08 April 2020
DIDCOT, UK: Following on from the HTA campaign last week to highlight the financial plight of ornamental horticulture growers during the coronavirus shutdown, the HTA has been inundated with messages from the public wanting to support the industry.
To help connect growers with the public, the HTA has launched the ‘Plants Near Me’ webpage – plantsnearme.hta.org.uk, allowing the public to find local growers and garden centres that are offering home delivery.
To make this initiative a success, the HTA is urging members and non-members to add their details to the database, so that the resource can become a comprehensive online directory for the public to use. Since its soft launch at the end of last week 137 horticultural businesses have signed up so far but more are needed to allow for coverage across the whole country.
HTA President, Boyd Douglas-Davies, said of the scheme, “Following on from the media coverage of the plight of growers and garden retailers it has been encouraging to hear the messages of support from the general public. There is pent up demand for plants and the launch of ‘Plants Near Me’ provides some way of enabling the gardening public to access plants available to them from local suppliers.
“We continue to progress our discussions with Government around providing a grower stock compensation scheme, seeking clarity on access for the sector to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and considering how garden centres can be reopened in the right way at the right time. In the meantime, I would encourage all those who are still operating their business online to register and that way we can promote out to consumers. We all know the benefits that plants can bring to our health and wellbeing – particularly so at this unprecedented time.”