HTA reveals horticulture growth strategy to Scottish parliament

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) discussed the seven key ambitions of its new Scottish Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy with the Gardening and Horticulture Cross Party Group (CPG) in Scotland’s Parliament last week.

The HTA’s Growth Strategy plans to use horticulture to create a “healthier Scotland” and to develop “green economic growth, high quality jobs and invest in education/skills.” It hopes to mitigate climate change, increase the use of Scottish and UK grown plants, produce a greener planning system, and enhance and protect Scotland’s natural capital. It also plans to drive Scottish growth through investment, development grants and “reducing the cost of doing business.”

HTA chairman James Barnes says: “I am delighted that the HTA’s Scottish Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy has been discussed in Holyrood. We have several key ambitions which link government policy to the benefits of environmental horticulture; whether that is through the biodiversity strategy, mitigating climate change or promoting health and wellbeing…

“We look forward to working closely with Rachael Hamilton MSP, Christine Grahame MSP and other representatives to benefit such an important industry in Scotland.”

The CPG brings together members from across Scottish Horticulture, MSPs and government officials. There are more million regular gardeners in Scotland and millions more utilising green spaces. Moreover, horticulture and landscaping supported contributions of £2.8bn towards GDP and over 64,000 jobs in Scotland in 2019.

Rachael Hamilton MSP and CPG Convener says: “It was fantastic to reconvene the CPG on Gardening and Horticulture in the Scottish Parliament. My MSP colleagues and I were delighted to be joined by so many representatives from the industry.

“The launch of the HTA’s Growth Strategy was a resounding success, and I look forwarding to following progress on its implementation and supporting the HTA where I can with this.

“Scotland’s horticultural industry plays a significant role in our rural economy, creating jobs and contributing to Scotland’s food security.

“It will also play a vital part in Scotland’s Net Zero ambitions. The strategy launched today is very clear about the hard work the industry is undertaking to make this transition.”

The HTA had earlier presented the Growth Strategy document to Minister Mairi Mcallan MSP, Labour spokesman Colin Smyth MSP and Liberal Democrat spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP.

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