What is Home Grown?

Home Grown flag flying high at RHS TattonWhat is Home Grown? The United Kingdom has a long and renowned tradition of horticulture, gardens, gardening and nurseries. For many years, plants were mainly available from British nurseries, where the skills of the nurserymen and plant breeders selected plants that were suitable for growing in our climate and were often bought from a local producer.

However, nowadays there is an array of producers home and abroad and, with the advent of garden centres, it is difficult for a gardener who might want to choose plants produced in the UK. There are many reasons why they might want to differentiate where a plant is produced, yet even when nurseries employ a logo, it is not always clear what values are attached to it. Does a Union Jack emblem mean that the plant has been delivered by a British nursery or actually grown on that nursery? What is the definition of locally grown? And when does importing a plant then become defined as being grown on that nursery.

A group of growers, with the help of the National Farmers Union, South East England Development Agency, the Horticultural Development Council and British Protected Ornamentals Association have worked together and, through market research, developed a logo which has defined values and criteria to give reassurance to the consumer.

In March 2012, a major launch of the brand across the country was launched. Now gardeners, landscapers, local councils and businesses will be able to know, that their supplier not only selected the best quality plants, but that they are also Home Grown.

Definition of a Home Grown plant


A Home grown product is one that has undergone a modification and growing process with the input of substantial horticultural management and skill in the UK.”

There are four conditions that must be met for the Home Grown definition to apply –

1. Growers using the Home Grown logo will need to be recognized commercial British growers. This will be checked upon application.

2. Growers will assemble the components to produce the finished plant to be labelled with the Home Grown logo. The components will vary according to the crop and the production system.

Examples include
– grafted trees (involves grafting)
– potting on liners, plugs or other young plant material (involves potting)
– directly sown plants (involves tray filling and sowing)
– striking cuttings for plug production (involves preparing cuttings and inserting them)

This process needs skill, staff and appropriate facilities, and involves risk. The provenance of each individual component is not taken into account.

3. Growers using the Home Grown logo will take the plant produced as a result of the process described in part 2 above, and grow it on. This again needs skill, staff and appropriate facilities and involves risk. It also includes elements of nurturing the crop, such as controlling pests and diseases, feeding, watering.

4. Growers using the Home Grown logo produce a finished plant. This must be the result of the processes outlined in parts 2 and 3 above, and these processes must be carried out by a recognised commercial British grower as stipulated in part 1 above. A finished plant will be one that is in a fit condition for the purpose for which it is held out for sale.

Young plants and seedlings would not normally be labelled with the Home Grown mark due to difficulties with subsequent traceability. The Home Grown mark is only applicable to plants and products ready for sale, and generally used for retail supply.

Multi-planting

We recognise that plants that individually comply with the processes described in parts 2-4 above may be used in further commercial operations, such as planting up hanging baskets, planters and tubs, interior displays or even whole gardens. However the Home Grown mark may not be applied to these products. The mark can not be applied to labels for such products. Statements such as “planted using 100% Home Grown plants” can be used. By using the scheme only to refer directly to individual plants, we hope to keep the message clear.

Accredited Growers

Blue Ribbon Plants, W.Sussex. Grower of Home Grown PlantsAs you might expect, the growers are also required to reach a defined standard. As part of an audit, Home Grown plants must be:

• Grown fulfilling all the current Health and Safety legislation
• Grown fulfilling all current Environmental legislation
• Grown fulfilling all Pesticide (COSHH) legislation
• Grown fulfilling all UK Employment legislation

These are the minimum standards to be expected of UK growers and beyond the legislation growers are working hard to improve employment conditions, reduce pesticide use and reduce the environmental impact of plant production.

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Home Grown, Great plants, great growers

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