UK: The HTA reacts to the announcement on lockdown tiers and to the Border Operating Model

Reacting to the news today that lockdown restrictions will be implemented according to three tiers of restrictions, HTA Director of Policy and Communications, James Clark, said: “Like the rest of British business and society, our members are keen to see an end to this pandemic and the huge strain it is taking upon the nation’s health, welfare and economic future. We broadly support proposals to introduce consistent restrictions through a tiering system which will make it easier to understand and communicate the restrictions to member businesses.   

“We welcome the clarity that garden centres will remain open even in the very high category, which is a recognition of the safe trading practices that garden centres have put in place. Keeping garden centres open is crucial - grower planting regimes are year-round business planning operations and need confidence of a route to market. They are planning for the 2021 season now as retailers are placing pre-orders with growers. 

Safe trading social distancing measures have also been put in place in garden centre catering. There should be a more targeted approach to what hospitality premises should be closed, including how restrictions on social mixing will operate. Garden centre catering is key to the industry to ensure a year-round benefit, with garden centres able to invest back into their businesses. “

Yesterday, the HTA also shared their reaction regarding the Border Operating Model, James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said: "We now have a little more clarity on processes the garden industry can expect to encounter at the border after 1 January 2021. However, there is still much to be done by Government to work with us to ensure inspection processes for plants are risked-based and proportionate; how plants will be treated entering and moving within the island of Ireland; how new IT systems actually work in practice. The sector trades in perishable products, so we need an approach that minimises delays as much as possible. 

“Ensuring additional cost and regulatory burdens are kept to an absolute minimum is crucial to ensuring we have a sector that is vibrant and outlooking, that can help power a green economic recovery for the UK.”

For more information:
Horticultural Trades Association
Horticulture House
19 High Street
West Berkshire
T: +44 (0)118 930 3132
Fax: +44 (0)118 932 3453
NGGV: +44 (0)118 930 2092

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