British Herbs celebrate successful conference

by Tim Mudge

British Herb growers and members gather for annual conference.

The members of British Herbs gathered near Northampton for their annual conference and members meeting at the end of January. The organisation has undergone a transformational year with the launch of its new logo and website. It has also worked hard at attracting new members which has added eight new companies to the group.

The meeting attracted top quality speakers with presentations from Paul Hammett of the NFU on abstraction licencing reform and Paul Collins from food service company Reynolds Catering Supplies. Water quality was discussed by Ximax Environmental Solutions whilst Sarah Calcutt from Partners in Produce looked at Social Media as a marketing tool. Mike Harrington from Edaphos talked about soil health and creating a balanced system. Finally, Ray Marriott, British Herbs member and professor at Bangor University, informed the meeting about the funding opportunities for research and development projects.

The British Herbs member’s session had an update from Tom Davies on the technical work that had been carried out in the past twelve months and also looking ahead at what future issues will impact upon the herb trade. Claire Donkin, who chairs the Technical Committee, also gave an update on the important role the committee plays in addressing the future research strategy with the HDC.

British Herbs Chairman, Nigel Stangroom, said “This year we have seen the highest attendance at our conference for many years. The wide range of interesting topics has attracted our members from all over the UK and Ireland, and as far afield as Jordan. It is vital that we continue with this improved communication strategy to make sure that herb growers are informed and able to assess their businesses in context with the rest of the fresh produce industry. That may be through the water they need to irrigate, their access to markets or how they promote their businesses in this changing technological age.”