21 August 2023

 

With exciting opportunities ahead for Welsh farmers to diversify into horticulture, support in bringing those to life will be given by Farming Connect and Lantra Wales at the UK’s leading international horticulture trade show next month.

Farming Connect Horticulture will have a presence in the education zone at the event at Four Oaks, Cheshire, which takes place on September 5th and 6th, while Lantra Wales Director, Kevin Thomas, will participate in a panel discussion that aims to advise on how new and existing horticulture businesses can address skills shortages through apprenticeships, training schemes and bursaries.

Lorraine Powell, Horticulture Development Officer at Lantra Wales, who will be at the show, said the Welsh Government is keen to encourage growth in the horticulture sector over the next two years. 

“With the upcoming changes to farming systems with the introduction of the Sustainable Farming Scheme, horticulture opportunities are being looked at as a viable option either as a farm diversification or as a complementary enterprise that can add value to the land, not only in terms of productivity but biodiversity benefits too,’’ she said.

With that vision, the challenge of skills shortages must be addressed to allow the sector to thrive, Lorraine added.

“The panel discussion at Four Oaks Trade Show will aim to highlight these issues in the industry and promote the opportunities that are currently available,’’ she said.

Kevin Thomas will take part in a panel discussion on this subject on Tuesday September 5th, chaired by Rachael Forsyth, a senior reporter at Horticulture Week, with fellow panellists Holly Youde, of the Association of Professional Landscapers, and Rupert Keys, of the Task Academy.

Farming Connect’s new horticulture programme can assist commercial Welsh horticulture enterprises with skills development through technical and practical training courses, workshops, study visits and one-to-one mentoring. 

The team can be contacted at horticulture@lantra.co.uk or will be on hand at the stand at Four Oaks where there will be opportunity to meet suppliers, trade associations and industry bodies from across the sector.

For further information on Four Oaks Trade Show, click here.


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