Welsh growers and retailers are bracing themselves for the impact of continued restrictions. They are afraid it will become extremely difficult to weather the storm of a second Springtime lockdown.
Speaking out ahead of a review of lockdown restrictions by the Welsh government this week, Welsh members of the sector’s trade body, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said Ministers should fully recognise the unique nature of the industry’s supply chain and take the huge contribution to people’s health and wellbeing made by plants and gardening into consideration.
Ornamental horticulture businesses in Wales have been unable to trade since lockdown restrictions on non-essential retail were put in place on 20th December and now, with the key Spring season and key trading dates of St David’s Day and Mother’s Day just weeks away, concern is beginning to turn to desperation as growers still have no idea what crops will be able to make it to the sales area.
Nicola Pugh, HTA Council representative for Wales, and owner of Pugh’s Garden Centre, told HortNews: “We fully understand the need to protect public health and support the government in its determination to fight the spread of Covid, but horticultural businesses are being pushed to the brink at what should be our busiest time of year.”
“Plants and gardening offer incredible health and wellbeing benefits and if we are to meet the demand when reopening is possible, we need a timeline to help us manage the supply chain of perishable and seasonal crops and minimise the impact of continued uncertainty.”
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