HTA calls for new GB-NI horticulture forum to develop Windsor Framework
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has written to the Prime Minister seeking clarification and development on key aspects of the Windsor Framework. HTA is encouraged by the starting point and tone of the Windsor Framework, but in order for its members to see trade return in full, the Association is calling for further developments.
Some of the outstanding issues include:
- Several key species of trees and plants remain prohibited for exporting to Northern Ireland, including iconic and popular native British species such as hawthorn and hazel.
- Seed potatoes sourced in Great Britain are not able to be sold in Northern Ireland garden centres, nor via mail order, only grower to grower, with consumers missing out on direct access.
- Northern Irish consumers will find it difficult and costly to order plants from British-based online sellers and mail order growers due to the requirement for phytosanitary certificates remaining for parcels of plants sent from GB businesses to NI consumers.
HTA asks for these issues to be addressed promptly to fully open access to trade again for Britain and Northern Ireland businesses and consumers. HTA proposes a ‘British & Northern Irish Horticulture & Seed Potato Traders Forum’ is formed as a matter of urgency to work through the issues and the detail, develop new policies, mitigate costs, reduce bureaucracy and move forward with positive change as quickly as possible.
Fran Barnes, Chief Executive of HTA, commented, “The Prime Minister’s comments on garden centres when announcing the Windsor Framework were hugely encouraging. We need the words to match the reality of the agreement and deliver the trade our members so desperately want to see return. We have set out the development opportunities and a proposed forum to help achieve the best outcome for UK horticulture. We welcome what has been achieved so far and see this as a starting point to build from.”