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HortiTrends Weekly News & Comment - Glas 2015 Review - July 24th

Glas 2015 is always a good barometer for the sentiment of the horticulture industry in Ireland. Speaking to some exhibitors, they felt that numbers where down, although that should be looked at in the context of a much enlarged show. They also commented that the quality of the buyers and the size of the spend was much improved on 2014.

There were a lot more smiling exhibitor faces for sure, but at the back of those smiles is a fear, that as part of the global economy we are always going to be on the edge. Its only through hard work and perseverance that many of the old guard companies, who have been long-term exhibitors at both the Kildare Growers Show and Glas have survived the downturn, including some machinery companies. They are reporting more and larger capital expenditure sales of machinery once again to both government bodies and private companies alike. More good news at Glas was that there was talk from some of the more established nurseries, of returning as exhibitors to Glee and the Four Oaks. Apart from the beneficial sterling rates for Irish nurseries exporting to the UK, it's also a good strategy to hedge their bets against a developer driven economy once again.

Visitors at the show ranged from grounds staff at the US Embassy, students on work experience who were given a day of to attend the show, to entrepreneurs thinking of starting a new business. All were impressed with what they saw at the show and in the main are optimistic about the future of their career and business prospects.

Also at Glas was a wave of new businesses, full of optimism and exuberant about the potential for their new and upcoming businesses. They are unaffected by the negativity of the last 7 years. Its great to see the enthusiasm of these start-ups and their 'can-do' attitude. They are using technology, new business processes and are coming with new marketing strategy's that they believe will place them ahead of their competitors. Interesting times ahead as competition is always good for business. Our strength as a small country is that we are part of a large free and open European economy. On that note HortiTrends has recently joined the European Horticulture Network. We will be working for Ireland and UK companies from within that network to assist them with accessing wider European business opportunities, while also facilitating businesses interested in developing their products and services in Ireland and the UK.

Interestingly for the Horticulture Connected Journal at the event, we had some of the major international brands seeking us out, as Ireland is a market of interest once again. The new edition is out now. There are lots of thought provoking and some say controversial articles, including JohnJoe Costins take on Bloom 2015. We had some comment that people would like to see a 'Letter to the Editor' section, by way of right to reply and voicing opinions. The magazine is also developing its edible horticulture section and we are always on the lookout for independent commentators and writers across all sectors of horticulture. Interested writers can get in touch with the editor, Barry Lupton at editor@horticulture.ie

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