The BPOA conference ‘Vision 2020’ was held today at the NFU conference centre, Stoneleigh Park.
A wide range of authoritative and interesting speakers were selected to present on some hot topics including growing techniques, market needs, routes to market and working through the value chain.
Amongst the speakers was the NFU’s Deputy President Minette Batters who said: “This season has been better than recent years for most ornamentals sectors. However the trap we often fall into when making such year by year comparisons, is that you can end up comparing your current performance with truly abysmal years, and we lose sight of what a good year actually looks like.
"All of you will be acutely aware of the challenges we’re facing average prices falling for a whole range of products, with most receiving lower prices than they were twelve months ago.
"Volatility means that we will face tough times. The prospect of falling prices will always provoke immediate reactions and trigger some forthright discussions in the supply chain. For me however it’s essential that we have a long term approach in our businesses. Most importantly I want to see an injection of longer term thinking from our partners in the supply chain. It is now time to build on the strengths of the UK horticulture and agriculture industries.
"This is why the NFU worked with the BPOA and others to create the Code of Good Trading Practice for Plants and Flowers. This code is a discussion document that promotes better ways of doing business in the ornamentals supply chain – to move us away from the situation where it’s the grower that faces most of the risks and costs.
"We believe this sector has a real opportunity to act now to put in place voluntary measures, which are within its control, that promote a healthy and profitable supply chain, which also serves the best long term interests of consumers.
The NFU will be renewing efforts to discuss the code with other retailers over coming months.