key theme behind this year’s Cultivating Retail

UK: Creating a sustainable future for the garden industry

Creating a sustainable future for the garden industry is the key theme behind this year’s Cultivating Retail event which takes place on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. This year’s conference and dinner will be hosted by journalist and broadcaster Daisy McAndrew with Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards providing the after-dinner entertainment.

The event, sponsored by Evergreen Garden Care and jointly hosted by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA), brings together retailers, suppliers and growers to provide a mix of strategic and inspirational content. The programme will include the latest consumer attitudes and thoughts on what sustainability means for the garden industry including key topics such as biosecurity, growing media, plastics, labour/skills, water and pesticides.

HTA Vice-President and Cultivating Retail Steering Group member Boyd Douglas-Davies comments,

“This year’s Cultivating Retail conference focuses on the sustainability of the industry in the widest sense. By bringing together the supply chain this event gives us a fantastic opportunity to look at what actions we need to be taking now to ensure that we have a robust, viable and relevant industry fit for the future. You really can’t afford to miss this one!”

Host Daisy McAndrew was the Special Correspondent for ITV News, having previously served as Economics Editor and Chief Political Correspondent. Formerly Andrew Neil’s co-host on The Daily Politics, Daisy has also presented Heaven & Earth and reported on Westminster for BBC Breakfast. She now co-hosts the mid-morning show on Talkradio discussing the latest headlines and opinions.

Dr. David Bek, a Reader in Sustainable Economics from Coventry University, will focus on what sustainability means for the garden industry. Dr. Bek has extensive experience in undertaking research into sustainability within horticultural supply chains, especially cut flowers. He is especially interested in developing an evidence base to demonstrate how innovations within sustainability practice can lead to improvements in businesses’ resilience, productivity and profitability.

Guy Topping, Managing Director of the Barton Grange Group will be telling the story of their Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre. Complete with its undulating design and grass roof Guy will talk through the development from the birth of this new recreational concept to the challenges of delivery and lessons learnt from a sustainability perspective.

The networking opportunities continue into the evening with the business dinner. This year the after-dinner speaker has been confirmed as Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards. With little skill for his sport, Olympic skier Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards won the hearts and minds of the public with his heroic failures, and he remains one of the best loved athletes today; in fact, his life has been depicted in the biographical film Eddie the Eagle (2016), and he has also appeared as the coach on Channel 4 programme 'The Jump'.

The Cultivating Retail Steering Group, responsible for shaping the event, consists of the following industry representatives: Mark Butler (Vitax), Boyd Douglas-Davies (Hillview Group), Neil Grant (Ferndale Garden Centre), Caroline Owen (Scotsdales Garden Centre), Richard Pyrah (Ames) supported by HTA’s Director of Membership Martin Simmons, GIMA Director Vicky Nuttall and the HTA events team.

Cultivating Retail takes place at the East Midlands Conference Centre set within the beautifully landscaped parkland of Nottingham University’s campus. This purpose built venue, complete with auditorium, is adjacent to the Orchard Hotel. Built in 2012 this eco-friendly hotel has been awarded a BREEAM rating of excellent and using the latest technology to reduce carbon emissions benefits from plenty of daylight.

Look out for further news on a keynote speaker in due course. For further information and to book your place please visit or email

For information about sponsorship opportunities at the event please contact Tim Bell, HTA Commercial Manager on 07808 775177 or email  or Vicky Nuttall, GIMA Director on 07766 135060 or 

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