On 27 February, Jennifer Pheasey, HTA’s Director of Public Affairs, joined parliamentarians and stakeholders as speaker at a dinner of the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT). The topic of the event was ‘Sustainable SMEs: Building a Better Future’ and was chaired by Selaine Saxby MP, with HTA and the Federation of Small Businesses as speakers.
Jennifer set out the important role of horticulture in delivering UK net-zero and sustainability ambitions, but also some of the challenges and difficulties businesses across the sector face – from investment to skills – and can hold-back progress. The HTA’s own work and member support – in particular its Sustainability Roadmap – were noted as valuable initiatives. The challenges of some environmental regulations, including the need for clarity and certainty on the detail ahead of their introduction was discussed, and was timely given new Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and Deposit Return Schemes.
Jennifer Pheasey, Director of Public Affairs at HTA, commented: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to represent our sector and set out the invaluable role of environmental horticulture in sustainability and also as a sector itself on the net-zero journey. We know that for many SMEs understanding what action they can take and navigating regulation can be difficult, especially having the resource and capability to implement sustainability measures given other pressures they face. It is critical parliamentarians hear the needs and experience from sectors like ours.”