Click to open pdfThe first cross-sector action plan, designed to increase growth and competitiveness for the ornamental horticulture industry, has been created by leaders from across the sector. The plan, which was launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2015, addresses 12 priority areas where government help could encourage the long-term growth of the sector.

The Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Action Plan 2015-2020 is the culmination of six months work that included a series of roundtable meetings between experts from across the ornamental sector and with input from Defra. The plan unifies their shared concerns and focuses on those areas that have the greatest growth potential, providing major benefits to the health and well-being of the environment and society.

Speaking about the plan, roundtable chair and RHS Director General Sue Biggs said: 'The work the industry has put into the creation of this plan has been truly impressive. Everyone has pulled together to focus our collective expertise, skills and insights to develop a map of where the sector should go. This is vital if ornamental horticulture is to regain its position at the top table among the most important economic, social and cultural sectors in our economy.'

The organisations behind the development of the action plan include the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, Grow Careers, the Horticultural Development Company, the Horticulture Innovation Partnership, the Horticultural Trades Association, Landex, Lantra, the National Farmers' Union, the Royal Horticultural Society and YoungHort, and they will continue to guide its development over the next five years.

A representative from the horticultural sector will lead and drive each of the 12 challenge areas and will feed into a steering group. To ensure rigour, each group is being encouraged to draw on expertise from within and outside the sector to inform their work.

The 12 areas of focus are:

  1. Horticulture careers (apprenticeships, ambassadors and Grow, the cross-industry careers initiative)

  2. Horticulture and the National Curriculum

  3. Garden tourism

  4. Garden expo

  5. Sunday trading

  6. Supply chain best practice

  7. Fiscal incentives

  8. Research and development

  9. Plant health and pollinators

  10. Health and horticulture (See also: Health & Horticulture Conference 2016)

  11. Green infrastructure

  12. Inputs and waste (water, crop protection, growing media, pesticides, energy)

Useful links

Audio and slideshows from the Health & Horticulture Conference 2016

RHS news blog: Lord Heseltine backs bid to secure future of horticulture industry

Action Plan update 2016 (514kB pdf)


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