Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s horticultural industry risks disappearing in just a matter of weeks. As per reports, experts on March 31 said that there were millions of unsold plants that were being thrown away. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) which speaks for 1,400 garden centres across the United Kingdom has asked the government for financial aid to help out the industry.
According to reports, the horticultural industry in the United Kingdom is facing economic disaster during a time that is considered to be the busiest time of the year. According to HTA chairman, James Barnes, the seasonality and perishability of the horticulture industry is very unique and that means that growers are facing stock losses on an ever-rising scale.
According to a statement by the HTA, it is asking the government financial assistance of up to £250 million. This amount according to the HTA is the bare minimum required in order to avoid the collapse of the entire industry. The British government’s lockdown that started this month also forced garden centres to close. According to reports, the HTA has said that it is unlikely that the industry will see any sales till early May which is usually the most important commercial period for growers. According to HTA, the United Kingdom has 650 companies that produce ornamental plants and employ 15,000 people directly.
Kernock Park Plants is one such company that is located in Cornwall, in southwest England. As per reports, this company produces up to 12 million plants a year. According to Bruce Harnett, managing director of the company has reportedly said that the fall in sales and the number of cancellations has been extremely worrying for the company. The Chelsea Flower Show, which is one of the world’s biggest horticultural festivals was cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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