Horticultural Sector Committee
Sowing the seeds: A blooming English horticultural sector

Report of Session 2022-23 - published 6 November 2023 - HL Paper 268



Key figures

Chapter 1: “England needs a cross-departmental horticulture strategy”

Cross-departmental working

Government planning

Government response to reviews

Ministerial oversight

Environmental Land Management Schemes

Chapter 2: “A perfect storm”

Input costs



Relationships with supermarkets

The Groceries Code Adjudicator


The UK’s reliance on trade

Buying British


Border Target Operating Model


Chapter 3: “A chronic shortage of workers at all skills levels”

Education, skills, and careers

Young people

Promoting diversity

The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture

T Levels


Higher Education

Skilled Jobs

Seasonal workers

Government oversight

UK seasonal workers

Seasonal worker visas

Illegal recruitment fees

Visa fees and taxes


Non-enforcement of labour laws

The role of the GLAA


Automation technology

Chapter 4: “The twin crises of our times: climate change and biodiversity loss”


Necessity for a ban on the use of peat

Timeframe for the ban



Alternatives to peat


Unintended consequences

Pesticides, fertilisers and agri-chemicals

Harmful impacts

Environmentally-friendly alternatives

Integrated pest management

Consumer approaches

The Plant Protection Products regime

Additional government initiatives


The impact of climate change

New technologies

Abstraction licences


Overseas water extraction

Amateur gardeners

Land use and planning

Land use

Urban environments

Biodiversity Net Gain

Energy transition

Environmental reporting

The role of amateur horticulturalists

Chapter 5: “A research system that is responsive and integrated”

Research and development: funding and infrastructure

Core funding


AHDB Horticulture

EU Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme


Chapter 6: “It is widely recognised that gardening is good for you”

Community gardening

Healthy diets

Nature-based solutions to ill health

The relationship between horticulture and health

Social prescribing

Health of horticultural practitioners

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Note on the Committee’s visit to the Chelsea Flower Show

Appendix 5: Note on the Committee’s visit to East Malling and Hadlow, Kent

Appendix 6: Note on the Committee’s visit to the Netherlands

Appendix 7: Note on the Committee’s visit to Sandwich and Thanet, Kent

Appendix 8: Note on the Committee’s private meeting with Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose

Evidence is published online at https://committees.parliament.uk/work/7266/horticultural-sector/ and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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