Earlier this week the great and good of the garden retail industry came together to celebrate the 40th annual GIMA Awards at a glittering black-tie event, held at the prestigious Celtic Manor Resort. Celebrating the innovation, dedication and passion that goes into everything – from product development, to marketing campaigns and point of sale – the evening saw 17 award winners revealed and was accompanied by a much-needed night of merriment to mark the return of the awards after a two-year hiatus.
This year the GIMA Awards winners were selected by a panel of industry experts, made up of Alexa Blackmore, The Gardens Group; Andy Bunker, Alton Garden Centre; Matthew Bent, Bents Garden & Home; Trevor Pfeiffer, Garden Trade News; Victoria Redshaw, Scarlet Opus; Phillippa Stubbs, British Garden Centres; and Stuart Whalley, Rosebourne. With so many incredible entries, the judging day was one of hot debate and discussion but, together, the judges were able to decide on a list of highly deserving winners, as revealed at tonight’s ceremony.
GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall, commented on tonight’s event. “I would like to be the first to extend my congratulations to all of the winners and to all those that joined us to welcome the return of the GIMA Awards. It’s been so good to be back and, even more so, to see that the industry has continued to grow and develop, even when faced with incredible adversity. The entries to this year’s awards were of the highest calibre and demonstrate the perseverance and enthusiasm that continues to make garden retail one of the most exciting sectors to be part of.
“Our thanks also extend to our judges for lending us their expert eye and skilled opinion, as well as all of our sponsors; without whom the awards would be not be possible.”
The big award of the night – the GIMA Sword of Excellence – was, this year, awarded to the team at Elho for its Green Basics Veggie Wall 80cm. This all-in-one system, with frame and netting included, offers urban gardeners an instant growing solution and drew praise from the judges for its ease of use and ‘plug and play’ capabilities. The judges also said: “Such a great product, perfect for new gardeners with smaller outdoor space; and made from recycled plastics. It really ticks all the boxes.”
The 2021 GCA Supplier of the Year Award was a hotly contested award but it was Meadow View Stone who walked away with the coveted title. The judges offered some key reasons why Meadow View deserves this leading accolade, including: “Some of best communication and supply in some of the hardest times, keeping me informed and the full range supplied on time”, and “Consistent service throughout a challenging year. Very impressive support and supply”,
The GIMA Awards newest award – Sustainability – was also a hard-fought category, with Phoenox Textiles, Hygeia, Primeur and West Country Soil Improvement all enjoying finalist status. However, it was Dalefoot Compost who the judges selected as 2021 winner, describing it as, “a company that has sustainability and the environment at the very heart of what it does. As well as delivering a great peat-free product, its peatland restoration work makes Dalefoot a worthy winner of this inaugural Sustainability Award.”