Nearly 100 representatives from the Welsh horticulture industry attended a special summit earlier this week [Monday 9 March] staged to encourage greater collaboration throughout the sector.
Growers, garden centres, retailers, food manufacturers, wholesalers, government advisors and more all turned out in force at supply chain efficiency project Horticulture Wales’ ‘Bringing Growers Together’ event at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire.
The one-day conference was headlined with an inspirational slot from renowned writer and broadcaster Monty Don, who provided a fascinating insight into his life-long passion for gardening and growing, shared stories from his illustrious career, and took part in a lively Q&A session with the audience.
Delegates also enjoyed guest presentations from Stephen Hedderly, Managing Director of vegetable co-operative Bedfordshire Growers, and Simon Goodenough, Curator of Horticulture at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, as well getting to participate in an energetic ‘Cultivating Connections’ speed networking session that enabled them to meet other growers from across Wales.
‘Bringing Growers Together’ also included informative Q&A panels with growers who have been involved with recent Horticulture Wales initiatives, while Project Director Dr David Skydmore rounded off proceedings by outlining what the organisation had achieved over the past four years and what opportunities there were likely to be for growers to capitalise on over the coming years.
Dr David Skydmore, Project Director of Horticulture Wales, commented: “It was tremendous to see such a broad cross-section of the Welsh horticulture sector in attendance for an event full of discussion, debate, and ideas about how we can grow our industry together. A number of key themes emerged during the day, namely the benefits of closer collaboration across the sector, the need for growers to innovate and add value, and how the concept of ‘Welshness’ is a powerful brand the horticulture industry could and should do more to capitalise on.”