I am writing this from the 2022 Green Expo in Queensland. It is my first experience of this event, which is organised by Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ), and it has certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the best of its kind in Australia.
Green Expo was held over two days from 26-27 July 2022 at the Gold Coast Turf Club and Event Centre. The time and effort exhibitors invested in creating fabulous displays was evident and created serious dilemmas for the judges of the awards for the best displays. However, Big Leaf Wholesale Nurseries taking out the top prize for their lush tropical Balinese-themed display came as no surprise to anyone who visited it.
I spent the day speaking to exhibitors who included growers and allied traders from across Queensland, along with others from New South Wales and Victoria. With Spring only a few weeks away, I was interested to gauge current business confidence. There seems to be general agreement that trade is returning to normal after the heady heights of COVID-19 stimulated demand.
Nonetheless, many people feel confident that the newly minted generation of gardeners will be motivated to maintain their love affair with plants, provided supplies remain strong and varieties are interesting. These sentiments were reinforced by the numbers of visitors to Green Expo which exceeded expectations. The atmosphere was lively; people were evidently keen to reconnect with colleagues and deals were being done.
Big Leaf Wholesale Nurseries' winning display at the Green Expo (Image: NGIQ via Facebook)
Do spare a thought however for our colleagues in those regions impacted by extreme weather events: repeated flooding and record levels of rainfall in some areas of New South Wales have made life very difficult for growers in those areas. It was painful to hear how difficult trading conditions have become for some with access to properties cut off, infrastructure damaged and large volumes of stock ruined. In these circumstances, it was truly heartening to see exhibitors from these regions shrugging off adversity and facing the new season with optimism. Everyone came together at the end of the day for dinner in an atmosphere of warm collegiality.
Congratulations to Ian Atkinson and his team for such a professional and memorable event! I am already looking forward to Green Expo 2023.
Meanwhile in other news, members of the greenlife industry are leading the development of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) initiative for the recovery of plant packaging, for processing back into plant packaging. The Polypropylene Plant Packaging Recycling (PoPPr) Project, which helped to contribute to the acceleration of this initiative, is therefore concluding early. You can find out more details about this announcement in the ‘Plant packaging recovery expansion through EPR initiatives’ article in this e-News.
As always, I am keen to hear what is on your mind, so please get in touch and let me know what you think about any of the issues in this e-News or indeed elsewhere. It is what matters to you that matters to me and the Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) team. You can reach me via e-mail: Jo.Cave@greenlifeindustry.com.au or mobile: 0468 368 961.