The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) launched its Scottish Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy at the beginning of March – and it was this plan that was the topic of conversation for the Gardening and Horticulture Cross Party Group (CPG) in Scotland’s Parliament last week.
The CPG brings together members from across Scottish Horticulture, MSPs and government officials.
There are over one million regular gardeners in Scotland and millions more utilising green spaces. Moreover, horticulture and landscaping supported contributions of £2.8 billion towards GDP and over 64,000 jobs in Scotland in 2019.
The HTA’s Growth Strategy has seven key ambitions for Scotland:
HTA Chairman James Barnes said, “I am delighted that the HTA’s Scottish Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy has been discussed in Holyrood. We have several key ambitions which link government policy to the benefits of environmental horticulture, whether that is through the biodiversity strategy, mitigating climate change or promoting health and well-being.
“We look forward to working closely with Rachael amilton MSP, Christine Grahame MSP and other representatives to benefit such an important industry in Scotland.”
Stan Green, Director of the HTA’s Scotland Policy Board and Managing Director of nursery Growforth in Dunfermline, added, “We believe that now is the opportune time for the industry and Holyrood to come together to realise the potential of the industry. Having an active Cross-Party Group is an important platform to achieve this.
The Growth Strategy offers the chance for Scotland’s political decision-makers to engage with us. In many ways, the onus is on them as the decision-makers, and ultimately enablers, to make this happen. Given the environmental crisis, our sector’s production of trees and plants is more important than ever.”
Rachael Hamilton, MSP and CPG Convener, said, “The launch of the HTA’s Growth Strategy was a resounding success, and I look forward to following progress on its implementation and supporting the HTA where I can with this.
“Scotland’s horticultural industry plays a significant role in our rural economy, creating jobs and contributing to Scotland’s food security. It will also play a vital part in Scotland’s Net Zero ambitions. The strategy launched today is very clear about the hard work the industry is undertaking to make this transition.”