Great Strides in the Gardening Sector
Mike Neary, Bord Bia’s Manager for Horticulture outlines Bord Bia’s key activities with the amenity horticulture sector
20 July 2015
The gardening market is growing again. That was the key message from the extensive measure of the gardening market carried out last year by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of Bord Bia.
It was encouraging to see the overall market now valued at €631ml which was an increase of 22% since 2011. The market is showing strong signs of recovery, particularly in the areas of hard landscaping and outdoor and flowering plants. Purchasing occasions of outdoor and flowering plants have increased by a fifth since 2011, and the market value is up 13%. An improving economic environment with hopefully an upward trend in house building will provide further impetus to the market. The same can be said of the GroMor gardening promotion campaign that was launched in April.
GroMór Gardening Promotion
GroMór, is a collaboration of the gardening Industry encompassing the REI Garden Centre Group and Nursery Growers, Bord Bia, Westland Horticulture and Bord na Mona. With financial contributions from all parties, the campaign was launched in April, targeting the 35 to 45 year old female consumers, along with marginal gardeners with a call to ‘Get Out, Get Healthy, Get Growing’.
All sixty five participating garden centres were provided with a point of sale pack while twenty contributing nurseries were provided with GroMór plant pot labels. Activity in the first two months has included radio, print and on line advertising, with a strong emphasis on digital media and social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. In addition key activity has included a GroMór gardening supplement in the Irish Independent and a high profile presence at Bloom. At Bloom the GroMór stage had a schedule of daily talks on various gardening themes and 19,000 GroMór promotional booklets were distributed. Further activity will take place over the rest of the year, with the main channels of social media being utilised.
This is a positive step by the industry working together across the supply chain which will provide the opportunity for the amenity sector to submit an application to the EU to seek co-funding for a long term promotional campaign for gardening which will benefit all of the stakeholders.
Blown Away By Bloom
Bloom 2015 took place on 28th May to 1st June in the Phoenix Park and was attended by 95,000 visitors. The visitor satisfaction rate for the show remains high at 93%. Once again Bloom provided a high profile promotional platform for Horticultural businesses to exhibit, promote and market their products and services receiving widespread media coverage and stimulating in excess of €6.5 million spend over the five days. The wider economic impact will be measured in the weeks to come and it is anticipated that Bloom will stimulate significant spend on garden related activity.
National Plant Fairs
The National Plant Fairs are organised by the Irish Nursery Stock Association supported by Bord Bia. These fairs are held each Spring to provide nurseries with an opportunity to meet key buyers at the start of the new gardening season to exhibit and market plants.
Bord Bia supports and assists the specialist nurseries in the planning of the annual Rare & Special Plant Fair which provides speciality plant producers an opportunity to exhibit and market their plants at a high profile event.
Marketing Assistance for Horticulture Companies
Each year Bord Bia makes funding available under the Marketing Assistance Programme (MAP) to assist companies with their marketing activities. In 2015 a new Step Change Programme (SCP) was introduced to assist a limited number of companies embarking on a new project to take their business to the next level. A total of 39 horticulture applications were approved under the MAP and SCP programmes with the amount approved for Horticulture companies totalling €181,000.
Business & Trade Development
Bord Bia continues to provide amenity businesses support through trade promotion events and business development activities which include supplier, product and brand development activities. Support is provided in the export market through mentoring and the facilitation of buyer introductions.
Bord Bia implement a suite of quality schemes across the amenity sector including Garden Centres, Nursery Stock Producers and Landscape businesses. These schemes promote the implementation of high standards of merchandising, plant production and best business practises.
Bord Bia research and provide information on the amenity horticulture sector including production and market information that assists businesses in their planning and marketing activities. The latest research on the gardening market measured in 2014 is now available on the Bord Bia website.
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