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Garden Centre Association reveals five-year strategy

The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has launched plans to help boost members' businesses during the next five years starting in 2012 under the banner of: Better standards, better business.

GCA chairman Dennis Espley has unveiled a five year strategy review. The principles of which were agreed at a November 2011 board meeting for the organisation.

He said: "Going forward the GCA will concentrate on its core role of helping members to improve their businesses and not duplicate the role of any other trade organisations, but work with them where possible.

"The work and purpose of the GCA in 2012 and onwards will be summed up under the banner: Better standards, better business.

"We are fortunate with our growing membership and low overheads that we either break even or make a small profit every year. We will therefore be able to release some of our cash reserves during the next five years to the benefit of members and, where appropriate, we will subsidise relevant projects."

The main areas the GCA will concentrate its efforts, and if appropriate will receive funding, are:

The Barometer of Trade:
The GCA will consider how to extend the detail of this very useful business tool.

The GCA e-Exchange:
The GCA will review how it can add quality consent, discussions and a regular GCA newsletter.

Area groups:
Review the number of meetings, area size and seek to strengthen attendance in some areas.

Consider if there is a specific way the GCA can help members with training, without duplicating the work of other bodies.

Review the Audit form, style and emphasis.

New members:
Actively recruit more members and increase benefits to new members.

Study tours:
Revive these useful short tours in the UK and abroad where members at all levels can see best practice and exchange ideas.

Espley added: "This is an exciting time for the GCA with a new generation of committee members on board who can take the Association forward and we have now agreed the chairmen for the next eight years. The GCA looks set to go from strength to strength."

The GCA is set to appoint a new chief executive before Christmas to replace the retiring Gillie Westwood. Final interviews are this week after more than 50 applicants showed interest. The successful candidate is likely to come from outside the industry and be a current industry body head.

Source : Matthew Appleby – Horticulture Week

08 December 2011
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