Horticulture Wales Conference 2011
Horticulture businesses urged to work together.
Welsh growers, processors and retailers have been urged to be more collaboratively minded in order to create an effective and efficient supply chain.
Opening the Horticulture Wales Conferences, held in Swansea and St. Asaph, Alun Davies the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes congratulated the sector on its high quality produce. He stated that the Welsh Government wanted to support an industry which is profitable and is able to deliver long term prosperity for individual businesses and for Wales. He told the Conferences to see change as an opportunity not a threat.
Organised by Horticulture Wales, the conferences welcomed over 90 participants and provided businesses and organisations involved in the horticulture sector the chance to listen to industry experts, hear about latest marketing trends and find out more about the Horticulture Wales project as well as allowing delegates to develop new contacts within the industry.
Professor of Strategic Marketing Martin Hingley from Lincoln University called upon Welsh growers to work together with other parties along the supply chain. According to Professor Hingley, “The horticultural industry needs to engage with the supply chain and see it as a network, where horizontal collaboration is just as important as vertical. However in the UK, we’re not as collaboratively minded as other countries where co-operations between growers are a lot more common. By not acting collectively, opportunities to supply new markets whether retailers or consumers directly are being missed, which means losing out on potential sales!”
According to David Skydmore, Horticulture Wales Project Director, “the speakers and discussion sessions really got the audiences thinking as to how they could improve their existing supply chains, work together and create new products and sales opportunities”.
“Many of the opportunities the project has identified can be best met if producers work together and collaborate with other businesses in the supply chain such as garden centres or food manufacturers. There is demand for Welsh produce and products but producers need to co-operate to supply the volumes required by potential customers. Horticultural production is very important to Wales and Wales is proud of its industry.”
The Horticulture Wales project has received funding through the supply chain efficiencies scheme of the Rural Development Plan for Wales. This scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project provides focused, expert support to businesses involved in both edible and amenity horticulture supply chains within Wales.
Jane Morgan, Project Development Officer commented “We’re very pleased with how the events were received. We had a real mix of attendees, from both edible and ornamental horticulture and across the supply chain whether growers, distributors, wholesalers or customers. We have events taking place in December that will be highlighting the opportunities to supply new markets, including Castell Howell, Wholesalers Peter Broughton Ltd, Lush Cosmetics and Eurospar in Gwynedd.”
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