Green shoots mark fifth outing for GLAS
Growing positivity in the industry was evident in Citywest last week at the industry's annual trade event
28 July 2015
The GLAS trade show, which was held in Citywest Convention Centre last week, continues to grow attracting over 130 exhibitors from Ireland and around the world and a record number of visitors to the show for 2015. The event highlighted the exceptional growth and positivity found in the horticultural industry in Ireland at the moment and worked to strengthen connections within the industry.
This sense of positivity flowed throughout the event and was highlighted by Minister Tom Hayes in his forward for the event’s official show guide. In his address the Minister of State with special responsibility for Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine praised the work of those within the Irish horticulture industry and their ability to come out a challenging number of years with a sense of optimism and hunger to grow and exceed. “As Ireland emerges from the recession I firmly believe we are witnessing improving consumer sentiment and an increased willingness to spend money on amenity plants and landscaping once again” explained Minister Hayes.
Minister Hayes highlighted the importance the one day trade only event has on the Irish horticulture industry saying “To remain competitive every business must constantly seek to improve efficiency, to reduce costs and to maximise quality and service. GLAS provides the only one-day opportunity to meet all the key producers, buyers, suppliers and service providers to allow your business develop.” He added “Ireland is a small country with relatively small horticultural producers compared to our international competitors, to generate scale we need to increase co-operation between businesses within the sector. GLAS is a live example of this co-operation in practice and I would like to compliment all those involved in planning and organising this year’s show.”
Now in its fifth year the show, which is supported by Bord Bia and organised by Mediateam on behalf of the Kildare Growers Grow, has set the standards for Ireland’s only trade horticulture show and established itself as key date in the diaries of all those working within the industry. Commenting on the success of the show this year Carol Marks, Bord Bia, highlighted the hard work of the organising committee in putting the event together. “With a huge amount of positive feedback still coming in, it’s fair to say that this year’s GLAS has been the most successful to date. This can be attributed to the hard work put in over the last five years to set standards and grow the show, and couldn’t have been achieved without the input of the organising committee, the event organisers Mediateam, but most importantly our exhibitors” explained Carol.
A key highlight at the event since it was establishment are the Best in Show Awards. The awards highlight excellence in four categories: Best New Plant, Best New Product, Best Plant Stand and Best Product Stand. This year the awards saw a record number of entries for the best new product and best new plant awards. Commenting on the awards Carol Marks said “With the largest number of exhibitors ever, the standard of displays was exceptional and innovative, giving the judges of the Best Plant Stand and Best Supplier Stand a difficult task deciding on the winning stands.”
Following extensive evaluation by judges Gerry Daly and Paddy Gleeson Best New Product was awarded to XL Horticulture for its BioLift Plant Health Product. BioLift is an easy to use liquid bio stimulant extraction derived from organic products with no chemical additives. On winning the award Les Lance, XL Horticulture managing director, said that “XL Horticulture was delighted with to win Best New Product at GLAS.” He added “With many premiership soccer clubs, top championship golf clubs in the UK and quite a lot of the top rugby clubs now using XL ProBio products and BioLift we are delighted that we can start of the sales of BioLift in Ireland with this prestigious win.”
Best New Plant was awarded to Rentes Plants, based in Moyvalley, Broadford, Co. Kildare for its Deep Purple Dance Hydrangea as part of the Music Collection. Commenting on the winning plant judge Gerry Daly said “The prize was awarded to this plant, a new one to the Irish market, with very considerable market potential, both as a garden centre product and for landscape use.”
The award for Best Plant Stand went to O’Dowd Nurseries which was chosen by the judges for its fantastic floral display. The company specialises in growing high quality roses, vegetable plants and spring, summer and autumn bedding plants, which it supplies to garden centres and to local authorities all over the country.
Finally Best Product Stand was given to Westland Horticulture at the show. Westland specialise in the development and production of high specification compost, mulches, plant food, lawn treatments, lawn seed and control products as well as seed and potatoes. Visitors remarked that the stand set an example of how garden centres should aim to display products in store.
A growing area of GLAS is the Sports Village which this year housed a record number of exhibitors. Commenting on the growing Sports Village section Donal Kearney of the Irish Institute of Sports Surfaces said “There was a stronger attendance of greenkeepers and grounds workers along with new contractors than at any other GLAS show to date.” He added “Definitely there is a stronger interest in sportsturf training and consultancy advice. The Irish sportsturf industry is realising that there isn’t another show to attend in Ireland for those in the industry other than GLAS.”