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UK: Line-up of speakers announced for Horticulture, The Conference: Growing a Greener Future

A host of experts, including horticulture industry, political, and economic speakers, are set to share their insights and expertise at the Horticultural Trade Association's (HTA) annual conference next month.
Horticulture, The Conference: Growing a Greener Future, takes place on 5 October 2023 at the ICC in Birmingham and will explore the areas in which the thriving horticulture industry is coming together to grow a greener future, including sustainability, the value of plants and careers in horticulture.

Fran Barnes, HTA's CEO, commented, "With such a strong line-up, this event will prove to be important for anyone involved in horticulture to attend to hear the outlook and perspective of expert speakers and panelists, meet some of the most influential people and get involved in shaping the future for environmental horticulture."

The event will be hosted by gardening blogger, podcaster, and TV Presenter Michael Perry and includes a keynote talk from award-winning garden designer Manoj Malde. Political speakers include The Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and Labour's Shadow Defra Minister Daniel Zeichner MP, who will outline their views on the value of UK horticulture, green growth, and policy priorities of relevance to the sector.

Further political and economic insights will come from the multi-international prize-winning economist Dr. Tim Leunig, a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr. Leunig will deliver a keynote speech on the state of the economy and its outlook and what that means for the sector.

HTA's Market Research Manager, Laura Jeffery, and HTA Sustainability Executive, Liz Williams, will focus on the value of plants, from their economic contribution to GDP and jobs to the wellbeing, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation value felt by consumers and the environment. They will present the latest HTA research, which supports the launch of an HTA white paper highlighting how plants have significant value from nursery to nature, underpinning the Government's Environmental Improvement Plan.

There will be lively panel debates throughout the day, bringing together multiple experts and stakeholders to explore topics including:

  • Careers and the advantages of upskilling your workforce, moderated by Alex Jenkins, HTA Learning & Development Manager.
  • Urban Green Spaces exploring the opportunities for horticulture and green spaces to benefit communities, moderated by Jennifer Pheasey, HTA Director of Public Affairs.
  • Making our industry sustainable, moderated by HTA Director of Research & Insights David Denny.

More panel sessions are to be announced.

The conference provides a platform for delegates to network with industry peers, discuss key issues and innovations, and look at ways of working together. There will be a dinner for additional networking opportunities and where the Grower of the Year Awards will be presented.

For more information:
Horticultural Trades Association

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