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HTA outlines challenges on trade and biosecurity at Lords’ Inquiry

6 July 2023

Today (6 July), Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Director of Public Affairs, Jennifer Pheasey, gave evidence to the House of Lords Inquiry into the development of horticulture. The year-long Special Inquiry is a chance for the voice, value, and profile of environmental horticulture to be properly recognised in Parliament.

Today’s two evidence sessions focused on growing media, soil, trade, and biosecurity, with Jennifer contributing to the latter two issues.

Jennifer Pheasey, HTA Director of Public Affairs, commented:

“This evidence session was extremely timely given the publication of the final Target Operating Model expected shortly. With such a high proportion of businesses importing plants or products in our sector and long-established international relationships, ensuring our goods can travel smoothly and seamlessly is a top priority. We remain hugely concerned that without the detail, time, and tested infrastructure in place, the border changes will be hugely disruptive, causing further costs and challenges in an already difficult climate. Being able to discuss these issues and tangible actions that can be taken to improve UK implementation of CITES rules and ambitions to evolve and be leading in biosecurity shows the breadth of expertise and knowledge needed to operate in UK horticulture.

The committee is well placed to bring together these issues and their impacts and make recommendations on how government and policymakers can work together and with industry to ensure we can remain competitive and grow.”

Earlier in the year, HTA Chairman James Barnes also gave evidence focusing on the value and contribution of the sector to the UK economy, environment, biodiversity, and scope to boost all these benefits if the right conditions are set, and levers pulled.

The HTA’s commitment to supporting the committee’s work has included meeting HTA members at the Garden Press Event, the Chelsea Flower Show, briefings, and a private evidence session. HTA has also submitted written evidence to the Committee and worked with partners through the Environmental Horticulture Roundtable Group to further deliver contributions to the Inquiry.