for two years – visitors will have the chance to see companies pitching to be recognised for the New Product Awards and answering questions from the judging panels. Series one of The Pitches will take place on the Tuesday from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, with round two taking place the following day from 10:00am – 12:30pm, ahead of the winners’ announcement later that day.
The programme will be rounded off in style on Thursday September 16th from 1:30pm – 2:00pm with Floral Thursday: The Greenfingers Charity Draw. Floral Thursday is a special FUNdraising activity where it is hoped that the thousands of visitors and exhibitors at Glee 2021 will come together to show their flower power in aid of Greenfingers’ ongoing fundraising activities. Anyone wearing an item of floral clothing – be it a hat, dress, suit, socks or shirt – will be invited to purchase a raffle ticket which will enter them into a prize draw.
Glee Event Director, Matthew Mein, said: “One of the many great things about Glee is the fantastic value-added content that is free to all who attend. This is always an important aspect of the show but now more so than ever before as the changes affecting our industry continue to accelerate at what seems like lightning speed. Retailers who want to stay ahead of the curve and ensure they don’t get left behind in the rush to realign will hugely benefit from the business advice and trend information that’s available during the show, so I highly recommend visitors try to catch up with some of this exclusive content while they’re on site with us at the NEC.
“We are also very excited about this year’s Buyers Power List Awards, now in their fourth year, which recognise the incredible efforts and achievements of retail staff up and down the country, from businesses large and small. So many staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty over the past 18 months and their recognition at these awards will be incredibly well deserved, I’m sure. I hope many of you can join us at The Stage on Wednesday September 15th to show your appreciation for our industry stars”.
The full Glee 2021 Seminar Programme can be found here. All content from ‘The Stage’ will be available to live stream via Glee Connect - the exhibition’s dedicated app for smartphones and desktop - as well as on-demand post-show.
Glee 2021 - don’t miss out!
The thousands of retailers who’ve already registered for Glee this year include such industry giants as B&Q, Bents Garden & Home, Blue Diamond Group, YTC Ltd, National Trust, British Garden Centres, Robert Dyas, Flowerland, crocus.co.uk, Tesco, RHS, Dobbies, Sainsburys Argos, Poundland, Notcutts, John Lewis, Center Parcs, TJ Morris, Pets at Home, Dunhelm and Aldi, all keen to source the latest new product innovations and secure stock ahead of Christmas and the New Year. If you haven’t yet signed up, ensure you don’t miss out by registering for your free ticket via the website: www.gleebirmingham.com
Launched in August 2021 by award winning family run garden centres, Pugh's Garden Village. The Garden Kitchen by Pugh's is a brand new unique concept in Rogerstone, Newport...
Launched in August 2021 by award winning family run garden centres, Pugh's Garden Village. The Garden Kitchen by Pugh's is a brand new unique concept in Rogerstone, Newport.
The Pugh family have been enhancing the lives, homes and gardens of South Wales for over 65 years, and they have planted new roots in the community of Jubilee Park, Rogerstone.
The Garden Kitchen is a hybrid of eatery, deli and plants providing contemporary brunch style food, a food hall with a niche selection of quality local welsh produce and garden centre offering with cherry picked recommendations across garden care and houseplants.
Set up by Nicola Pugh, husband Matthew and Kara Pugh, the Pugh family are branching out. They have comprised key learnings and experience from their piers into a exceptionally exciting offering that the community has welcomed with open arms.
You'll step into a botanical haven and be met with what Pugh's is known for, quality gardening products, a jungle of houseplants and Food Hall and Deli counter.
The Garden Kitchen also comprises of a 70 seated restaurant where you can sample mouth-watering home cooked meals and speciality coffees.
Whether you're a budding plant parent, lifestyle enthusiast, lover of food, coffee connoisseur or just wanting a good catch up with friends and family you'll only need to visit one place; The Garden Kitchen by Pugh's.
As the Glee team gets ready to welcome you back to the leading garden retail exhibition (14th-16th September, NEC Birmingham), they answer some of your burning questions regarding the COVID-19 measures that have been put in place...
As the Glee team gets ready to welcome you back to the leading garden retail exhibition (14th-16th September, NEC Birmingham), they answer some of your burning questions regarding the COVID-19 measures that have been put in place to ensure the event can take place safely and securely; measures that the team are confident will offer peace of mind for all those that attend.
What COVID-19 related conditions of entry are there for Glee 2021?
All attendees will be required to show proof of COVID-19 status on arrival at the venue, this will need to be one of the following:
Proof of completion of a full course of vaccination at least two weeks prior to arrival
Proof of negative Lateral Flow Test taken within 48hrs prior to arrival
Proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test result for COVID-19, lasting for 180 days from the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period
What is meant by a ‘full vaccine course’?
The UK government website defines a full course vaccination as:
“Two weeks after completing a full course of vaccination, whether that requires two doses or one dose (that is, two doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, or 1 dose of the Janssen vaccine) (according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency authorised schedule).”
Will my vaccine card be enough for entry?
No. Vaccine cards will not be accepted. Instead we ask that you use the NHS COVID Pass which lets you share your COVID-19 vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.
How do I access the NHS Covid Pass?
Your NHS COVID Pass can be accessed via the NHS App (NB: this is NOT the NHS Track & Trace App).
You can access your NHS COVID Pass through the free NHS App on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 status will be shown within the NHS App.
Alternatively, you can access the NHS COVID Pass through the NHS website, where you can download or print a PDF document.
If you do not have access to a smart phone, computer or tablet, it is possible to request a NHS COVID Pass letter by calling 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’).
If I am attending the show for the duration, will I have to keep showing proof of my COVID-19 status?
Double vaccinated people will not need to take any further action but do retain proof of vaccination for the duration of the show as checks will continue. Lateral Flow Tests will need to be repeated after 48hrs with negative results recorded in the normal way.
How do I register the results of my negative lateral flow test?
To make sure you have proof of your negative lateral flow test you must report your result to the NHS. You can do this via using one of the below options – you will need the QR Code, or the ID number from the test strip to report your result.
Or telephone: Freephone 199 (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) / 0300 303 2713 (Scotland) You can show proof of a Negative lateral flow test via the NHS COVID-19 Pass, an email or text message.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Glee will be a mask friendly event. Although it is no longer mandatory to wear masks, it is encouraged for all attendees especially when in enclosed or crowded spaces.
I am travelling from outside of England to attend Glee. What do I need to do to enter the show?
Advice for entering the UK can be found at https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control. These guidelines must be followed in order to enter the country. For entering Glee, proof of vaccination status and test results demonstrated via the EU Digital COVID Certificate will be accepted.
Those travelling from Scotland, Wales and Ireland will be subject to different rules of entry which can be found via their own governing bodies (please see links), including Northern Ireland where you must supply paper proof of vaccination from your GP, or alternatively show a negative lateral flow test result.
Will my airport antigen test result be an acceptable form of entry?
Yes, providing it has been undertaken within 48hrs prior to entry to Glee. Do note, such tests only provide details of COVID-19 status for 48hrs and therefore will need repeating before expiration.
Will there be social distancing in place at Glee?
Whilst the legal limits on social distancing have now been lifted, Glee will benefit from wider three-metre aisles, which are designed to provide additional space and minimise contact with others.
Will hand sanitiser be available?
Hand sanitising stations have been installed throughout the NEC at high touch points. Exhibitors and visitors are also advised to carry additional sanitiser with them. Hand washing facilities will remain available throughout the venue’s toilet facilities.
Is there anywhere on-site to buy Lateral Flow Tests?
Lateral flow tests are available for free from the NHS website or via your local pharmacy. Attendees of Glee 2021 are advised to order their tests ahead of arriving at the show.
Why do I need to show proof of my COVID-19 status?
Current information and guidance including that following the Events Research Program, suggest that verifying attendees COVID-19 Status is an effective way of reducing the risk of transmission among large groups; a risk that provides important peace of mind for all attendees.
What do I do if I am “pinged” by the NHS Track & Trace app whilst at Glee?
If you are contacted by Track & Trace whilst at Glee you will need to follow the current government advice. This can be found here.
Do I need to take a PCR or NHS lateral flow test post attending the event and report this?
Find out more & register today
To keep up to date on the latest Glee news or to register for free entry to the exhibition please visit www.gleebirmingham.com.
This successful campaign, which is an eye-catching celebration of plants, will particularly focus on the (home) office space this year. Because here plants also make you more energetic, more relaxed, happier and healthier...
This successful campaign, which is an eye-catching celebration of plants, will particularly focus on the (home) office space this year. Because here plants also make you more energetic, more relaxed, happier and healthier.
Working from home and plants “Thanks plants, for making my house a home, for reconnecting me with nature, and for helping me to relax.” It remains topical, and we will continue to say it: you feel better with plants around you. This certainly also applies to the (home) office, the hot topic for 2021. Plants can aid concentration and creativity, and bring calm to your workspace, that’s what we’re particularly thanking plants for this year.
Campaign in the core countries The campaign will start in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands on 20 September, and in France on 4 October. Just as in 2020, the emphasis will be on digital media. In all four core countries the target group will be targeted through national publicity, on social media - YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest - and on the street through digital out-of-home advertising (excluding UK). The other supporting pillars of this campaign are PR activities, influencer collaborations and content on our consumer website Thejoyofplants.co.uk and its sister channels in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
Join in This major consumer campaign around houseplants is very suitable for use by trade channels and sales outlets in their own social media channels or on the shop floor. We would therefore encourage you to join in and make use of the downloadable campaign materials.
Growing media is 18% down on last August, but 47% up on August 2019. That’s the staggering impact the increase in gardening activity has had on growing media sales, extending the season right through the summer...
Growing media is 18% down on last August, but 47% up on August 2019. That’s the staggering impact the increase in gardening activity has had on growing media sales, extending the season right through the summer.
Highlights of the week were:
On the back of bulbs starting to sell through in good volumes, Taylors Peat Free Bulb Fibre 10 litres is the highest chart climber of the week, up 33 places to No 14.
Godwins Farmyard Manure 50 litres is a new entry at No 50.
Westland Top Soil (Value Bag) 35 litres moves up 4 places to No1 for the first time.
See the full GTN Bestsellers Top 50 charts, compiled from garden centre Epos data every week, with a years subscription to the printed newsletter for only £145.00 using this link.
If you run a successful garden centre business with a turnover of £1.7m or greater and you are looking for ways to maximise your trading potential, then joining a buying group maybe the answer. Choice Marketing is a very well-established, professional, dynamic organisation that can help you to improve existing trading terms with suppliers and increase net operating margins, whilst at the same time offering you a range of other benefits...
If you run a successful garden centre business with a turnover of £1.7m or greater and you are looking for ways to maximise your trading potential, then joining a buying group maybe the answer. Choice Marketing is a very well-established, professional, dynamic organisation that can help you to improve existing trading terms with suppliers and increase net operating margins, whilst at the same time offering you a range of other benefits.
Who is Choice Marketing? - Founded in 2002, Choice Marketing has earned a well-deserved reputation for being one of the garden retail industry’s leading buying and marketing groups serving the UK. Choice is registered as a ‘not for profit’ limited company, and is owned exclusively by its members, with each member having an equal shareholding.
First and foremost, Choice is a collaborative group of like-minded, independent garden centre operators who have come together to learn from each other and to share their collective knowledge, experience and resources to maximise the individual trading performance of each member centre.
There are currently 29 members of Choice, operating 44 garden centre sites throughout the UK, with a combined gross turnover in excess of £150m.
What do we do? Our primary function is a buying group. We combine the significant buying power we have, to negotiate and procure competitive and advantageous buying and trading terms from suppliers and service providers, for the benefit of all Choice members.
We also have a fantastic partnership with Encompass, a professional marketing agency that our members can use to procure a full complement of bespoke marketing solutions such as direct mail, reward card management, PR editorial, web site design and management, social media engagement, e-mail marketing, brand & logo design, in-store pos, vehicle livery and so much more.
Our core aim – Is to maximise the profitability and trading potential of all members by negotiating and agreeing industry leading trading terms, rebate payments, stock availability and payment terms that far exceed anything that our members would be able to achieve independently. The flexible trading agreements we have in place, provide suppliers with the commitment they need, in order to offer us the best terms, whilst at the same time allowing members plenty of freedom to create a range plan that best suits their centre, their customers and their local demographic.
Member benefits – In addition to the core benefits of improved trading terms and access to a professional marketing agency, members enjoy numerous other benefits, one of which is 24/7 access to the Choice resource ‘hub’. This web-based hub, enables members and their senior teams to access a wealth of information, including supplier price files, terms sheets, promotional information and a significant archive of marketing material that members have commissioned, produced and used.
It also features a sales data platform that members contribute to on a weekly and monthly basis. This comprehensive archive of sales data enables managers and business owners to benchmark and compare both their overall sales performance and sales achieved in each core department, with other centres.
Probably the most talked about and the most tangible benefit that Choice members enjoy, is a share of the significant financial rebate, which is paid to Choice by our suppliers, and is then redistributed back to the members on an annual basis, based on the individual turnover each member achieves with our suppliers.
The most recent rebate paid out to our members, totalled £1.71 million. You don’t need to be a great mathematician to work out that £1.71 million divided by just 44 centres, is a very significant addition to Choice members’ bottom line. The group return on investment from just the rebate payment alone (excluding all other discounts and member benefits) was 9.76 times the membership fee, or put another way, an 876% return.
Choice business structure – The day-to-day operations at Choice are run by a very small team of highly experienced staff that have decades of garden retail industry experience between them. As well as maintaining and updating the countless price files and financial information, they provide a vital supporting role to members, that includes supplier liaison, dealing with stock & delivery issues, queries with credits requests, co-ordinating Choice promotions, assisting with collection and dissemination of various data and the planning and execution of various member events throughout the year.
Barriers to membership - One of the main concerns that causes hesitancy with prospective members that are considering joining Choice, is the misconception that they will lose their independence and will be tied into supplier agreements that may prevent them from creating their own individual range plans or dealing with certain suppliers.
Whilst it is an understandable concern, it is worth remembering that every existing member of Choice is an independent garden centre and like you, they want full control and autonomy over the key decisions and choices that affect and impact their business. The trading arrangements we have in place have been negotiated and agreed by these same members, and not by anyone who doesn’t have a vested interest in their business.
All of us want what you want; a great range of products, that deliver a good return, from trusted, innovative suppliers. As good as any one garden centre is (and the people working in it might be) it is unlikely that they can outperform the collective experience and knowledge that a group of 44 garden centres working closely together, have at their disposal.
Choice has great working relationships with the vast majority of key suppliers in our industry. In our experience, when a new member joins Choice, the changeover regarding suppliers, brands and products is minimal, as we deal with the same suppliers that many other independent centres do.
There may be changes to a glove supplier, or a bird seed supplier or sometimes changes to a larger category such as growing media for example, but our trading agreements are flexible enough to enable members to complement core ranges with additional brands and suppliers to complete their own site-specific range plans. Despite these possible changes, the overall financial gains of becoming a member of Choice, far outweigh any minor amendments to suppliers or product ranges that might have to be made.
The other issue that causes some apprehension (and it is one of our own making) is that the financial returns and benefits look too good to be true and that there must be some sort of catch. We can reassure anyone considering Choice membership that there is no catch or any hidden costs. We have extremely low overheads, no loans and no dividends to pay, so all of the financial benefits, go straight to the members.
One last important point to note, is that from a customer perspective, Choice garden centres are unrecognisable from other independent garden centres. You are not joining an organisation such as a franchise or business model that requires any changes to the appearance or identity of your business. Your centre name, your branding, your shop front, your signage and your unique individuality and appearance, all remain the same. Choice is just an umbrella that allows you to access some great trading terms and services from a large number of suppliers.
We endeavour to make sure that our joining process is very relaxed and informal, from the initial point of contact, right the way through until the final signing up process.
We recognise that joining a buying group or other trade organisation is a big decision for any business to make and we understand that the process can take many weeks and can often involve several decision makers.
Please rest assured that by commencing discussions with us, or requesting more information, you are at no point under any obligation to proceed further and you can suspend or exit the process at any point if you feel that Choice isn’t right for your business.
Choice Marketing is recruiting new members now. If you are interested in finding out more about Choice Marketing and how we can help your business to develop and prosper, please give us a call.
We can send you more information by e-mail or post or alternatively we can arrange to visit you at your garden centre for an informal discussion.
We will also be at the forthcoming GLEE exhibition and would be delighted to meet with you to answer any questions you may have. We’ll even provide the coffee and pastries. Call us now to book an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.
Horticulture is by its very nature a ‘green’ industry and Westland is doubling down on efforts across all categories to deliver sustainable success. For both novice and well-versed gardeners, the Visiroot propagation range allows gardeners to use recycled plastic, whilst also getting increased performance. It makes great growing even clearer to see, and that in turn means better results...
Horticulture is by its very nature a ‘green’ industry and Westland is doubling down on efforts across all categories to deliver sustainable success. For both novice and well-versed gardeners, the Visiroot propagation range allows gardeners to use recycled plastic, whilst also getting increased performance. It makes great growing even clearer to see, and that in turn means better results.
The performance comes from the transparent rPET material, making roots visible to the eye enabling gardeners to easily check root growth and moisture levels without disturbing the plant. The specially developed UV filtering green tint, also ensures that the roots of the germinating plants are not damaged by direct sunlight.
Additionally, unlike other cell trays on the market, the integrated moisture bridge technology ensures even water and nutrient transfer across the cells. The Visiroot range is recyclable in all homes through kerbside collections, as all UK councils consistently recycle rPET. rPET is also incredibly strong and easy to handle, ensuring success year-after-year.
The addition of the Visiroot Deep Root Cell Kit is ideal for growing plants like beans and Sweet Peas that benefit from a deep root system. The unique cells are easy to open for transplanting without any root disturbance and as they are made of the same rPET material as the rest of the Visiroot range, they are durable for repeated use. Available as both a starter kit with propagator and cell inserts.
Martin Ward - Senior Westland Brand Manager comments, “With such increased demand in the home gardening and grow-your-own sector, we wanted to make the journey for all gardeners as easy as possible. We feel the Visiroot range offers just that, from a variety of different propagators, and growing kits, we have everything to help consumers on their growing journey. This isn't the end of the journey, not only will we transition all of our propagation range into Visiroot technology. Visiroot becomes the heart of a new Gro-Sure ® growing system, incorporating Gro-Sure ® Seed and Cutting Compost, and Gro-Sure ® Perlite and Vermiculite.
The response to Visiroot from the customers we have seen during the summer has been incredible, we are very excited about the opportunity that this range brings to the growing category - we believe it will make ‘grow-your-own’ accessible for everyone.”
Available in pre-loaded display units (full pallets and ¼ pallets) with informative point of sale, it can be rolled directly onto the shop floor to create true standout at store level. Displays will be available across all propagators, seed trays and inserts.
With more people getting involved with home growing more than ever, Woodlodge has extended its popular Down to Earth range. Providing one of the widest collections of wholesale garden supplies currently available in the UK, Down to Earth aims to increase incremental spend in the garden accessories market...
With more people getting involved with home growing more than ever, Woodlodge has extended its popular Down to Earth range. Providing one of the widest collections of wholesale garden supplies currently available in the UK, Down to Earth aims to increase incremental spend in the garden accessories market.
A natural extension for Woodlodge, the portfolio includes decorative gardening goods ranging from garden arches to obelisks, pot stands, trellises and plant supports. New for 2022, the range has expanded to include of sowing and growing tools to give everything a gardener would need to cultivate strong, healthy plants and watch them thrive and grow.
With outdoor spaces becoming smaller, gardeners are often looking for innovative ways to maximise the area that they do have. A range ofgarden arches, trellis and obelisks, made from both metal and willow play a vital role, creating height where space is at a premium and will appeal to consumers who want to make the most of every inch of their outdoors.
As demand for environmentally friendly gardening products continues to soar, Down to Earth’s bamboo supports and coco liners stakes will give retailers access to the ever-growing eco conscious demographic. The Coco Liners are made of the sustainable outer husks of a coconut, allowing for easy draining and absorption of water for longer lasting blooms. Another addition to the Coco range are the brand-new Coco Poles, covered in coir fibre are both 100% natural and bio-degradable and the perfect support for indoor & outdoor aerial rooters and creepers.
Whilst our Heritage metal pot stands are the easiest way to elevate flower pots and give them an ornate pedestal to showcase plants at their best, our pot trolleys featuring wheels that move in all directions for easy manoeuvring, ideal for those that want to change their gardens look with the seasons without any heavy lifting.
Supports & accessories
Complimenting the plant supports is Down to Earth’s range of accessories which include tree guards which are great- value way to protect young saplings from pests like rabbits and deer, whilst the newly added tree and shrub ties protect growing plants from adverse weather. The new Wigwam cane support can be used in multiple ways to create support structures in the garden for climbing plants and vegetables to give new customers confidence in their natural growing techniques.
Twines & ties
Down to Earth has now expanded to include twines and ties, essential core gardening products for retailers to stock. From clip twist tie plant wire with self-feed dispenser to built in cutter to garden plant clips of varying sizes, that support and guide the plant as it grows, the addition of these to Down to Earth will help novice gardeners to hold and secure heavy headed flowers as they bloom.
Also new to Down to Earth’s offering is Green Jute Twine which is 100% biodegradable and the perfect accessory for training plant stems onto and wigwams, as well as marking out rows in a vegetable patch.
Educating the consumer about plant protection is key to confidence and repeat business in store. Down to Earth’s range of plastic pegs and fabric staples can easily be tapped into the ground hold fleece or fabric in place around the garden to protect crops against pests or in the borders for weed control.
For the more experienced gardener, Down to Earth now offers accessories for the greenhouse including fixing corner clips to help support the panes of glass when glazing, as well as shading clips to protect young plants from in summer to provide sufficient shading from intense sunlight.
Labels & Meters
To help customers give plants the correct care, Down to Earth has introduced plant labels, moisture metres and thermometers. Our different lengths of plant labels can be written to help with identifying every plant with ease and also to know the growing instructions and watering that each plant should get.
Retailers can also boost shoppers trust with a selection of plant thermometers, an ever-useful tool that checks the local temperature and keeps an eye on the condition’s plants are experiencing. A new meter to assess the moisture of the soil for your favourite houseplants, flower border or vegetable crops is also ideal for those unsure consumers and stops under and over watering.
The final extension of Down to Earth is a range of effective tools and handy solutions to make outdoor work comfortable. Padded kneelers will encourage gardening for longer whilst a new range of garden tidy bags and sheets will aid hedge trimming and collection of garden waste. The Down to Earth trimmer lines offer the perfect combination of energy efficiency and cutting performance whilst a new collection of shed hooks will keep tools organised.
To further boost sales, innovative merchandising stands to display the Down to Earth sundries range are available and can be stocked and placed at the point of purchase.
Michael Wooldridge, Director of Woodlodge said: “Woodlodge has recognised the importance of getting the growing season off to the best possible start and the new additions within Down to Earth will offer ornamental plant supports, tools and accessories that are in high demand from consumers. The collection will further diversify the Woodlodge offering, create impulse purchases and help retailers offer customers a one-stop-shop for all their gardening needs.”
The extended range will be showcased at Glee (NEC Birmingham, 14th – 16th September), and buyers will be able to peruse the full Down to Earth offering on Stand 6J30-20A31. For more information on Woodlodge’s new ranges for 2022, please contact your local sales representative or visit www.woodlodge.co.uk.
Gardeners keen to make the most of their outdoor spaces in July helped boost furniture and BBQ sales, according to the Garden Centre Association’s recent Barometer of Trade figures...
Gardeners keen to make the most of their outdoor spaces in July helped boost furniture and BBQ sales, according to the Garden Centre Association’s recent Barometer of Trade figures.
The report shows sales of these home entertaining items were up for the month by 71.62% year-to-date and there were also increases in 10 of the 13 recorded categories.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, explains: “These strong figures for July suggest outdoor entertainment and alfresco dining have continued to dominate. There has been an increase in demand as people have either decided to do more hosting at home, and outside, or have found they have been unable to book holidays in the UK due to such high demand for and lack of availability of holiday accommodation this year, post-pandemic.
“With the ending of restrictions in July, people were entertaining outdoors with friends and family and the hot weather towards the end of the month helped fuel demand further.
“A significant category within our sector that has been massively hampered during the past 17 months has been catering. It has been a rollercoaster for our members with cafés and restaurants. In June, we saw a massive increase from 2020 with sales up 2,481.82% year-to-date. This figure is an indication of the severe limitations that were affecting the hospitality industry prior to summer 2021.
“As we came into July things evened out somewhat. Garden centre catering operations re-opened on July 4 in 2020, so we have been able to compare 2020 and 2021 figures, with a caveat or two. People were very keen last year to be out and about after the first lockdown and the good weather then also helped boost sales. Things still aren’t as settled as they would normally be, so catering is down slightly year-to-date by -5.37% for July this year.
“This may also have been due to the impact of changing rules this year in July with dining numbers and service restricted. Plus, the ‘pingdemic’ which led to staffing shortages when people were required to isolate and, in some cases, some facilities had to close completely when a member of the team tested positive.”
Houseplants have continued to sell well in July with sales up 60.42% and outdoor plants up 57.29%, year-to-date.
Iain adds: “Our members are still seeing a good number of newer, younger gardeners as they continue to participate in their new pastime, which they took up last year in the lockdowns. They are proud plant parents, keen to add to their floral and foliage families, whether they have a windowsill or something bigger to fill.”
Other categories that performed well in July compared to the same month in 2020 include gifts, with sales up 54.19% and clothing up 49.61%, although last year it must be remembered that many centres were trading with in a limited capacity due to supply shortages in these departments.
Hard landscaping was also up year-to-date to 48.42%, attributed to on-going garden improvements to match the need to entertain outdoors this summer.
The garden sundries category leapt up to 42.05% this July, year-to-date, too and seeds & bulbs also performed well this month at 38.15% up on last year.
The food hall and farm shop category was up at 41.34% as well and pets and aquatics saw a 31.49% increase on 2020’s figures.
Overall sales for the month were up year-to-date by 1.86%.
The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement. They are made available mid-month following the end of the prior month after all member garden centres have submitted their results.
The BoT reports allow members to compare their trading positions with other centres.
Tong Garden Centre is to host a celebration of Yorkshire food and drink in its recently refurbished Food Hall.
Tong Garden Centre is to host a celebration of Yorkshire food and drink in its recently refurbished Food Hall.
Hearty's Food Hall at Tong Garden will host a ‘Meet the Heartisans' weekend at the start of British Food Fortnight on 18th September to showcase local and regional producers and makers who have been listed in Hearty's for the uniqueness and quality of their produce.
The two day event on 18th and 19th September will feature different producers on each day and will include tastings and special offers.
Food Hall manager, Andy Bradley said: "We are proud and excited to host our first food and drink tasting event in Hearty's and are looking forward to welcoming some of our fantastic local and regional suppliers to Tong, in addition to our talented in house team of butchers and bakers .
"Over the weekend, visitors will be able to meet the makers and try a range of food and drink products before they buy, hopefully discovering something they have never tried before, and be inspired by our choice of all occasion dishes.
"There will be a range of produce from award-winning pies and pastries, gourmet chocolates and freshly baked goods to locally crafted beers, spirits and an array of artisan jams, chutneys and pickles. Why not come along and treat yourself to something special?"
Producers over the weekend include Wold Top Brewery, Sloemotion, Marrds Marinades, Hooting Owl Distillery, Gourmet Chocolate Pizza, Dinnewell's Gin, Raisthorpe Manor and Stephenson's pies.
On both days, members of Hearty's Butchery, Bakery and Deli teams will be on hand to share their expertise, hints and tips and will be offering samples of their sausages, pies, traybakes and cakes as well as Hearty's ‘Lovingly Made' range of sweet and savoury biscuits, sweets, jams and chutneys.
The Meet the Heartisans event is free to enter and takes place in and around Hearty's Food Hall and starts at 11am on both days.
British Food Fortnight is a national celebration of British food and drink that is held annually to coincide with harvest festival. The aim of the fortnight is to raise awareness of the benefits of buying and eating from the "home produced British larder."
Photo: L-R - Andy Bradley (Hearty's Food Hall Manager), Charlotte Quinn (Hearty's Food Hall Supervisor), Sarah Dwyer (Hearty's Project Manager) and Deborah Baker (Hearty's Baker).
Autumn Fair reveals a host of exciting new Home brands showing at the NEC Birmingham from September 5-8, and the show is going to give home and gift buyers the much-needed chance to find and source new products and start to build relationships with new suppliers...
Autumn Fair reveals a host of exciting new Home brands showing at the NEC Birmingham from September 5-8. The show is going to give home and gift buyers the much-needed chance to find and source new products and start to build relationships with new suppliers.
New to the Home sector of the show include Codu Home, Zinc Home, Penn Parcel Box, Fenland, plus the new Paul Moneypenny collection by Malini. They join powerhouse favourites including Coach House, Hill Interiors, Besp-Oak, Art Marketing, Dutch Imports, Hanlin, Florelle, Febland, Final Touches, Malini, McGowan & Rutherford, Satchville Gift Co, Walton & Co, and CIMC.
Summerhouse welcomes interesting new displays from Nila Palmer Designs, Deluxe HomeArt by Zen Agencies, Fourstore with brands Niwa Terrariums and Hydro-Herb, Nik Burns Sculptures, 3K Casa and YuYu Bottle, Paloma Living. They join Gallery Direct, Pacific Lifestyle, Bronte by Moon and other favourites including Inis, Spry and Hot Tomato.
Don’t miss the exclusive launch of the new collaboration between Paul Moneypenny and Malini. Paul will also take to the Inspiring Retail Stage on Sunday for ‘Design Inspirations: In conversation with Paul Moneypenny’. Paul broke into the design community via BBC2’s Interior Design Masters, and will talk design, inspiration, the difference between trends and fads, and his top tips on how to make creative decisions that have impact.
Thousands of buyers have already pre-registered to attend Autumn Fair for a first look at new collections and to discover next season’s must-have products. Retailers including John Lewis, Paperchase, Tesco, The Walt Disney Company, My 1st Years, Dunelm, British Garden Centres, La Redoute, Bents Garden & Home, Cardzone Ltd, Wilko, Poundstretcher, B&Q, The Gift Box, Snappy Snaps, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Longacres Gaden Centre, Games Workshop, and many more will be scouring the aisles.
Jessica Dawnay, Event Director, Autumn Fair says; “It feels like the longest 18months since our last show, and we are all extremely excited to be back and opening our doors to thousands of incredible brands and buyers this Sunday. Autumn Fair is where serious buyers come to source and where orders are made. Home to the largest selection of home, gift and fashion products and inspiration in one destination, Autumn Fair's encompasses the best in design and opportunities for great business.”
Craig Unsworth, Co-CEO of the luxury and lifestyle online platform The Mór Card who is attending Autumn Fair adds: "Autumn Fair is a chance for us to discover new and exciting brands that we know our customers will love. We can't wait to connect with a curated collection of unique and innovative businesses and introduce our membership to them. This marketplace is an opportunity to explore new possibilities and handpick brands for our members that put quality, personal service, and attention to detail above everything else."
With free parking and a Covid policy designed to keep everyone in attendance as safe and secure as possible (visit https://www.autumnfair.com/safe-secure for Covid status guidelines), Autumn Fair also offers free tea and coffee for visitors who have downloaded the official Autumn Fair app https://www.autumnfair.com/show-app-visitor, as well as the ability to browse products, shortlist exhibitors you’d like to visit, and watch live seminars directly from your phone.
Keeping you safe and secure: To ensure the health and safety of everyone at the show, Autumn Fair will be asking all attendees, including visitors, exhibitors, contractors, venue, and organiser staff, to verify their COVID-19 status on arrival. Further details on how to prove your COVID-19 status and FAQs can be found on the show’s Safe & Secure page https://www.autumnfair.com/safe-secure. Autumn Fair is also face mask friendly.
For more information and to find out more about the Home sector exhibitor line-up visit www.autumnfair.com.
The respective Boards of GHIN and the International Hardware Association (IHA) has announced that the IHA, representing Hardware Associations from around the world, is to merge with the Global Home Improvement Network (GHIN) with effect from the 1st of October 2021...
The respective Boards of GHIN and the International Hardware Association (IHA) has announced that the IHA, representing Hardware Associations from around the world, is to merge with the Global Home Improvement Network (GHIN) with effect from the 1st of October 2021.
This means that GHIN will represent all global home improvement retailers and all the international hardware associations members of the IHA to create a mega network of retailers committed to the noble cause of helping consumers all over the world improve their homes.
Today GHIN has 216 members around the globe operating in 74 countries with over 32,000 stores and members’ sales in excess of €330 billion. It will now also represent the IHA with its thousands of hardware stores throughout the world through the country associations of Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
The IHA will remain an independent network administered by GHIN, but with its own President.
Sergio Giroldi, President of EDRA/GHIN stated: “on behalf of the EDRA/GHIN Board I am truly delighted to welcome the International Hardware Association into our global network. This merger will strengthen our network and raise our profile internationally. We, the home improvement retailers and the hardware stores, all have our place in the home improvement retail community, sharing the same values and offering consumers the best possible service and safe, quality products.”
President of the IHA Jean-François Dubost highlighted: “If we have learned anything over the past 18 months it is that our industry is stronger when we come together to share interests, ideas and concerns with other partners throughout the channel. It is in this spirit that we welcome this new alliance and feel confident that the interests of our member organizations will be well represented on the global stage.”
For the past two decades the GHIN Network has been hugely successful in bringing our members together to learn from each other on strictly non-competitive issues and defending our members’ interests. The latest example of this was ensuring that home improvement retailing globally was seen for what it is by governments and lawmakers - an essential business, which has been exceptionally important during the pandemic.
GHIN is also committed to working closely with HIMA, the Home Improvement Manufacturers Association, and with Global Trade Fairs in the dedicated pursuit to give our retail members as much support and information as possible so that they are able to offer the best possible products and service to consumers all over the world to improve their homes.
As there will now be a break with no live football on TV until Sunday, it's coming home, how about gorging yourself on a smörgåsbord board of SOLEX videos. Here's the SOLEX SUN video showreel...
As there will now be a break with no live football on TV until Sunday, it's coming home, how about gorging yourself on a smörgåsbord board of SOLEX videos. Here's the SOLEX SUN video showreel, enjoy! And if you want to watch even more just go to the SOLEX On-Line website and watch to your hearts content.
Kent & Stowe believe that with the right tools, extraordinary things are possible! Centre stage at GLEE will be the game changing and patent pending Eversharp secateurs. Designed and manufactured in the UK, they feature the hardest, sharpest blade available on the market. Independently proven by CATRA to be twice as sharp, and five times longer lasting than the UK market leader...
Kent & Stowe believe that with the right tools, extraordinary things are possible! Centre stage at GLEE will be the game changing and patent pending Eversharp secateurs. Designed and manufactured in the UK, they feature the hardest, sharpest blade available on the market. Independently proven by CATRA to be twice as sharp, and five times longer lasting than the UK market leader.
Novice gardeners and experienced horticulturalists are united in their need for a great pair of secateurs. In Westland research, consumers are vocal around their frustrations citing secateur blades becoming blunt too quickly, going rusty and how they are un-suitable for the 15% of the population who are left-handed.
Westland took this and wider consumer insight to create the new Kent & Stowe Eversharp Secateurs, transforming traditional secateurs into a revolutionary tool that is guaranteed to stand out amongst key competitors. Our design led approach focused on two halves of the challenge, namely the blade, and the chassis.
Firstly, the Eversharp secateurs feature an extraordinary blade made in the UK with a unique coated metal based on Formula One and aerospace technology. After coating, the blade becomes 100 times harder than the average blade, this means it can be ground to be twice as sharp as the market leader, and due to its special properties stays sharper for five times longer.
The die cast aluminium and FSC® certified ash wood chassis has been scientifically and ergonomically developed to be comfortable in use from day one. But as the FSC® certified ash wood wears, its shapes to the gardener's hand, and becomes more comfortable with every use. There is an ambidextrous lock, and with the hand sizer can be set to the preferred level of opening. A wire and string cutter is also built in to make this a real all round gardening companion.
Fully benchmarked against the rest of the market by the independent professional knife and cutting trade association, CATRA. Eversharp secateurs are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
Marie Williams, Head of the Hardware Division for Westland comments, “Secateurs are a staple in every gardener’s shed and our Eversharp secateurs are the only pair they will ever need! Our new Eversharp secateurs are a game changer for the cutting category because we are cascading the very latest material science technology into what is a very mature category. There is a something incredibly special about these secateurs, and they represent the direction of travel for our portfolio going forward. Consumer research has demonstrated to us that they value the real step change in performance, and our retail partners will benefit from the market growth that this will surely deliver.”
Westland has invested £0.5m into a brand refresh for Kent & Stowe. 2022 sees a fresh new look and a strengthened product offer. With products made from FSC® certified wood, fully recyclable packaging and superior functionality and design, consumers can feel good about choosing Kent & Stowe.
With an RRP of £34.99, Eversharp secateurs come in both all-purpose bypass, and dead wood anvil options. The products are supported by a National Press campaign and a dedicated stand. To protect retailer profit they feature both a security RF tag, and a secure location for attaching customer specific security systems. They will be available during February 2022 and are part of the Kent & Stowe mission, ‘With the right tools, extraordinary things are possible’.
Two-thirds (67%) of British homeowners are not aware of the gardening and landscaping tasks that must be reported to a local authority to ensure regulations are met, reveals a new survey...
Two-thirds (67%) of British homeowners are not aware of the gardening and landscaping tasks that must be reported to a local authority to ensure regulations are met, reveals a new survey by Plastic Sheets Shop, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of bespoke plastic sheeting for home and garden projects.
Even though 61% of those surveyed would “always give something a go” or “love DIY and want to learn how to do everything themselves”, 41% of homeowners admit to not being confident at landscape gardening, including knowing which regulations to follow.
Almost a third (32%) said they would always leave landscape gardening to a professional, rising to 40% amongst those aged 55 and over. Additionally, Google searches for ‘landscaping companies near me’ and ‘garden landscaping near me’ have increased by 250% and 60% respectively in the past 12 months, showing the surge in demand for these services.
What’s more, just 17% of homeowners are confident building an outbuilding, such as a home office, workshop, summerhouse, log cabin, shed, or greenhouse, giving yet more reason to call in the professionals.
“Our survey results show that 60% of homeowners have been encouraged to refresh their gardens as a result of lockdown and that 40% have been attempting more DIY and landscaping projects themselves during this time,” began Jonathan Opdam, Managing Director of Plastic Sheets Shop. “But despite this, most homeowners are unaware of gardening tasks that need to be reported to local authorities, such as installing a machine-operated garden watering system, giving even more reason to seek the assistance of a professional landscape gardener.”
Of those surveyed, 31% seek the help of trade professionals because they lack confidence in their ability to complete a task, while an additional 37% say they would rather have the job done properly than attempt it themselves. More than 1 in 10 (13%) regret attempting landscape gardening tasks themselves instead of hiring a professional.
“Our research shows the growing need for, and value of, landscape gardening services to UK homeowners, and through our online store, which provides plastic sheeting for everything from greenhouses to transparent roofs and fencing, it’s our pleasure being able to support the professionals doing such great work in this trade. Hopefully, our research provides some positive news and useful insight for landscape gardeners across the country,” concluded Opdam.
Common Sense Gardening commissioned consumer research to learn more about the 'Shape of British Gardening in 2021'...
Common Sense Gardening commissioned consumer research to learn more about the 'Shape of British Gardening in 2021'.
Interviewing a representative sample of over 2,000 people, the study reveals the attitudes and habits in the garden today and uncovers trends that will shape gardening in the years ahead.
A Nation of Gardeners
With the arrival of the pandemic, people have had the time to become more green thumbed than ever before. No longer just the pursuit of an older generation, a younger more urban audience are now discovering the benefits of nurturing and growing in their own green space, in pots or herb gardens.
Close to 90% of householders engage in some forms of gardening in their outdoor spaces, with 75% of households gardening at least monthly through the season. Furthermore, 56% of people have gardened more since the pandemic, with over 20% stating a definite commitment to keeping up the hobby.
Ben Shapiro, Chairman of Common Sense Gardening commented: “The research shows that we are indeed a nation of gardeners, and people’s new found love of growing is seemingly for life and not just for lockdown”
Mental and Physical Wellbeing
85% of all people who do at least some gardening activity state reasons for their gardening which relate to enhanced mental & physical wellbeing.
Ben Shapiro said: “It’s great to see that people are finding joy in the process of gardening. Only 7% of those surveyed say that they garden purely to keep their garden under control – people are finding many more positive reasons to dig in."
Sustainability, biodiversity and the environment
People are thinking about the environmental impact of their gardening more with 77% of people consider sustainability when gardening, and 72% are actively promoting biodiversity in their garden with bird feeders, a pond, herb/vegetable patch or a bug hotel. This is consistent with the finding that 75% of people feel it is important to attract wildlife into their garden. Over half of the population consider their gardening as having more than just an ornamental impact: 49% of respondents grow their own edibles, and when buying plants 50% consider its ability to attract wildlife.
Ben Shapiro said: “Gardeners are exploring ways to play their part in protecting and enhancing the environment, whether it’s through growing their own produce, encouraging biodiversity or being more mindful around pest management and responsible disposal.”
Dave Bench, Chief Executive of the Crop Protection Association, said: “One of the important objectives of the Common Sense Gardening group is to promote responsible use of garden products and it looks like gardeners understand this. people report using garden care products in an integrated approach to pest control, with over 50% controlling pests and weeds by hand.”
Following successful large-scale trials, Veolia has demonstrated a new way of treating the 25% of green waste that ends up being sent for disposal or re-composting...
Following successful large-scale trials, Veolia has demonstrated a new way of treating the 25% of green waste that ends up being sent for disposal or re-composting.
The new process required a £1M investment for a bespoke fixed cleaning line to remove the contamination from the 30,000 tonnes of compost oversize arising each year across four sites in the South.
This transforms the material into a clean wood product such as PAS100 approved mulch for gardening and landscaping, or a renewable biomass fuel for electricity and heating which replaces virgin alternatives such as woodchip and bark.
By using this more efficient processing, these products can reduce the number of trees cut down for wood products and the process also removes contamination from the composting sites and enhances the quality of composts spread to land. The effectiveness of the new process means that composting sites will be much more efficient, disposal costs significantly lowered and greenhouse gas impact reduced.
To date, more than 55,000 tonnes of contaminated compost oversize has been processed in this way, and the plant is aiming to find alternative use for all contaminants removed and achieve zero waste to landfill.
Veolia currently processes over 500,000 tonnes of green and food waste every year derived from a nationwide network of 11 composting sites that produce over 250,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent to around 12 million bags. Previously around 25% of green waste ended up as oversize after composting as some green waste bins contain physical contaminants such as plastic and metal, mistakenly discarded by customers.
Even after careful processing this contamination ends up in the compost oversize which is the larger, woody fraction remaining after the valuable compost product fraction is removed at the end of the composting process. If a site runs out of storage space, or if the oversize is too contaminated to re-circulate, there is a cost for landfilling which in turn contributes to greenhouse emissions.
Donald Macphail, Chief Operating Officer - Treatment at Veolia said: "Composting sites provide the perfect example of a circular economy, and the need to efficiently process this material is likely to increase with the prospect of green waste becoming free to collect and on a more regular basis, as pledged in the government's Resources and Waste Strategy
"By backing this new innovation we have increased the effectiveness of operations and will provide additional high quality sustainable wood mulch and renewable fuels. This will help horticulture and renewable energy generation, and is another key step that we are taking to reduce environmental impact and advance towards a lower carbon economy.”
UK garden product suppliers have the chance to discover ways to secure international sales post-Brexit at a conference co-hosted by Gardenex...
UK garden product suppliers have the chance to discover ways to secure international sales post-Brexit at a conference co-hosted by Gardenex...
The trade association has joined forces with PetQuip and BHETA to stage The Future for International Trade Conference at Stratford Manor Hotel in Warwickshire on November 25.
Speakers on trends, logistics, compliance and international markets, alongside case studies by some of the UK’s leading exporters, will all pool their experience to deliver the latest facts, opinion and advice about UK export.
In addition to inspirational case studies from successful exporters such as Spear & Jackson, topics covered in the packed programme include new international sales opportunities, economic forecasts, worldwide retail trends, export logistics and digital opportunities. During the course of the day, there will also be plentiful chances for Q&A, networking and to spend time discussing your firm’s particular export challenges in the ‘Ask the Export Experts Zone’ manned by a range of export service providers, plus hear a keynote speech from a leading retailer.
Among the speakers will be:
Tim Hiscock, Strong & Herd - Export Procedures and Compliance
Miles Agbanrin, Euromonitor International – Retail trends and opportunities worldwide
Director General of Gardenex, Amanda Sizer Barrett, confirmed: “We have a lively and informative agenda comprising an array of top-level speakers and export experts to help UK companies navigate their best routes to secure international sales post-Brexit and following the additional challenges created by the Covid pandemic.”
Places can be reserved at this important conference by contacting any of the organisers. Contact Gardenex or PetQuip on 01959 565995, email email@example.com or visit www.gardenex.com
Members of Gardenex, PetQuip, CHA and BHETA can secure a preferential delegate rate of £69 per person at the conference. The event is also open to non-members at £149 per person (both plus VAT).
With Commercial Kitchen 2021 just around the corner (September 23-24), the organisers have revealed their full Keynote Seminar programme, which includes a host of exciting new additions....
With Commercial Kitchen 2021 just around the corner, the organisers have revealed their full Keynote Seminar programme, which includes a host of exciting new additions.
Among the high-profile names added to the programme is Atul Kochhar, Chef Patron, Atul Kochhar Restaurants, who joins the Kitchen Design for Mental Health panel chaired by Commercial Kitchen’s charity partner, The Burnt Chef Project. This pioneering twice-Michelin-starred chef prioritises mental health in his kitchens while being at the forefront of the Indian culinary industry for over 25 years.
The show also revealed the headline show-opener, an exclusive interview with Ben Tish, Culinary Director, Norma andThe Stafford London, who will discuss his experience from working with Michelin starred chefs to heading up his own operations, channelling his love for Mediterranean flavours and plans to grow the group.
The organisers have revealed panellists for the Market Talk Live Panel: Designing Britain’s Best Kitchens, chaired by Clare Nicholls, Editor, Catering Insight; and Andrew Seymour, Editorial Director, Foodservice Equipment Journal. This lively discussion will feature some of UK’s top kitchen design houses: Peter Kitchin, Managing Director, C&C Catering Equipment; Paul Neville, Managing Director, CHR Foodservice Equipment; and Kirstin Hatherley-Bramwell, Managing Director, Hatherley Commercial Services.
The show has also added to its very prescient sustainability panel, Food Made Good: Reducing Kitchen Carbon Footprint, chaired by The Sustainable Restaurant Association and featuring Mel Marriott, Managing Director, Darwin & Wallace; Mark Selby, Co-Founder & CEO Wahaca; and Peter Weeden, Head Chef, The Duke of Cambridge.
Other new panellists include Josephine Hawkins, Chef Patron of vegan restaurant Botanique by Food for Friends, joining The Plant Based Kitchens Panel; Dan Wilson, Head of Culinary, BaxterStorey, joining The Craft Guild of Chef Panel; Franky Fernandes, Executive Chef, Marriott Park Lane, joining the panel on Britain’s Best Hotel Kitchens; Martyn Clover, Head of Food, Tortilla, joining The Rise of Takeaways Panel; and Phil Shelley, Senior Operations and Policy Manager, NHS England, who will be chairing The Public Sector Catering Panel.
Other prominent names joining the line-up are Michael Jones, Editorial Director, FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant Magazine who will chair The Consultant Panel; and Lisa Jenkins, Managing Editor, The Caterer, who will be conducting an exclusive interview with Cyrus Todiwala, OBE, DL, Chef Patron, Café Spice Namasté and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen.
Full details of the Keynote Speaker programme, can be found here, and the programme includes:
Adam Simmonds, Chef Patron, Ambassador, The Burnt Chef Project
Adam Thomason, Culinary Director, Absolute Taste
Alex Hall, Executive Chef, Unilever
Andrew Aston, Head of Wellness & Nutrition, BaxterStorey
Andy Jones, Chair, PS100
Anthony Fletcher, Executive Chef, The Ned
Ashley Clarke, Head Chef, Smokestak
Benjamin Bartlett, Chef, Treasurer The Master Chefs of Great Britain
Candice Webber, Head of Food & Drink Development, Vacherin
Craig Smith, Immediate Past Chair, HCA
Darren Poulton, Executive Chef, Gate Group
David Stanley, Executive Chef BP International, Aramark
George Mcivor, Chairman, The Master Chefs of Great Britain
Graeme Watson, Vice Chairman, The Master Chefs of Great Britain
Jay Morjaria, CEO & Executive Chef, Dynasty Restaurants
Judith Gregory, LACA Wales Regional Chair, LACA/Cardiff Council
Julian Edwards, Chair, FCSI UK & Ireland
Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Manging Director, The Sustainable Restaurant Assocation
Julie Barker, Owner, Julie Barker ltd and FCSI Associate
Kris Hall, Founder, The Burnt Chef Project
Liz Forte, Health and Wellness Director, Eurest Compass Group UK & Ireland
Mark Reynolds, Executive Chef, Tottenham Hotspur, Levy Restaurants UK
Matt Owens, National Chairman, Craft Guild of Chefs
Mike Faers, Founder, The FIS Group
Mikey Pearce, Founder, Clean Kitchen Club
Neil Rankin, Chef Patron, Temper/Simplicity Burgers
Nick Vadis, Culinary Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland
Pete Redman, Chef Director, Bartlett Mitchell
Robert Grist, Head Chef, D&D London
Sat Bains, Chef Patron, Restaurant Sat Bains
Shaun Rankin, Chef Patron, Grantley Hall
Spencer Westcott, Culinary and Hospitality Consultant
Stephen Merritt-Harrison, FCSI Consultant, Merritt-Harrison Catering Consultancy
Steven Mangleshot, Global executive chef & brand ambassador, wagamama
Steven Snowdon, Executive Chef, Tom Kerridge
Stuart Duff, Corporate Executive Chef, Hilton UK & Ireland
Stuart Ralston, Chef Patron, Aizle and Noto
Sue Cawthray, NACC chair, NACC
Thomas Rhodes, Executive Chef, Twickenham
Commercial Kitchen 2021 takes place on 23-24 September at ExCeL London and is co-located with lunch! and Casual Dining. Registration is free and strictly for members of the trade only.
The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) scholarship season is open for student horticulturists...
The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF) scholarship season is open for student horticulturists.
This year sees the launch of a new £1,000 scholarship, providing another fantastic opportunity for students who work, or were born in, the North West of England to study horticulture.
Eight scholarships are available from the David Colegrave Foundation (DCF). Students can receive up to £5,000 to put towards their studies.
DCF has awarded almost £100,000 over the past ten years towards study tours, work placements, college tuition, accommodation fees, books, equipment, and extra training courses.
Last season, Francesca Ablett, said: “I am so excited to have won the Horticultural Research Scholarship offered by the David Colegrave Foundation. The experience I will gain through the scholarship is going to be a massive help to my career development in the ornamental horticultural industry. I hope to use the funds to gain laboratory experience in molecular plant breeding at the University of Leeds.”
This season’s scholarships support interest in marketing, production, commercial, research or sustainability within ornamental horticulture:
NEW – Brian Crosby Scholarship awards £1,000 to horticulture students from the North West or for those that are studying horticulture in this area.
The Ball Colegrave Sponsored Travel Scholarship awards up to £1,500 to fund travel to the UK and Europe in order to develop knowledge and experience in bedding plant production and marketing.
The British Protected Ornamentals Association – Peter Seabrook Bursaryawards £1,000 to support the study of commercial horticulture.
The Horticultural Research Scholarship awards £2,500 to support applied research within the horticulture industry. The award is open to students with proven merit who are keen to pursue a research career in the horticultural industry.
The John Gibson Environmental Scholarship awards £1,500 to support environmental solutions and sustainable applications as applied to commercial horticulture.
The Student Scholarship awards £1,000 to each of up to five students to support their studies in horticulture. Preference will be given to candidates who have an interest in commercial and production ornamental horticulture, especially with an emphasis on the bedding, container, pot plant and cut flower sectors.
The Majestic Trees Sponsored Travel Scholarship is offering up to £3,000 to fund a placement abroad at a tree nursery. This also includes the opportunity for a work placement at Majestic Trees.
The John Gibson Environmental Scholarship will award £1,500 to a student with a keen interest in environmental solutions and sustainable applications as applied to commercial horticulture.
Scholarship Season runs from now until 31 January 2022, and to enter applicants simply need to complete an application form which they can do online.
GROEN-Direk tkicked off its 25th anniversary at its Autumn Fair on 25 and 26 August. In addition to a huge range of more than 5,500 unique batches, an exclusive presentation of Christmas trees and 100 stands manned by growers, Europe’s largest green market offered its visitors several innovations...
GROEN-Direk tkicked off its 25th anniversary at its Autumn Fair on 25 and 26 August. In addition to a huge range of more than 5,500 unique batches, an exclusive presentation of Christmas trees and 100 stands manned by growers, Europe’s largest green market offered its visitors several innovations, such as the introduction of a Spring Range, a new form of fair presentation, an inspection of novelties together with the Dutch Nursery Trade Fair Foundation and various special anniversary activities.
This Autumn Fair was a wonderful opportunity for anyone active in the green sector to meet one another, and underlined the company’s ‘Growing Together’ anniversary slogan.
Huge range and positive atmosphere
This year, GROEN-Direkt once again presented a comprehensive, unique late summer and autumn range at its Autumn Fair and webshop. And as in previous years, this was an ideal opportunity for visitors to see, feel and smell the entire range of Christmas trees in real life. The exclusive sample presentation comprised 120 different species/size combinations and associated hardware in an area of 2,000 m2.
The Christmas tree presentation and 5,500 unique batches certainly appealed to the more than 1,500 fair visitors. In spite of the COVID-19 measures, the visitors were very international in character, making the Autumn Fair not just a trade fair, but above all the place to be for anyone professionally involved in the green sector. Traders and buyers from within and outside the Netherlands who were unable to visit the fair found their way to the webshop. All this resulted in a successful anniversary fair characterised by a positive atmosphere and lots of personal contact.
New: Spring Range
New at this Autumn Fair was the Spring Range: a foretaste of what may be expected in the spring of 2022. Buyers were invited to reserve plants from the presented range physically or online during the anniversary fair, to be assured of a beautiful range next spring, while giving growers early insight into their spring sales. This is one of the ways in which GROEN-Direkt constantly responds to market developments so as to be able to offer their customers the very best service and quality.
Most popular novelties of 2021
At the special edition of its Autumn Fair, GROEN-Direkt presented twenty new batches at its Novelties Plaza. The sales figures show that Heuchera ‘Timeless Night’ was the most popular novelty. This year was also the first time that GROEN-Direkt hosted the official novelties inspection of the Stichting Vakbeurs voor de Boomkwekerij(Nursery Trade Fair Foundation). On the first day of the fair, the expert inspection committee of the Koninklijke Vereniging voor Boskoopse Culturen (KVBC: Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society) evaluated 27 batches and proclaimed Buddleia ‘Butterfly Candy Little Ruby’ the best novelty of 2021.
New form of fair presentation
GROEN-Direkt also introduced a new form of fair presentation: after 25 years of loyal service the company’s characteristic layers have given way to attractive presentation benches whose greater height make it easier for fair visitors to inspect the plants in their entirety. Besides being attractive, this new form of fair presentation means that the presented plants retain their good quality for longer because they can now be watered.
Start of anniversary year: GREEN Education Fund
And of course plenty of attention was also paid to the start of the anniversary year, for example with a special trolley whose proceeds will be invested in supporting education and knowhow in the nurseries and ornamental plants sectors. Under the heading of ‘GREEN Education Fund’, GROEN-Direkt is going to actively commit itself to promoting green education, from primary schools to universities. In the context of its 25th anniversary, GROEN-Direkt is donating a start-up capital of € 25,000 to the GREEN Education Fund to create a sound basis for a green future. Let’s keep on Growing Together!
The best of last week's
If you missed last week's GTN Xtra, below are the most-read stories...
Monkton Elm Garden Centre was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category and the Old Railway Line Garden Centre scooped the award in the Garden Centre (GC) category in the Wales & West region...
Monkton Elm Garden Centre was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category and the Old Railway Line Garden Centre scooped the award in the Garden Centre (GC) category in the Wales & West region.
Staff at the garden centres celebrated after scooping the awards during a presentation evening at Pugh’s Garden Centre The Vale in Wenvoe.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “It’s been a difficult year for everyone, but it was wonderful to hold the first of our award meetings since 2019. The Wales & West awards’ evening last night was a huge success, and it was fantastic to see so many of our members turn out for the occasion.
“It was great to hear our GCA Inspector, Gordon Emslie’s feedback from his inspections on the centres. Now our members can take this vital information back with them to their centres and make any changes needed.
“A big thank you must go Pugh’s Garden Centre, the team there were fantastic hosts for the evening. Our next regional award meeting will take place today at Stratford Garden Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon, also with Gordon, who will present his findings for the Midlands.”
The Old Railway Line also won The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Creativity and Innovation, the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer in the Garden Centre category and the Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service.
GCA Inspector Gordon Emslie was responsible for inspecting member centres in the Wales & West area.
He said: “People are at the heart of The Railway Line’s ethos and this comes through with the calm way that everyone is looked after. It just feels like you are visiting friends. Its level of operational consistency throughout all departments is what sets it apart from other centres.
“For the Destination Garden Centre category, Monkton Elm is a great example of a centre that focuses on its customers through the delivery of excellent customer service. Its real strength this season was its depth and range in both seasonal and hardy plants, along with strong merchandising, which really stood out when inspecting.”
Huw Lewis, Finance Director at The Old Railway Line Garden Centre and Wales & West Area Chairman, organised the regional awards evening.
“The awards were extremely well attended with approximately 45 attendees from the following centres: Pughs Radyr, Pughs Wenvoe, Brimsmore Gardens, Groves Nurseries, Monkton Elm, Raglan, Bernaville and The Old Railway Line.
“It was great to see so many people in attendance from a variety of garden centres from across the Wales and West area. My sincere thanks go to Nicola, Roger and the team at Pughs garden centres for hosting the awards and for their hospitality throughout the evening. The food was especially good and was admired by all!
“Gordon provided us with a superb presentation. What really shone through was some of the great displays and merchandising that all the garden centres across the area had achieved despite the challenges we have faced with Covid-19, social distancing and the various issues with the supply chain. My thanks go to everyone who attended and congratulations to all those that won awards.”
The full results for the Wales & West region GCA area awards are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:
Garden Centre of the Year: Monkton Elm Garden Centre (DGC) and Old Railway Line Garden Centre (GC)
The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Old Railway Line Garden Centre
The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Pughs Garden Village Radyr
Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Old Railway Line Garden Centre
Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: Brimsmore Gardens
The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Cadbury Garden Centre (DGC) and Old Railway Line Garden Centre (GC)
Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Cadbury Garden Centre (DGC) and Whitehall Garden Centre – Whitchurch (GC)
Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Sanders Garden World (DGC) and Old Railway Line Garden Centre (GC)
A leading Northern Ireland garden lifestyle business has expanded to open its first retail outlet in Cheshire, bringing to four, the number of garden lifestyle stores operated by Hillmount, a fourth generation family owned business...
A leading Northern Ireland garden lifestyle business has expanded to open its first retail outlet in Cheshire, bringing to four, the number of garden lifestyle stores operated by Hillmount, a fourth generation family owned business.
Opened by the Mercer family, Hillmount Cheshire represents a £500,000 investment and will initially create five new jobs for the local area.
Speaking about locating the newest member of the Hillmount family of garden centres in England, Robin Mercer, Managing Director of Hillmount, said: “The past 18 months have provided us with challenges and opportunities the likes of which we have not witnessed before.
"The timing to expand into GB felt right, simply because we have developed a strong customer base in England, Scotland and Wales and we want to provide our GB customers with the same excellent customer service that our loyal customers in Northern Ireland enjoy.
“As our online sales to GB have grown steadily in the past 18 months we decided to grasp the opportunity and expand our business to include a physical presence in Cheshire in line with customer demand.
“As well as creating the presence of a new garden lifestyle and outdoor living experience for residents in the local area, Hillmount Cheshire makes liaising with our GB suppliers easier and provides us with an opportunity to expand our online reach further.”
Hillmount Cheshire stocks Weber barbecues and accessories, a wide selection of Kettler garden furniture and gardening equipment. The giftware range offers gifts for all occasions and the clothing area includes outdoor and leisure brand Regatta.
For the latest deals and promotions at Hillmount Cheshire, please visit www.hillmountcheshire.co.uk or follow Hillmount Cheshire on facebook.
Hillmount also has garden lifestyle centres in Belfast, Bangor and Ards.
Staff from GCA member centres in the Midlands received awards during a presentation evening at Stratford Garden Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon. St Peters Garden Centre won the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category and Planters at Bretby picked up the accolade in the Garden Centre (GC) category.
Staff from GCA member centres in the Midlands received awards during a presentation evening at Stratford Garden Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
St Peters Garden Centre was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden Centre (DGC) category and Planters at Bretby picked up the accolade in the Garden Centre (GC) category.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “We’d like to say a huge ‘congratulations’ to all of our winners at our second award meeting, they all thoroughly deserve the recognition and are a testament to us.
“We’d also like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our inspector, Gordon Emslie, for visiting each centre and providing extensive feedback on what he found. The feedback really is invaluable to our members and one of the main benefits of our membership.
“A big thank you must also go to Stratford Garden Centre for hosting the meeting and to Gwyn and Helen Lloyd and their team for looking after us so well.”
St Peters Garden Centre also won the Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills and the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer in the DGC category.
Will Blake, Managing Director at St Peters Garden Centre, said: “We’re extremely proud of this result particularly considering the year we have all had. There was tough competition in our area as well, so it’s a testament to the hard work from the whole team and a thoroughly well-deserved result for them!”
GCA Inspector Gordon was responsible for inspecting member garden centres in the Midlands areas.
He said: “Key to this year’s success at St Peters was the welcoming and homely feeling you receive from staff when you visit the centre. Their overall operational consistency across all key elements during the inspection process was extremely strong. Plus, a solid ethos on environmental awareness.
“For the Garden Centre category, Planters at Bretby had focused and delivered very high and consistent retail standards throughout the centre which made for a compelling visitor experience for customers. Their plant area in particular was extremely strong.”
The full results for the Midlands are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:
Garden Centre of the Year: St Peters Garden Centre (DGC) and Planters at Bretby (GC)
The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: East Bridgford Garden Centre
The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Percy Thrower’s Gardening Centre
Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Webbs of Wychbold
Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: St Peters Garden Centre
The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: St Peters Garden Centre (DGC) and Webbs, West Hagley (GC)
Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Webbs of Wychbold (DGC) and Fairways Garden Centre – Ashbourne (GC)
Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: East Bridgford Garden Centre (DGC) and Fairways Garden Centre – Ashbourne (GC)
New Miracle-Gro Nourish & Protect is a pesticide free, sustainably packed and sourced range of products...
New Miracle-Gro Nourish & Protect is a pesticide free, sustainably packed and sourced range of products. An industry first, each product has two uses: providing the necessary nourishment for healthy garden growth, whilst protecting the garden from unexpected weather changes, as well as unwanted bugs and slugs.
The four new products in the range include: Nourish & Protect for Rose, Shrub & Ornamentals; Nourish & Protect for Flowers, Fruit and Veg; Nourish & Protect Seaweed Plant Food and Nourish & Protect Seaweed Lawn Food.
After extensive research of 13,000 gardeners carried out in 2018, Miracle-Gro identified that gardeners from novice to full green-fingered felt the market for products to care for their garden was a confusing place; the number of products available, their potential effect on the environment and that the need for multiple applications of a product often left them bored and meant they rarely completed the task at hand (Kantar, 2018).
In response to the consumer insight, Miracle-Gro Nourish & Protect was born to resolve the above barriers and simplify gardening in one simple application, with a main goal to encourage gardeners to feed their plants and use preventatively, rather than to treat pests and or disease once it has taken hold.
Mark Portman, Managing Director of Evergreen Garden Care says: ‘‘The launch of the Miracle-Gro Nourish & Protect Range is another exciting development from the UK's leading garden care brand and puts the gardener at the heart of our innovation launching protects the protect the environment, whilst also helping gardeners to nurture their gardens in a simpler way.'
Nourish & Protect for Rose, Shrub & Ornamentals
Nourish & Protect for Rose, Shrub & Ornamentals is a dual benefit, pesticide-free sprayer combining the feeding action of Miracle-Gro Plant Food with the unique addition of natural castor oil creating a protective barrier against garden pests and diseases (Aphids, Mealybugs, Red Mites, Black Spot, Powdery Mildew and Rust). From early Spring simply spraying the leaves every two weeks will lay a transparent layer of feed and protection on the plants.
Packaging: Nourish & Protect for Rose, Shrub & Ornamentals comes in a ‘Bottle For Life’ that is made from 100% Recycled plastic with the option of an Eco-Refill capsule that saves 94% of plastic.
Price: Nourish & Protect for Rose, Shrub & Ornamentals is priced at £7.99 RRP for 800ml. The Rose & Shrub eco-refill is priced at £4.49 for 24ml concentrate.
Nourish & Protect for Flowers, Fruit and Veg
Nourish & Protect for Flowers, Fruit and Veg is a dual-benefit, pesticide-free formula combining the feeding action of Miracle-Gro Plant Food for healthy plants with natural lava rocks as a physical protective barrier against slugs. Placed around each plant, it feeds the plant and prevents slugs from eating the fruits and vegetables. It is suitable for organic farming can be used also for ornamentals like Dalias and Marigolds.
Packaging: Nourish & Protect for Flowers, Fruit and Veg packaging is 100% Recyclable and made from 30% Recycled plastic.
Price: Nourish & Protect for Flowers, Fruit and Veg is priced at £7.99 RRP for 1kg and £12.99 for 2kg.
Nourish & Protect Seaweed Plant Food
Nourish & Protect Seaweed Plant Food is a dual benefit, natural growth stimulant that combines the feeding action of Miracle-Gro Plant Food with the addition of seaweed that if used regularly, will improve plants' resistance to frost and heat (abiotic stress).It provides the full nutrients that all plants need to stimulate roots development and enhance flowering and fruiting. - It is Rich in organic matter that stimulates soil bio activity and it is also Organic & Vegan.
Packaging: The bottle is made from 100% Recycled plastic and it is recyclable. The bottle is made from 100% Recycled plastic and it is recyclable.
Price: Nourish & Protect Seaweed Plant Food is priced at £6.99 RRP for 800ml.
Nourish & Protect Seaweed Lawn Food
Nourish & Protect Seaweed Lawn Food is a dual-benefit, pesticide-free lawn food that contains seaweed and as a result, if used regularly, helps improve plants' resistance to frost and heat (abiotic stress). It is a natural lawn growth stimulant that supplies Ca, Mg and trace elements for turf growth and all-round lawn health.
Packaging: The Seaweed Lawn Food is packaged in a 100% recyclable carton box.
Price: Nourish & Protect Seaweed Lawn Food is priced at £6.40 RRP for 80m2 and £12.50 for 360m2.
The Nourish & Protect range will be available from January 2022.
In Scotland, Simpsons Garden Centre was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden (DGC) category and Klondyke Mortonhall in the Garden Centre (GC) category. In Northern Ireland, Creative Gardens Bushmills (GC) received the accolade.
Garden Centre Association members in Scotland and Northern Ireland are celebrating after picking up awards during a presentation at Klondyke Mortonhall Garden Centre.
In Scotland, Simpsons Garden Centre (pictured above) was awarded Garden Centre of the Year in the Destination Garden (DGC) category and Klondyke Mortonhall (pictured below) in the Garden Centre (GC) category. In Northern Ireland, Creative Gardens Bushmills (GC) received the accolade.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “Our third regional awards meeting of the week was a resounding success and it was great to hear from inspector Colin Farquhar, who presented his findings from his inspections, which took place earlier in the summer. The rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland were slightly different during the pandemic too, so it was interesting to see the results.
“We’d like to thank Klondyke Mortonhall Garden Centre for being fantastic hosts for the evening and all our attendees, who were super positive and proactive throughout. We know they will be sharing it with their colleagues at their own centres to make any improvements when they return after the meeting.”
Simpsons Garden Centre were also the winners of the GIMA Award for Best Garden Projects Retailer (DGC), the Best Outdoor Living Retailer and Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer in the DGC category.
GCA inspector, Colin Farquhar, was responsible for inspecting member garden centres in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
He said: “Simpsons is a really great garden centre that caters for all possible customer requirements, they have managed to maintain the highest standards during their huge renovation and additions, which are due to open soon.
“In the Garden Centre category, the team at Klondyke’s Mortonhall Garden Centre delivered the highest standards of customer care coupled with an industry leading garden centre proposition. As an inspirational centre, Mortonhall delivers throughout the year and is well worth an extended visit.
For Northern Ireland, there is no Destination Garden Centre Category, so Creative Gardens Bushmills won the top award, as well as the Barton Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity, the Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre, the Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills, the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer and Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer.
Colin added: “Creative Gardens Bushmills is an exceptional garden centre, which produces a great experience for customers looking for top notch products and service. The coffee shop, outdoor barbecue area and plant offering are of the highest standard not matched amongst their competition. It was a pleasure to visit.”
On Tuesday, August 31 inspector Phil McCann will present his findings at the South Thames region meeting at Haskins Garden Centre, Snowhill in Sussex.
The North Thames area awards meeting will follow on Wednesday, September 1 at Perrywood Garden Centre in Sudbury with inspector Andy Campbell.
Alyson Haywood will then be presenting her findings on Thursday, September 2 for the North East and North West region at Tong Garden Centre in Bradford.
The full results for the Scotland and Northern Ireland GCA area awards are as follows for the GC and DGC categories:
Garden Centre of the Year: Simpsons Garden Centre (DGC) and Klondyke Group – Mortonhall Garden Centre (GC)
The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Klondyke Group – Garden Wise Dumfries
The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Dunbar Garden Centre
Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Klondyke Group – Mortonhall Garden Centre
Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: Klondyke Group – Mortonhall Garden Centre
The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Simpsons Garden Centre (DGC) and Klondyke Group – Garden Wise Dumfries (GC)
Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Simpsons Garden Centre (DGC) and Klondyke Group – Garden Wise Dumfries (GC)
Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Simpsons Garden Centre (DGC) and Klondyke Group – Garden Wise Dumfries (GC)
Garden Centre of the Year: Creative Gardens Bushmills
The Barton Grange Trophy for Commercial Innovation and Creativity: Creative Gardens Bushmills
The Dick Allen Award for Most Improved Centre: Creative Gardens Bushmills
Customer Service Award for Best Customer Service: Creative Gardens Donaghadee
Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by Savills: Creative Gardens Bushmills
The GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer: Creative Gardens Bushmills
Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer: Creative Gardens Bushmills
Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer: Creative Gardens Galgorm Castle
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts...
Every week GTN receives and analyses epos data from a number of UK garden centres to produce the GTN Bestsellers charts and weekly bestsellers sales tips.
The full charts which provide useful insight into product sales peaks, new trends and new link sales opportunities are published in the weekly GTN Xtra newsletter.
As the year goes on we give sales volume comparisons with 2018 as well as 2019 to allow your teams to see variations over a three year period.
Access is by subscription only. For £145.00 per year you and your team can have access to the most up-to-date gardening sales analysis that has already helped many UK garden centres increase their sales. To subscribe call 07973 504214, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or buy on-line using this link.
WARNING the GTN Bestsellers Charts seriously improve the business of our subscribers. Invest 15 minutes each week in improving your sales using the GTN Bestsellers charts and your turnover and customer satisfaction will improve too.
Get the GTN Bestsellers charts in full every week in the GTN Bestsellers newsletters for only £145.00.
GTN Bestsellers is the only industry source of weekly garden centre sales information, collating Epos data from centres with an aggregate turnover in excess of £100m.
Use the weekly Garden Products and Growing Media Top 50 sales volumes charts to plan your hotspot and other promotions and ensure you have the right products in stock to satisfy the needs of your customers.
AQUA 2021, the UK’s aquatics and water gardening industry exhibition, is ready for an eagerly anticipated return in October with an impressive list of exhibitors showcasing their new products and services...
AQUA 2021, the UK’s aquatics and water gardening industry exhibition, is ready for an eagerly anticipated return in October with an impressive list of exhibitors showcasing their new products and services.
Visitors to the event at Telford International Centre on October 13-14 can expect a busy event with the exhibition hall hosting more than 50 UK and international companies.
Retailers and suppliers have admitted they can’t wait for the return of an in-person AQUA exhibition, where they can meet face-to-face for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
With still six weeks to go before the exhibition opens its doors, visitor registrations from buyers are already at a high level with more than 700 registered to attend – this figure compares favourably at this stage to the previous event in 2019.
AQUA event chairman Mark Winter, of Aqua One, said: “As the industry rebuilds after the challenging and difficult period of the past 18 months, AQUA 2021 remains an ideal platform to seek out new products, new manufacturers or simply touch base with existing suppliers, in many cases for the first time since March 2020.
“Now, more than ever, there is a need for retailers to freshen up their offering to keep customers coming back again and again. For the watergardening and aquatics industry there is no better place than AQUA Telford to find the products that can help them achieve their goals.
“A lot of planning and hard work has gone into organising this show and I’m confident people will have an enjoyable and profitable visit.”
OATA’s chief executive Dominic Whitmee added: “We are very excited by the return of AQUA which presents a great opportunity for the industry to come together after the difficult 18 months we have all experienced because of the dual impacts of the pandemic and Brexit.”
Many of the industry’s leading companies have booked stand space, including Aquadistri UK, Aqua One, Aquatic Now, Beaver Plants, D-D The Aquarium Solution, Evolution Aqua/Bermuda, Hikari, J&K Aquatics, Neil Hardy, OASE and Pond Xpert. For a full list visit www.aquatelford.co.uk.
“We can’t wait to be able to see customers again face to face rather than through virtual meetings,” said Dale Lewis, UK manager for Aquarium Systems. “It’s also great to have the chance to discuss the new products that we have to offer. The pandemic caused so many disruptions over the past year or so. This show will hopefully be the start of things getting back to normal. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in October.”
Emma Simmons, of J&K Aquatics, commented: “Our team is really looking forward to the return of AQUA this year. It gives us a chance to meet new and existing customers, catch up with friends in the industry, and take stock of the UK aquatics trade as we prepare to head into 2022.’’
A strong international presence at the two-day exhibition will be represented by Aquadip, AquaLine and Moerings (The Netherlands), Aqualantis (Portugal), Prodibio (France), Eheim (Germany), Tropica Aquarium Plants (Denmark), Xtreme Aquatics Foods and Zoo Med (America).
Henriette Pellekooren, of AquaLine, summed up the significance of the show for international exhibitors. “We are pleased to be at the AQUA 2021 this year. Especially after the pandemic, it is great that we can welcome our customers again at the exhibition. It will be strange to go to a large show after our time in lockdown but we have confidence in the organisation of the event. We are very excited and looking forward to it.”
Cyril Geoffray, UK sales manager of Zoo Med, added: “We’re excited to return to an actual physical show to both meet customers in the flesh and to demonstrate the multiple new products that are about to be released. It’s a very exciting time and we really look forward to welcoming all visitors. We will have numerous goodie bags to thank them for their support.”
Despite the many challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic there has been a welcome boost to the hobby of fishkeeping, both indoors and out.
With more people spending more time at home, demand for indoor aquariums has increased significantly, and there has also been a rise in popularity for garden pond products.
As a result of this boost in activity, the New Product Showcase, sponsored by pbwnews, is set to be one of the highlights of the exhibition. All the items will be entered into the New Product Awards, which will be judged by a team of independent retailers on the opening morning of the show.
Retailer Kevin Rose, a director of Lynchford Aquatics, recognises the importance of a return of an ‘in person’ AQUA show, saying: “It is the first real opportunity for the aquatic trade to meet and network after such a long time. It is a chance for retailers to meet old and new suppliers and vice versa. I think this will be advantageous as we start to emerge from recent events.”
Details of the 2021 event can be found on the exhibition’s website www.aquatelford.co.uk, which includes the latest show news and how to register to visit.
To discover more reasons why AQUA has become a vital date in the water gardening and aquatics trade calendar, retailers and suppliers can view a special video of the 2019 event at https://vimeo.com/371139081.
A new criminal offence for pet abduction is set to be introduced under government plans to crack down on pet theft following a reported rise in pets being stolen during the pandemic...
A new criminal offence for pet abduction is set to be introduced under government plans to crack down on pet theft following a reported rise in pets being stolen during the pandemic.
The new law will recognise the welfare of animals and that pets are valued as more than property. The new offence is one of several recommendations in a report published today by the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce which was launched in May 2021.
The Taskforce, made up of officials from Defra, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice along with operational partners including the police CPS, Border Force and Local Government, considered evidence from academics, animal welfare organisations, campaign groups, enforcement agencies and industry experts.
Since its establishment, the Taskforce has considered available evidence from academics, animal welfare organisations, campaign groups, enforcement agencies and industry experts to help inform its recommendations.
The report found that seven in 10 of the animal thefts recorded by the police involve dogs. Evidence suggests that around 2,000 dog theft crimes were reported to police in 2020, causing considerable distress for owners and their pets alike. The price of some breeds increased by as much as 89% over lockdown as people spent more time at home, potentially making dog theft more appealing to criminals looking to profit from the spike in public interest in owning a pet.
The Taskforce’s recommendations include:
The creation of a new ‘pet abduction’ offence – Pet theft is currently treated as a loss of property to the owner, but we know that does not reflect the true severity of this crime. The new offence will prioritise the welfare of our pets as sentient beings and recognise the emotional distress to the animal in addition to its owner.
Identifying and tracking cases – Reliable data on pet theft is limited and improved recording and data collection about these crimes will build a stronger evidence base about the problem.
Improving the recording of ownership and transfer data – New requirements to register additional details and a single point of access to microchipping databases will support tracking lost and stolen dogs.
Tackling the fear of crime – Police will work together with partner agencies to raise awareness about police initiatives and prevention measures
These changes will make it easier for the police to track pet abduction incidents making it easier to clamp down on offenders. The Home Office will ensure that pet abduction is recorded in a consistent manner across police forces, while officials from each department will be able to review the way data is collected across the criminal justice system.Pet microchip databases will also be made more accessible under the proposals.
There are currently 16 microchipping databases in England, however the Taskforce found that they can be difficult to navigate for pet owners and law enforcement, making it difficult to trace stolen dogs. Under the new proposals a single point of access to all databases will simplify and streamline the system and more robust rules will also be introduced across all of the pet microchipping databases for recording the transfer of dogs to new owners to ensure full traceability.
Taken together, these proposals will make it far harder for thieves to steal and sell pets, will make it easier for the police to catch them, and will ensure that the impact on the animal is reflected in the sentences or penalties given to offenders. The new measures will also allow the Government to capture more data on pet theft crimes and raise awareness of police activity in combatting the issue and actions owners can take to keep their pets safe.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Pets are much loved members of the family in households up and down the country, and reports of a rise in pet theft have been worrying. Pet owners shouldn’t have to live in fear, and I am pleased this report acknowledges the unique distress caused by this crime. “Its recommendations will reassure pet owners, help the police to tackle pet theft, and deliver justice for victims. We will consider its findings carefully and work with colleagues across Government to start implementing its recommendations.”
The Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC MP, said: “Many of us have sought the companionship of pets during the pandemic which makes this crime even more cruel. “These proposals will make sure police can better identify and track down criminals who peddle in this heartless trade, whilst ensuring they are appropriately punished for their actions.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Stealing a pet is an awful crime which can cause families great emotional distress whilst callous criminals line their pockets. “The new offence of pet abduction acknowledges that animals are far more than just property and will give police an additional tool to bring these sickening individuals to justice. At the same time, police will continue to work to raise awareness about how owners can best to protect pets from being targeted.”
Taskforce partner, Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: “The work of the taskforce means that police forces across the country will now be better placed to respond to pet theft through an improved recording process and a specific crime that recognises pets as valued members of the family with a significant emotional impact”.“We would also encourage anyone buying a puppy or dog to make sure that they are buying from a responsible and genuine home. Advice on checks that can help buyers make the right choices is available through Blue Cross or RSPCA website.”
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “We’re really pleased to hear the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce recommendations. Pet theft can leave families in utter turmoil and have serious welfare implications for animals ripped away from everything they know. “The new Pet Abduction Offence will acknowledge the seriousness of this crime and we hope this will encourage courts to hand out much tougher sentences to pet thieves. We’re also thrilled that the Government wants to simplify the microchipping database system and we believe this will help to tackle pet theft as well as other animal welfare issues and irresponsible pet ownership generally.”
Ethically-minded pet brand Earth Animal has joined forces with charity StreetVet to raise money for the charity’s work supporting the pets of people experiencing homelessness...
Ethically-minded pet brand Earth Animal has joined forces with charity StreetVet to raise money for the charity’s work supporting the pets of people experiencing homelessness.
Founded by husband and wife Dr Bob and Susan Goldstein, Earth Animal is dedicated to finding humane, holistic and sustainable ways of enhancing and preserving the quality of life of animals, people and the Earth. It will donate 1% of all UK net sales of its popular No-Hide® Chews in 2021 to StreetVet, just in time for the International Day of Charity (5th September).
Funds raised by the UK sales of Earth Animal’s No-Hide® Chews, which are expected to total around £20,000, will support essential veterinary care for pets living in a StreetVet accredited hostel. The hostel scheme, launched by the charity in 2020, aims to ensure people experiencing homelessness can be housed with their pets. Otherwise, they face the impossible choice of a roof over their heads or giving up their pet.
Jade Statt, StreetVet co-founder and Clinical Director, said:“Earth Animal is a truly purpose-driven company and we are delighted to be able to utilise its contribution to support vital services such as hospitalisation, surgery, and X-ray procedures. It will make a real difference in helping us care for pets, as well as positively impacting our StreetVet clients.”
Earth Animal co-founder Susan Goldstein said “When we heard about StreetVet’s mission, we were completely inspired and in awe of their outstanding work. The bond between a person and their dog is an age-old marvel. However, we recognise that, for those experiencing homelessness, dogs are more than just a source of companionship and loyalty. For many, they are all they have — and the bond is stronger than anything most of us can even comprehend. Supporting StreetVet is a complete honour for our team.”
No-Hide® Chews are available from pet stores nationwide, in-store and online. See a list of retailers here.