Now more than ever, we need to be at the top of our game for: Plant health and biosecurity, sustainability, quality standards, maximising the grower/retailer relationship, trends, best practice and technology. 

The Horticultural Trades Association’s (HTA) Contact Conference invites those working across the nursery sector to sit up, take notice and act. The spotlight is about to shine on the state of the horticultural nation.  

Sponsored by ICL, the HTA Contact Conference will kick start the year with a horticultural bang on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 January 2020 at Horticulture House, Chilton.   

Latest programme updates include: 

A DEFRA representative will expand on how having a strong and vibrant horticultural industry is essential to underwriting the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan, its biosecurity ambitions, and to help mitigate the fundamental concerns of climate change.  

Harper Adams University is working to improve vine weevil control in Hardy Nursery Stock through the AHDB Horticulture project HNS 195.  A representative will talk about the work which has focused on methods to reliably monitor for the presence of this pest within crops. This includes comparisons of a range of monitoring tools and the potential to use a lure.  

HTA Contact Conference combines a day and a half conference programme with a networking dinner and overnight stay at Milton Hill Hotel near Horticulture House.   

Programme summary: 

State of the Horticultural Nation  

  • The big picture – 25-year Environment Plan 
  • Brexit and its impact on Horticulture  

Plant Health and Biosecurity  

  • Plant health update - Professor Nicola Spence, UK Chief Plant Health Officer  
  • International Year of Plant Health activities - Lucy Carson-Taylor, DEFRA 
  • The BRIGIT Project - Reducing the chance of Xylella being introduced and becoming established in the UK - Dr Gerard Clover  


  • Sustainability in Horticulture - Sally Cullimore, HTA Policy Manager  
  • Best practice from within the Nursery Working Group - Bransford Webbs, Porters Fuchsias and Modiform  

Horticultural Quality Standards 

  • BOPP session - the ultimate tool for managing your nursery – Hills Plants/Hill Brothers and Walberton Nursery  
  • Pesticides update – Crop Protection Association with information sourced from industry 

Adding value to the grower/retailer relationship  

  • Trends/consumer behaviour/growing plants that people want - David Denny, HTA Sustainability and Insights Manager 
  • FERA – Glyn Jones 

Technology - Best Practice & Technology in Horticulture 

  • Improving vine weevil control in Hardy Nursery Stock - Harper Adams University  
  • Integrated Pest Management - Koppert Biological 
  • Engaging the younger generation - Martin Emmett, Chair of the HTA Ornamentals Committee and member of the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable  

After-dinner talk - Pippa Greenwood, HTA Horticulture Manager, takes a light-hearted look at her garden media career. 

HTA Contact Conference is open to all businesses and costs £299 for HTA members to attend (£499 for non-members). To book or find out more visit  

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