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GLAS Special: Unmissable Learning Theatres’ schedules

Teagasc's Donall Flanagan leading a presentation in the Teagasc sponsored Learning Theatre at GLAS 2018. Photo: Joe Keogh.

With presentations provided by industry leading professionals covering a broad range of topics specific to the horticulture trade industry, can you afford to miss it?



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18 July 2019

by Julia O’Reilly

The two learning theatres at GLAS, sponsored by Bord Bia and Teagasc respectively, will increase capacity for trade show attendees, broaden the knowledge base of said attendees, and provide expert insight and informed opinion on the key issues facing the entire horticulture industry.

It still isn’t too late to register your interest for one of the presentations. Check out the Learning Theatre’s page on the GLAS website to register your attendance.

Learning Theatre 1: Bord Bia

Topic: Bord Bia’s Value of the Garden Market 2018 Report.

Time: 10am – 10:30am, 2:20pm – 2:50pm.

Presented by: Grace Binchy, consumer insights specialist.

Bord Bia has engaged IPSOS MRBI to track consumer activity and spend in the amenity market every two years since 2001. The objective of the survey is to provide Bord Bia with a tool to measure and track consumer spend, channel of purchase, and motivation for purchase across a range of amenity products. Come and find out what’s selling, trending, and who is buying what in this insightful session.

Topic: Packaging and Plastics – Recyclable, Recycled, Compostable? That is the Question…

Time: 10:30am – 10:55am.

Presented by: Brian Walsh, packaging technologist at REPAK.

All that and more about packaging optimisation and waste prevention initiatives will be covered in this session. Walsh has in excess of sixteen years’ experience in quality and packaging development roles in Britvic Ireland, Punch Industries, and Westrock Healthcare Packaging Ltd. He is responsible for the management and implementation of the Packaging Waste Prevention programme. He also advises manufacturers and retailers on Packaging Optimisation and Packaging Waste Prevention initiatives, both in-house and on-site.

Topic: New Product New Plant Awards and Best in Show Presentations.

Time: 11.05am – 11:25am.

The best new plants and new products will be awarded by a panel of expert judges. The judges will also announce the Best in Show award winners.

Topic: Change and Opportunity in Amenity Horticulture.

Time: 11:35am – 12:05am, 1:10pm – 1:40pm.

Presented by: Tim Healy, Mercator Marketing Research.

Healy has just completed phase one of a study on the value of the commercial amenity market and buyer’s behaviour on behalf of Bord Bia, and will deliver an overview of the findings in a fascinating session.

Healy has worked in marketing research for over 30 years and is a graduate member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland.  He formed Mercator Marketing Research in 1996 and since then has worked with a wide range of national and multi-national clients including many for Bord Bia. His particular interest is in using qualitative techniques to determine and explore customer behaviour in every area from fast-moving consumer goods to specialised business services.

Topic: Big Data, What is it? And how can you use data to improve your business prospects?

Time: 12.10pm – 12:40pm, 1.45pm – 2:15pm.

Presented by: Dr Christina O’Connor (LLB, MSc., PhD), Maynooth University.

Dr O’Connor is a lecturer in marketing and director of the BBS Entrepreneurship programme at the School of Business at Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland.

Dr O’Connor’s core research area is focused on marketing intelligence data within a small business context. Learn how to utilise the data available, and what it can mean to your business.

Dr O’Connor has over 10 years of extensive experience analysing data sets and working with small agri-food businesses, governmental and industry bodies in the interpretation and analysis of data both in Ireland and the UK through dunnhumby. Her research has been published in the Harvard Business Review blogs, as well as journals such as the International Small Business Journal, Journal of Knowledge Management, and Marketing Intelligence and Planning.

Topic: BEE-ing Pollinator Friendly on your production site.

Time: 12:45pm – 1:05pm.

Presented by: Peter Cuthbert.

Cuthbert attended Pershore College of Horticulture in the UK, furthering his extensive knowledge of plants and their usage in sustainable design. Some of his most recent projects include biodiversity planting at Hebron, Kilkenny and the Greening Project in Finglas Village.

Topic: The Question of Plastic – a hot topic of our time.

Time: 3:00pm – 3:30pm.

Presented by: Diana Geraghty, Bunzl.

Geraghty leads the sustainability and CSR work for Bunzl Ireland (part of Bunzl plc, a FTSE 100 company). Her goal is to drive sustainable change and help Bunzl and our customers be a force for good. She works directly with customers, large and small, to providing information on sustainable packaging solutions, innovation and trends, and advice on how businesses can close the loop, communicate to their customers, and drive sustainability within their organisation.

Geraghty is a former Bord Bia Origin Green Ambassador and has a background in sustainability in the food industry, having worked on projects for blue chip companies like Coca-Cola and Mars Chocolate as well as leading the sustainability programme across EMEA for Google’s award winning Food at Google programme.

Topic: Bord Bia’s Packaging Trends.

Time: 3:35pm – 4:05pm.

Presented by: Grace Binchy, consumer insights specialist.

Packaging isn’t simply about shipping products from A-B. We’ve considered the wider influences that impact packaging at each step of this lifecycle, and we’ve tried to predict how these trends will influence packaging in future based on recent projects we’ve worked on and what’s happening in the industry. This presentation takes you through the lifecycle of packaging while exploring four overarching themes.

Learning Theatre 2: Teagasc

Topic: Registration of IASIS Points.

Time: 10am – 10:30am.

Presented by: Sheila Macken, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

Macken was a self-employment agricultural consultant before her current job, where she is now an agricultural inspector at DAFM.

Topic: Perfect Timing, Perfect Growth.

Time: 10:30am – 11am.

Presented by: Andrew Wilson, technical manager, ICL.

This year Wilson will be discussing the importance of timing when thinking about nutrient application. From choosing the correct controlled release fertiliser to go into your growing media, with the right selected release pattern to match plant demand, to the use of water soluble fertilisers and why it is so important to know your water type. This in-depth presentation will provide growers with a snapshot of the nutrition tools they require to produce better quality plants throughout the growing season.

Topic: What is Soil? Applying the Basics of Soil Science to ProduCtive Landscaping and Gardening Projects.

Time: 11:30am – 12pm.

Presented by: Dr Brian Murphy, BSc, PhD, Senior Scientist, Enrich Environmental.

Murphy digs deep into this important natural resource and covers a range of topics:

  • What do soils do?
  • Key physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of soil.
  • Optimising these characteristics to improve soils performance.
  • Basic soil assessments and testing.
  • Managing soils, improving soils, designing soils for landscaping and gardening.
  • Enrich soils services and products – fusing theory and practice to support customers.
  • Specialist soil applications: e.g. sustainable urban drainage, swales, urban tree planting and green roofs.

Topic: Education pathways and CPD.

Time: 12pm – 1pm.

Presented by: John Mulhern, principal of horticulture, Teagasc, and a selection of student graduates.

Mulhern attended University College Dublin (UCD) and is now the principal of College of Amenity Horticulture, Teagasc.

When it comes to horticultural education, Teagasc is in the business of providing recognised qualifications to those looking to get involved in the sector. They are the proud sponsors of the Careers Hub at this year’s GLAS showcase. The hub, which is the first of its kind, will host talks and offer useful information on the various possibilities for those in the horticulture industry. Join them at this special talk at 12pm to hear from Teagasc as well as some of their graduates about the areas that are proving to be popular, as well as the three Level-5 programmes they are offering as part of our college’s summer programme this year.

Topic: New Pests, New Control Strategies.

Time: 1pm – 1:20pm.

Presented by: Neil Helyer, Fargo.

Neil Helyer is an integrated pest management (IPM) specialist with Fargro Ltd and is well known throughout the ornamentals industry in Ireland and the UK for delivering sound, technically-based advice on the use of chemical and non-chemical pest and disease controls.

This year Helyer will be talking about the emergence of new pests and new control methods to tackle them.

Topic: Biosecurity in Irrigation Water.

Time: 1:30pm – 1:50pm.

Presented by: Paul Walsh, Huwa-San.

Walsh is the sales and business development manager for Roam Technology. Roam Technology are the owners and manufacturers of the market leading Huwa-San stabilised hydrogen peroxide.

Huwasan is an effective and sustainable disinfection solution for various applications such as horticulture, livestock, healthcare, and more. Walsh will be speaking about the importance of treating your irrigation water to prevent disease outbreak and create a sterile environment in your nursery.

Topic: Weed Control – best practice guidelines for control and budget.

Time: 2pm – 2:30pm.

Presented by: Donall Flanagan, Teagasc.

Flanagan has been at Teagasc for 12 years where he was once a borticulture lecturer but now is the nursery stock and ornamentals specialised advisor. He has been teaching a wide range of horticulture subjects for more than 15 years.

Topic: IPM in Turfgrass.

Time: 2:30pm – 3pm.

Presented by: Colm Dockrell, assistant principal at College of Amenity Horticulture, Teagasc.

Teagasc are involved in many parts of the IPM-area including research into disease and pest control, cultural methods of control, and farmer attitudes.

Topic: Plant Passports.

Time: 3pm – 3:30pm.

Presented by: Oliver McEvoy, Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM).

McEvoy from DAFM will give information about new plant health regulations and the new EU-wide common plant passport format.

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