HTA welcomes embassy attachés on nursery visit

On a visit organised by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), diplomats from a range of European embassies based in London were welcomed at Provender Nurseries in Kent.

This visit was significant as it provided the attachés with a unique opportunity to witness the operations of a leading UK grower, Provender Nurseries, first-hand.

The visit included representatives from the EU delegation to the UK, Belgian, Dutch, Spanish, French, and Hungarian embassies.

The purpose of the visit was to see a UK grower first-hand and share insights into how the industry works with European suppliers, working on cross-border trade challenges and the transition to peat-free, a significant step towards sustainable horticulture that the UK industry is actively pursuing.

Jennifer Pheasey, Director of Public Affairs, HTA, commented: “UK environmental horticulture has long-established European supply chains and business relationships. Importing £753 million of plants and plant products, having strong supply chains, and being aware of the pressure and challenges they face are critical. We were pleased to welcome representatives from a range of countries and to provide them with an introduction to the scope and value of our sector, as well as updates on border policy impacts and our transition to peat-free.”

“The HTA has been clear that we hope to see even more collaboration with European partners to smooth trade with an ambition that we achieve an SPS or plant health agreement with our nearest trading partners in the future. We are keen to engage with all interested stakeholders to discuss the sector's importance, how it works and can contribute to green growth and environmental and net-zero ambitions.”

Richard McKenna, Managing Director, Provender Nurseries, said: "We were delighted to welcome embassy representatives to see Provender Nurseries and our newly completed control point. This visit underscores the vital role our nurseries play in the horticultural supply chain and our commitment to fostering strong international relationships and sustainable practices."

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