The Northern Ireland Executive has announced the opening of garden centres in Northern Ireland. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Chairman, James Barnes, comments:
“While we welcome the Northern Ireland Executive’s announcement that garden centres will be included in the first group of essential retailers to open in the country, we need to know when this will be to help guarantee that garden centres have enough time to get staff back to work and allow them to put in place the necessary measures to ensure the safety of both their customers and their staff.
“Opening gardening centres is critical for the industry. We are in peak season, when 70% of plants sold are between March and June. The HTA has produced Safe Trading Guidance, which covers all aspects of how garden centres can re-open while ensuring staff and customer safety at all times.
“Although opening gardening centres is hugely welcomed, this isn’t the single answer for Northern Ireland nurseries. They are in the middle of a perfect financial storm of perishability and seasonality, who have already disposed of tonnes of plants. The best option is for the Northern Ireland Executive to join with us and seek a UK-wide simple Dutch-style compensation scheme, which will help save our horticultural industry.”
For more information
Horticultural Trades Association
19 High Street
T: +44 (0)118 930 3132
Fax: +44 (0)118 932 3453
NGGV: +44 (0)118 930 2092