Cultivating Retail: for a sustainable future

Places are limited email to enquire about booking.

Tuesday 19 November 2019, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham

Shoppers, government, media and employees are demanding more from businesses on sustainability. No business in horticulture can afford to be caught behind the curve. This conference sets out the threats and opportunities we’ll face in the coming years; it also provides answers and examples you can apply. Senior leaders and managers aiming to increase the financial and environmental performance of their businesses should come or recommend the conference to empowered deputies or colleagues.

£299 for HTA members, £499 for non-members (Includes conference, dinner and 1-night accommodation).

This year’s conference focuses on the sustainability of the industry in the widest sense. By bringing together the supply chain this event gives us a fantastic opportunity to look at what we need to be doing now to ensure that we have a robust, viable and relevant industry fit for the future. You really can’t afford to miss this one! 

Boyd Douglas-Davies   CEO, Hillview Garden Centres & HTA President

Who should attend

  • If you are involved in business processes that could be made more sustainable
  • If you are interested in sustainability issues and ensuring your business is aware of the options available
  • If you are responsible for managing or leading in your business

Highlighted speakers

Sir Terry Leahy, former Tesco’s CEO, has a lifetime of experience of retail. He was at the helm when Tesco acquired Dobbies, which gives him a unique perspective on garden retailing. Sir Terry joins us to share his perspectives and experience on horticulture, retail, and how environmental and sustainability trends are set to affect consumers and the demands they make of retailers and brands. He has received many nominations and awards throughout his career, as well as a Knighthood for services to food retailing in the 2002 New Year Honours. 

We are delighted to announce our host for the day is Daisy McAndrew. Daisy was the Special Correspondent for ITV News, having previously served as Economics Editor and Chief Political Correspondent. Formerly Andrew Neil’s co-host on The Daily Politics, Daisy has also presented Heaven & Earth and reported on Westminster for BBC Breakfast. She now co-hosts the mid-morning show on Talkradio discussing the latest headlines and opinions.


As Chief Operating Officer at Just Eat, Graham Corfield is responsible for the commercial performance of Just Eat markets, overseeing and coordinating trading and new business globally.  Graham will be talking about the challenges involved in operating Just Eat - the leading global brand hybrid marketplace for online food delivery. This will include how they are working to eliminate single-use plastic, running a larger operation with many different ‘suppliers’ and the sustainability of business both economically and environmentally.

Our after-dinner speaker has been confirmed as Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards. With little skill for his sport, Olympic skier Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards won the hearts and minds of the public with his heroic failures, and he remains one of the best-loved athletes today; in fact, his life has been depicted in the biographical film Eddie the Eagle (2016), and he has also appeared as the coach on Channel 4 programme 'The Jump'. In the words of the president of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics: "some competitors have won gold; some have broken records and one has even flown like an eagle". 

Planet, People, Profit. These are the ‘Three Ps’ of sustainability in business that Dr David Bek from Coventry University will discuss. He’ll look at how balancing these 'Ps' can create a business model that provides value to all stakeholders in a modern enterprise. As one of the UK’s leading researchers, David’s got a huge insight into how horticulture across the world is responding to the sustainability challenge.


Conference agenda 

Dinner agenda


If you want to know more, please contact

Other speakers include...

Dave Denny of the HTA will explain the trends set to drive change across the garden industry supply chain. He’ll cover consumer and government expectations on sustainability, and how this will drive demand for new products, services, and stories around gardening. There will be examples of how businesses across the world (horticultural and non-horticultural) are tapping into these trends to increase their competitiveness, resilience and financial sustainability.


What do you get when you cross a leading destination garden centre, a new leisure shopping centre, and a green roof on which sheep will one day graze? The answer’s the Flowerbowl, a leisure destination that taps into consumer demand for eco-friendly, quality leisure shopping. Guy Topping from Barton Grange Garden Centre will share what he's learned from turning the vision into a reality that’s contributing to the environment, quality of life and the financial bottom line. This is must-see inspiration for anyone aiming to make sustainability work for their business.

An outbreak of Xylella Fastidiosa could lead to a total movement ban on plants within a 5-kilometre radius of the outbreak, and that’s just one of many biosecurity risks facing us. The threat to our businesses and the UK landscape is serious and ever more immediate. Alistair Yeomans, Horticultural Consultant, will talk about the Plant Health Management Standard and how adopting Plant Healthy principles helps businesses mitigate threats from pests and diseases.  

For 70 years we’ve used peat and for nearly 40 years we’ve been trying to move away from peat and in that time the reasons as to why we should have changed from protecting the flora and fauna of the peat bogs, to the rather larger point of saving the planet and stopping the release of carbon during the harvesting peat and its after use. Steve Harper, Responsible Sourcing, will discuss what is the industry’s answer to this pressing issue, and what are then obstacles preventing us in quickly achieving this goal?

James Mallick, Pro-Force, has extensive experience of sourcing and managing workforces for major horticulture business and will discuss the challenges around the sustainability of seasonal labour.  His knowledge base encompasses labour availability, a broad breadth of legislation relevant to the recruitment, provision and management of people as well as working on the Seasonal Worker Pilot.


'Sustainability' the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level . When you hear the word sustainability your mind often takes you to environment but it this instance Chris Corby from Corby + Fellas, is looking at the economy of the industry and how technology can benefit your business in the long term. They will open your minds to see how technology  can make your business more sustainable whilst ensuring your business remains viable.

Gardening’s seen by the public as a green industry, and rightly so. But we use an estimated half a billion plastic plant pots. Recent years have seen an increase in artificial (plastic) turf, and much of our packaging is plastic. So how do we address this, and what can one business do? Recoup is a charity and an authority on recycling plastics;  Steve Foster will share ideas and examples of how businesses can improve their plastic positions.

Adam Speed, Head of Communications for the Crop Protection Association (CPA) will be giving an update on garden care chemicals sector and the future of the industry. The CPA represent all the major agricultural chemical companies in the UK.



Kevin Barefoot & Ben Wilby of HTA Utilities, will be talking you through Water and Energy and providing insight into how you can become more sustainable as a business.



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