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Bord Bia Celebrates Excellence in Ireland’s Horticulture Industry

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Bord Bia held its annual National Amenity Horticulture Quality Awards recently in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin. Over 180 industry representatives attended the Awards which were presented by Mr. Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with responsibility for Food, Horticulture & Food Safety.

The National Amenity Horticulture Quality Awards recognise and promote excellence across three key sectors of the industry. This year Bord Bia awarded 41 garden centres; 6 ornamental growers and 11 landscape service providers, which have successfully achieved the standards as set out by its Quality Assurance Programmes. The overall category winners on the night were:

AwardCompanyLocation
Large Garden Centre of the Year Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre Leighlinbridge, Co.Carlow
Small Garden Centre of the Year Cois Na h'Abhann Enniscorty, Co. Wexford
Landscape Business of the Year SAP Landscapes Ltd Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Ornamental Grower of the Year O’Connor Nurseries Gorey, Co. Wexford

A full list of award winners is available on the Bord Bia website www.bordbia.ie/aboutgardening

Speaking at the event, the Minister of State, Shane McEntee TD stated, “The commitment of those gathered here, as they strive towards excellence in their business, inspires confidence in the future of the sector. Companies have to make significant investments in training, infrastructure and procedures to attain a Bord Bia Quality Award and consumers can benefit greatly from identifying approved suppliers before they plan a trip to the local garden centre or engage a landscape contractor. These awards have now become recognised as being an important and permanent feature for the amenity sector.”

Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive, Bord Bia said; “The quality, high standards and dedication shown by this year’s winners displays the strength and determination of the horticulture industry in the light of the great challenges it currently faces. Quality Award recipients pride themselves on delivering above and beyond consumer expectation.”

Earlier in the day, Bord Bia held its annual horticultural seminar entitled, ‘YOUR Market – YOUR Future - Are YOU Ready?’ The seminar discussed a range of topical issues currently facing the sector and addressed the changes in Irish consumer behaviour and identified upcoming garden lifestyle trends for 2013 and beyond.

Carol Marks, Development and Marketing Specialist, Bord Bia said “Today’s guest speakers stressed the importance of building strong customer relations through customer service and relationship development. Research has indicated that gardens are widely considered an extension of the home, however, gardening can sometimes appear daunting to novices, often intimidated by the plethora of unfamiliar names and unpronounceable Latin. As a result, it is important that the horticultural industry engages with consumers, making them feel appreciated and thereby building strong consumer links.”

Keynote speakers included:

  • Helen King, Bord Bia presented ‘Feeling the Pinch’ the latest research findings on Irish consumer behavior
  • Lisa White, Creative Director, WGSN – Home Build Life presented an overview of Garden Lifestyle Trends in 2013 and beyond
  • Tijn Bresser, The Category and Trade Company provided tips on Category Management as a new way of growing business
  • John Kelly, Enviro Centre/Invasive Species Ireland Project, launched the ‘Be Plant Wise’ campaign
  • Jim Teague, Plant Retail Consultant UK presented on how to ‘Build Relationships to Build Sales’

In 2012, Bord Bia will continue the “It’s Garden Time” campaign to encourage Irish people to make the most of their gardens this spring. The campaign will direct consumers to the Bord Bia website, www.bordbia.ie/itsgardentime, where a range of tips and advice will be available for every garden.

Source: Bord Bia - Bord Bia Celebrates Excellence in Ireland’s Horticulture Industry