Minister Hayes praises Irish horticulture
In a forward for the official GLAS Event Guide Tom Hayes, T.D. Minister of State with special responsibility for Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine praises the work of those within the Irish horticulture industry
23 July 2015 | 0
On behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine I would like to welcome you to GLAS, Ireland’s national trade only horticultural and amenity landscape event. I hope you will find the day both enjoyable and productive.
Over its five-year history GLAS has evolved to become one of the key events in the Irish amenity sector’s calendar. Increasing year-on-year exhibitor and visitor numbers speak for themselves and demonstrate this show is going from strength to strength. Once again this year exhibitor space for the show was sold out in early July. I believe this represents a clear recognition of the value of participating in today’s show.
Over the period 2008-2013 the amenity sector suffered more than any other sector within Ireland’s horticulture industry. The combination of significantly lower demand arising for the recession coupled with severe weather events, both cold and wet, bad debts as well as cash flow difficulties and then the detection of ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) in Ireland proved fatal for many operating in the sector. However for those that were able to withstand that challenging period things are now improving.
For many 2014 represented the first signs of real positivity within the sector and while the weather has not been as favourable this year, many nurseries I have spoken to over recent weeks have advised that demand for plants to date in 2015 has been better than expected. 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.
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. 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 complement all those involved in planning and organising this year’s show.
I wish the show’s organisers, exhibitors and attendees every success for the future.
– Tom Hayes, T.D. Minister of State with special responsibility for Horticulture at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine