The Forum does not have the resources to deliver major programmes but concentrates on ensuring that the industry’s needs are known and reflected in programmes delivered by others.
To ensure that it is truly representative of the industry, while supporting and benefiting the work of the member organisations, it operates according to these operating principles:
- Participating organisations will nominate a maximum of two people to represent the organisation on the Horticulture Forum. Where nominated individuals are unable to attend any meeting they are encouraged to send a deputy from their sectoral organisation.
- Representatives contribute to the Horticulture Forum for two years. Representatives can be renominated by their organisations for multiple terms but the Forum believes that new members can bring fresh ideas and perspectives and will encourage the nomination of new members where at all possible.
- The elected chairman remains in post for a period of two years.
- The office of chairman will rotate around contributing organisations.
- A small number of co-options can be elected to ensure the Horticulture Forum continues to represent the wider interests of the horticulture industry. Co-options will include a representative from the UFU HQ staff.
- All members of the Forum have equal status.
- The immediate past chair will remain as a member of the Horticulture Forum for two years after the term of office as chair ends. Past chairs can also be elected to remain on the Forum as a co-option.
- Representatives must:
- Bring key issues from their sector to the Horticulture Forum;
- Report Horticulture Forum issues back to their sectoral organisations;
- Represent the interests of their sector;
- Provide input to wider horticulture issues.
- Organisations represented are required to pay an annual fee (currently £200) to the Horticulture Forum. While DAERA pays for secretarial support and for meeting room hire, these additional membership contributions are essential to cover the other costs associated with Horticulture Forum operation, including promotional activities and web site maintenance. Where organisations fail to pay their contribution they will not be permitted to have representation on the forum.
- The Horticulture Forum has the right to invite other individuals to attend Forum meetings where their experience and/or expertise may benefit the Forum in meeting its ‘Terms of reference’.
- This operational guidance can be amended at any time through a majority vote of the Committee.