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UK Hardy Nursery Stock Sector Strategy 2011 - 2014


The Hardy Nursery Stock (HNS) sector contributes around 10% of the annual HDC income and is one of the most diverse of the 8 HDC Sectors. The sector encompasses numerous production systems, ranging from outdoor systems (field or container) to protected systems (glasshouse or tunnel). Businesses vary considerably in size and the markets they supply, and the most specialist nurseries concentrate on only a few plant species, while others may supply well over 1000.

The HNS Sector is subdivided into seven broad crop groups (approximate levy income shown):

Crop Group

Levy income

1. Shrub and Climbers


2. Herbaceous, Alpines and Grasses


3. Tree and Hedging


4. Roses


5. Heathers


6. Conifers


7. Aquatics


Around 15% of the levy income is from field-grown production.

The HNS Sector Strategy covers the same three-year period as the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Corporate Business Plan (01 April 2011 to 31 March 2014) and is based on the five AHDB Corporate Objectives:

  1. Deliver value for money for Levy Payers in everything we do
  2. Improve efficiency and productivity in the industry to help levy payers have thriving businesses
  3. Improve marketing in the industry to help profitability and customer awareness
  4. Improve services that the industry provides to the community
  5. Improve ways in which the industry contributes to sustainable development

The AHDB's Corporate Objectives reflect the broad range of activities conducted by the sector divisions of the AHDB.

HDC strategies are developed in consultation with key stakeholders to identify the priority activities (both research and communications activities) that could benefit from HDC funding. These activities are described under a series of 'Targets'. For each target, further details of the priorities are outlined within a series of specific 'Initiatives'. The targets contained within the strategy are reviewed on an annual basis. The targets listed under Objective 1 are common across all HDC Sector Strategies.

Applications for funding that address the targets described in the strategy are preferred by the HNS Panel (a group of elected representatives from industry who decide the activities that should receive funding). However, the Panel will consider any application that helps the sector achieve long-term profitability and sustainability.

Based on past expenditure, there is an emphasis on work targeted at the two largest levy income model crop groups; namely, shrubs' and herbaceous. For field-grown crops, 'trees' are the preferred model crop group. Due to the importance of all HNS crop groups, the Panel encourages applications for work that leads to benefits (directly or indirectly) to a broad range of crops.

  • Applicants must describe the potential wider benefits within the application form.
  • Applicants must develop submissions in consultation with the industry. Evidence of industry demand for the work should be clearly detailed within the application form.
  • Applicants must demonstrate awareness of relevant work conducted in other sectors including work conducted internationally.
  • The HNS Panel encourages applications that promote effective collaboration with key researchers and describe a methodical programme of work conducted over an appropriate timescale (up to five years).
  • The HNS Panel is encouraged by applications that demonstrate that the applicant has evaluated the potential for co-funding by other HDC sectors, where relevant.
  • The HNS Panel anticipates that additional priorities will emerge in 2011 and it is likely that this strategy will be reviewed in August 2011.

Application guidelines and submission deadlines to the HNS Panel are available on the HDC website.

Source: Horticultural Development Company - Hardy Nursery Stock - Sector Strategy 2011 - 2014