Growing a more successful and ambitious horticulture sector is the goal behind the Horticulture Forum. Led successfully by outgoing Chairman Robin McKee for the past eight years the forum last month appointed new office bearers and embarked on a programme of activity to implement a strategic review drawn up last year that addresses priorities relating to the development of horticulture in Northern Ireland.
The Horticulture Forum enables horticulture sectors in NI to discuss and address collective industry issues. The organisations represented on the forum are Growers NI, NIFFA ( NI Flower and Foliage Association), ALCI (Association of Landscape Contractors), HTA (Horticultural Trades Association), UFU Vegetable Committee, NIFGA ( NI Fruit Growers Association), FIF (Fruit Industry Federation), Northway Mushrooms and co-opted members Patricia Erwin (UFU), Thomas Gilpin (vegetables), Shane Donnelly (flowers), Timothy Hunniford (top fruit) and Kieran Hughes (mushrooms).
The new office bearers are:
Chair: Elaine Shaw (Northway Mushrooms)
Secretary: Elaine Chapman (DARD)
Vice-Chair: Keith Crawford (ALCI)
Treasurer: Timothy Hunniford (NIFGA)
Public Relations Officer: Shane Donnelly (NIFFA)
Shane Donnelly said:
“The Horticulture Forum has already made some important achievements, and we are keen to do more.
“We have created a link between the HDC (Horticulture Development Council) and the horticulture industry in Northern Ireland – this had never been done before. We are providing input into the current Agri-Food Strategy Board and we have provided consultation documents for the new Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.
“We have also met with the Agriculture minister and a number of MLAs showing them what horticulture has to offer, and we are now keen to invite input from horticulture businesses across NI.”
Businesses who wish to raise issues of concern should contact an appropriate representative on the horticulture forum.
For general enquiries please contact Elaine Chapman.