Careers in horticulture

Salads - Laurence J Betts Ltd, Kent_27401

Horticulture is an industry which is forecast to grow, generating job opportunities, and it’s a significant industry within our region.

  • There are more than 14,000 horticulture businesses in England, employing more than 106,000 people
  • Production (commercial) horticulture industry splits into two distinct areas. ornamental plant, flower and tree production and food production - the growing of fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs
  • The UK horticulture sector produced fruit and vegetables worth £1.8bn in 2011
  • The ornamental plants sector is worth around £1bn and it supports the UK garden industry which contributes around £9bn per annum to the economy

Growers produce food crops, such as fruit, vegetables, salads, herbs and grapes for wine-making. Flowering plants, trees and shrubs, including fruit trees are grown for the garden centre trade and for commercial use by the landscaping trade, for growing in greenspaces and private landscaping projects.

Specialist growers also grow large numbers of fruit trees and bushes, for gardeners and for commercial fruit growers. Crops are either grown in the field or under protected conditions, in glasshouses, under fleece or in polytunnels.

Cucumbers in glasshouse_13063

Who's Who

Organisations and websites providing information on careers in horticulture are listed below.

The NFU is a supporter of The Grow Initiative which provides information on careers in horticulture.

The Chartered Institute of Horticulture represents people who are professionally engaged in the industry in the UK and Ireland.

Its membership comprises, and represents, those involved in amenity horticulture, parks, landscaping, botanic/heritage gardens, and the full range of horticulture within leisure industries. In addition, people who are producing, managing, growing and marketing all edible and decorative horticultural crops, and those involved in allied research, education and consultancy are also represented. So too are those working in associated supply industries and students taking their first steps into horticulture.

LANTRA is the UK’s Sector Skills Council for land based and environmental industries. It backs land-based and environmental businesses, helping them to access the necessary training, qualifications, skills and knowledge. LANTRA also signposts people to information on environmental and land based careers and job opportunities within these sectors.

Case Studies

_34626We've have also prepared a series of case studies of people with jobs in commercial horticulture in the South East.

Jamie is a top Fruit Farm worker and gamekeeper...more

Jim grows outdoor plants, herbaceous crops, herbs, bulbs...more

Leonie helps to produce vegetables for supermarkets, wholesalers and the catering industry...more

Neil is an entomologist...more

Neli grows soft fruit...more

Laura works for a business producing fresh herbs...more

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