Most sectors have had to adapt how they work over the past 12 months, perhaps none more so than horticulture which, after an initial downturn, has experienced a huge ‘boom’ as a result of the pandemic and sparked an increased interest in careers in this area.
At the recent BPOA annual conference, Natalie Porter of Happy Plants described the Coronavirus lockdowns as ‘launchpads for horticulture to catch up with the digital revolution’ with garden centres, growers and flower suppliers being forced to create online shops, click and collect services or drive thru options in order to thrive.
In 2020, consumer behaviours changed in so many ways – older customers became more internet savvy as they were asked to shield at home, more people used gardening to support their mental wellbeing during the fine weather of lockdown 1.0 and younger audiences wanted their gardens to look nice (or ‘instagrammable’) while spending so much time at home.
Cut flower suppliers were busier than ever in the run up to Christmas with people wanting to send flowers to loved ones that social distancing measures didn’t allow them to see. And, with Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day on the horizon in the current lockdown, these businesses are busy preparing for another huge surge in demand.
As a sector, horticulture has demonstrated enormous resilience during the pandemic, something that has not gone unnoticed in the recruitment market. Awareness has definitely been raised about horticulture as a great career option, especially for candidates with transferable skills from the food/fresh produce sectors.
Pre-pandemic, Natalie Porter of Happy Plants co-founded the Young People in Horticulture Association (YPHA) initiative, of which MorePeople is delighted to be a sponsor. This membership association for under-35s was created to unite the industry to appeal to a younger demographic, both in terms of future consumers and horticultural employees. We look forward to being involved with future events, both online and in-person.
The horticultural industry has had to evolve very quickly in 2020 and the key to success this year will be to keep up with these changes moving forward. To find out more about careers in horticulture, click here or give us a call on 01780 480530.