BOA 2023 conference Wednesday 1st February

The BOA 2023 conference will be held at the NFU conference centre, Stoneleigh

Wednesday 1st February 2023

Technical conference ticket prices:

Early bird in-person/virtual (offer ends 06.01.23) – £50+VAT
In-person/virtual – £60+VAT (In-person ticket sales close 25.01.23)

Dinner tickets for Tuesday 31st January 2023 at the Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa – £40+VAT (ticket sales close 18.01.23)

Member discount code for the technical conference: use this code when you book on Eventbrite.
Sign in or register for the site, if you can’t see the code

“Promoting UK production”

Future Funding

Finding peat free alternatives

Building a future workforce

How data could help?

9:30 – 11:15Morning Session Chaired by Derek Jarman
9:35-10:00Symbiosis Boyd Douglas-Davies, British Garden Centre Group
10:00-10:25Are we there yet? Richard Hopkins, Fargro Limited
10:25-10:50Industry Update—including update on EAMUs Jack Ward, British Growers Association
10:50-11:05Refreshment Break
11:05- 12:35Mid-Morning Session Chaired by Chris Need
11:10-11:35Adopting responsibly sourced growing media blends (PO 019d): An update on recent trials work David Talbot, ADAS
11:35-12:00Growing Media for the Future: Sphagnum Farming for High-quality, Sustainable and Peat-free BeadaGro® Growing Media Dr Neal Wright, Micropropagation Services Ltd
12:00-12:25Practical ways to implement deficit irrigation in protected pot and bedding plant production —AHDB Project Dr Mark Else, NIAB (recording)
12:25-12:35Floral Fantasia—Protecting Peter Seabrook’s Legacy Michael Smith, W D Smith Ltd
12:35-13:15Refreshment Break
13:15-15:00Afternoon Session Chaired by Robin Squance
13:20-13:45             Who Perennial is and how Perennial Helps Kate Cooney, Perennial
13:45-14:10T Level in Agriculture, Environment and Animal Care: the future for technical education and how employers can be involved Chris Jones, City & Guilds
14:10-14:35Grow better with your cultivation data, by making it insightful and easily accessible with Log & Solve! Co-Anne Kranenburg, Klasmann-Deilmann
14:35 -15:00Energy Saving through Integrated Control Kathryn Smethurst, Priva BV
15:00-15:05Closing Remarks—Derek Jarman, BOA Chairman
15:05Conference Close

Confirmed speakers:

David Talbot, ADAS

David Talbot is a Horticulture Consultant with over 15 years experience specialising in all aspects of ornamental crop production (protected and outdoor, container and field grown).

His research interests include weed control, pesticide application, plant growth regulators, bio pesticides, and pest control.

Jack Ward, British Growers Association

Jack Ward joined British Growers as CEO in 2014. British Growers is an association of organisations involved in fresh produce and ornamental production. Jack’s main role is around the representation of the Fresh Produce sector. He is co-chair of the Defra Edible Horticulture Round Table and the Fruit and Veg Alliance. He represents British Growers on the Defra Seasonal Labour Working Group and the Agricultural Productivity Working Party. He is a member of the PO expert Group and the Food and Drink Federation Trade Associations’ panel.

Michael Smith, W. D. Smith & Son

Michael is the 3rd generation of W. D. Smith & Son family business based at Wickford in Essex. The nursery has been growing seasonal colour and veg for over 80 years.

Michael is also chair of the group managing Peter Seabrook’s garden ‘Floral Fantasia’ at RHS Hyde Hall.

Kate Cooney, Perennial

Kate Cooney is a Corporate Partnership Manager for Perennial, who have been helping people in horticulture and their families for over 180 years.

“We know that our industry is facing the challenges of an uncertain economy, so it is imperative that everyone knows about Perennial, the services we provide and feels comfortable to get in touch, should they ever need our support.”

Chris Jones, City & Guilds

After 27 years working in front line education and training in further and higher education for three Land-based Colleges, Chris moved after 15 years as a Senior Manager to the qualification awarding organisations.  Firstly, working for Pearson developing their BTEC Higher Nationals and then moving to City & Guilds in 2020 as the Industry Manager for Land-based Services.

His role at City & Guilds is to strategically direct and implement plans for Land-based qualifications and educational products.  Working directly with industry stakeholders making sure the City & Guilds offer is relevant and up to date supporting the myriad of industries that fall under the title of Land-based.

Bringing the teaching experience alive through vocational and applied learning methodologies was his ambition and legacy to front line education and he hopes to maintain this legacy through qualification development. 

Richard Hopkins, Fargro Limited

Richard Hopkins is Managing Director of Fargro Limited. Based in West Sussex, Fargro is a leading supplier and distributor of specialist horticultural products, energy solutions, machinery, finance, and digital agronomy services to commercial growers and garden centres throughout the UK.  Fargro is recognised as a UK authority in the field of horticultural bio-pesticides and IPM-compatible plant protection products.

Boyd Douglas-Davies, British Garden Centre Group

Boyd Douglas-Davies has spent his whole career in horticulture. Having a seedsman father and grandfather it was in his DNA! Early days were spent in the family business before joining Webbs of Wychbold, the leading garden centre operator, for 20 years. He is now the PR & Comms and Plants Director for British Garden Centres.

Dr Neal Wright, BeadaMoss® (Micropropagation Services Ltd)

Dr. Neal Wright, PhD Plant Tissue Culture, Director of BeadaMoss® (Micropropagation Services Ltd). Micropropagation of wide-range of ornamentals since 1985.  He has held various positions over the years such as HDC panel member. In recent years he has developed unique Sphagnum moss micropropagation techniques, primarily for peatland restoration and the company now produce many millions of BeadaHumok® (Sphagnum plug plants). Currently developing patented Sphagnum Farming techniques to produce high-quality, sustainable, and peat-free growing media, BeadaGro®, working with various partners through Innovate UK projects. He is also a member of the Defra Paludiculture Committee.

Co-Anne Kranenburg, Klasmann-Deilmann

Co-Anne Kranenburg is from Boskoop, the renowned tree nursery region of the Netherlands. Growing up, her father owns his own tree nursery so this formed the origins of Co-Anne’s interest in horticulture. After graduating Business Administration & Agribusiness she joined Klasmann-Deilmann in their innovation team.

From the very beginning Co-Anne was involved in their digital service – Log & Solve.

Built based 100% on customer needs and ideas, with results in a unique tool which is very simple and fast to use.

“I enjoy it very much to talk with customers and support them in using Log & Solve, in a way it benefits their company. I am looking forward to the future wherein we will work together with partners, so the growers can benefit even more from their Log & Solve platform.”

Dr Mark Else, NIAB

Dr Mark Else is Head of Crop Science and Production Systems – East Malling for NIAB, the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation. Mark’s research focuses on understanding and manipulating crop and environmental interactions to deliver improved resource use efficiency, crop productivity and quality of fresh produce. A major focus of his research is the development and integration of precision irrigation and fertigation systems into commercial production to help improve on-farm resource use efficiency, plant productivity and consistency of produce quality. 

Kathryn Smethurst, Priva BV

Kathryn Smethurst is responsible for the UK horticulture and indoor growing sectors for the globally recognised brand, Priva BV and has worked at Priva for 10 years. Prior to working for Priva, she has a background with building automation and HVAC controls working for a BMS manufacturer for 14 years. She is the main point of contact in the UK and liaises with Priva Partners and customers to help facilitate projects, estimating and knowledge transfer.

The 2023 Technical Conference is sponsored by: