WITH concerns about the environment and sustainability high on the consumer agenda it is important that businesses are able to demonstrate and communicate the actions they are taking.

In response to this, The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is holding a 'Sustainability Matters' conference. Topics on the agenda include: consumer attitudes, creating a sustainable business, plastics in horticulture, community-based initiatives and garden centre actions. It will provide an overview of consumer insight, inspiration and discussion about sustainability in horticulture.

The conference takes place on Tuesday 30 April at Horticulture House in Oxfordshire. The one-day event, chaired by George Bullivant of Garden Forum, includes speakers from the British Retail Consortium, RECOUP and Hubbub along with panel sessions and case studies from across the industry.

Planned topics include:

  • Consumer Insight – How sustainable should you be?
  • Retail Sustainability – What are your business options?
  • The Plastic Packaging Recycling Journey
  • A cross industry panel session on plastics which will continue the discussions around industry initiatives including the introduction of the 100 percent recyclable taupe pot.

Panellists confirmed so far include HTA Policy Executive Sally Cullimore, Nick Mathias from Floramedia, Shaun Herdsman from Modiform and grower and retailer representatives.

Trewin Restorick, CEO from environmental charity Hubbub will talk about different community sustainability initiatives that he has been involved in helping to inspire businesses to do the same.

Colin Jones from Carr Farm Garden Centre on The Wirral will provide examples of the ways in which they are making their business more sustainable. So far they have installed six biomass heaters, recycle all their cardboard and are also looking into harnessing storm water to re-use for plant watering.

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