GCA adds two new awards to 2024 conference schedule

Company: GCA

Attendees at next week’s Garden Centre Association (GCA) conference in the Cotswolds will see two new awards added to the roster this year (2024).

The Ian Boardman Indoor Plant Award and the Food Hall/Farm Shop Award will be presented to the best Destination Garden Centre (DGC) and Garden Centre (GC) in both categories.

GCA CEO Peter Burks says: “We’re delighted to have introduced these two new awards this year. They’re both categories that have expanded significantly during the last few years and we feel need much greater recognition.

“The results of our 2023 monthly Barometer of Trade (BoT) reports showed members’ Food Halls and Farm Shops did particularly well. They offer customers an alternative to supermarkets and are very good at promoting locally produced items right across the product range from honey, jams and pickles to artisan gins and vodkas, which is a key part of future sustainability, as food miles are reduced.

“We’re also recognising the importance of houseplants, the role they play within a garden centre’s offering and their recent revival in popularity, potentially driven by younger, new gardeners with windowsill plots. The award has been named in honour of our former Inspector, Ian Boardman, who very sadly passed away in autumn 2022.

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Ian when he was one of our Inspectors. He was instrumental in improving our inspection process and was a huge part of the horticultural industry, with a fantastic knowledge, which he generously shared with our members.”

The GCA’s  2024 annual conference will be held at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel near Cirencester, Gloucestershire from this Sunday, January 28 until Wednesday, January 31.

Both new awards will be presented on the Monday and will feature overall DGC and GC winners and two runners up in each category too.

For further information, please visit www.gca.org.uk.

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