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Research

National Plant Show 2018

The Phyto-threats project and three team members returned to the National Plant Show again this year, held in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, June 19-20th 2018. This is one of the largest plant trade shows in the UK, featuring over 160 exhibitors and receiving around 1400 visitors, representing garden centres and retail nurseries, as well as wholesale nurseries, online and mail order retailers, garden designers, consultants and local authorities.

The Phyto-threats stand had a poster display aimed at raising awareness of the link between the plant trade and Phytophthora outbreaks in the wider environment, and offered fliers with results from the consumer survey on ‘attitudes and behaviours of the UK’s plant buying public’ as well as some preliminary results from the ongoing nursery surveys for Phytophthora. The project also had a seminar slot on both days in which the nursery survey work was presented including Phytophthora findings to date and key messages so far in terms of management practices linked to high levels of Phytophthora infestation.

Once again the stand received a steady stream of interested visitors over both days which enabled some very useful networking opportunities. It does appear that awareness of pest and disease issues in trade is rising, largely due to concerns over Xylella but also Phytophthora. Project team members took the opportunity to distribute a nursery and garden centre survey questionnaire aimed at improving our understanding of the supply chain; the perceived benefits (or not) of an assurance scheme; the basis of these attitudes (e.g. experiences of pests and diseases; use of measures for managing tree disease); and the willingness to pay extra or to travel further to buy accredited products. Information gained from this survey will be used to guide the development of effective accreditation. The survey is also available online.

National Plant Show 2018 Stand

 

National Plant Show 2018 Sarah Green