EU proposal could be damaging to garden centres

The EU is proposing that new plants will require a scientific description and must be listed on an official register in order to be sold.

Peter Burks, Chairman of the GCA, said: “The EU says the idea behind the proposal is not to restrict the choice of plants for sale. However, if nurseries and growers can only grow plants that are already officially registered this will dramatically reduce the number of different plants that can be sold in garden centres.

“In order to get a plant scientifically tested to gain the scientific description and add it to the register looks to be incredibly expensive and unfortunately the end result is this cost will be passed on to the consumer. Plants will undoubtedly be more expensive to buy.

“Many people who are interested in breeding new plant varieties are relatively small outfits so they just won’t be able to afford the costs associated with growing new plants. We are really hoping the proposal won’t become a reality.

“I believe currently of the Royal Horticultural Society’s list of 52,000 varieties, only 2,000 have an official botanical description.” 

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

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