House of Lords inquiry into horticulture continues with evidence from several leading industry figures

The House of Lords inquiry into the horticulture sector has turned its attention to the challenges faced by growers and retailers.

On Thursday 20 April the Horticultural Sector Committee was due to hear evidence from industry heavyweights including British Growers Association chief executive Jack Ward, Stocks Farm director Ali Capper, and Mike Norris, director of the Newey Group and the West Sussex Growers Association.

In the subsequent session, speakers were due to include Jo Lambell, founder of Beards & Daisies; Boyd Douglas-Davies, director at British Garden Centres and chair of the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group; and Robert Hillier, chairman at Hillier Nurseries.

The evidence sessions, which are open to the public and streamed live on Parliament TV, are expected to cover topics including:

  • Challenges growers face when doing business with retailers
  • The value of the UK horticultural retail market both to the UK economy and households
  • How retailers measure their environmental footprint, including that from overseas trade
  • Impact of labour issues such as shortages of workers and skills gaps on businesses in the sector
  • The government’s plans to introduce a complete ban on peat use by 2030
  • Opportunities presented to growers by developments in science and technology
  • How easy it is for growers to understand, apply for and access government schemes to support the industry
  • Key challenges faced when trading with partners in the EU and further afield.

The cross-party Horticultural Sector Committee will publish its report by the end of this year.