Bord Bia brought its research centre The Thinking House to the Garden Landscape Amenity Sportsturf (GLAS) event earlier today, July 20, to demonstrate to visitors how it can provide assistance in maximising profitability in horticulture.

At the event, Bord Bia staff members were showing the facilities available to the industry – to obtain the latest research, global trends, consumer insights and industry innovations – on touch screens formatted especially for the occasion.

GLAS – which is the country’s biggest horticulture show – took place at the Citywest Events Centre in Dublin from 9:00am to 7:00pm.

Established in 2011, this year’s GLAS attracted more than 1,000 industry representatives, along with 145 exhibitors – including 27 nurseries and 44 new first-time exhibitors – making the 2017 event the largest so far.

Supported by Bord Bia and organised by Mediateam – on behalf of Kildare Growers Group – GLAS is developed to exhibit the very best of Irish horticulture. According to Bord Bia, it offers a “unique networking opportunity” for visitors and exhibitors to create business and sales opportunities.

Mike Neary, Bord Bia’s Manager of Horticulture, commented at the show, saying: “GLAS is an ideal event for Bord Bia to introduce The Thinking House to the Irish horticulture industry.

It is home to a vast collection of authoritative sources of insight and global market research databases, which can help us better understand consumer demands worldwide.

“Understanding what our customers want is key to building the success of the Irish horticulture industry and Bord Bia’s Thinking House can help producers maximise these opportunities,” he added.

“Our specialised staff are on hand to explain the added value that consumer insight can bring to engagement with customers in the home and export markets and we look forward to future engagement with the amenity horticulture sector and contributing collectively to its further growth.”

According to Bord Bia, the value of output from the amenity sector in 2016 was an estimated €70 million.

The latest ‘Garden Market Value’ research, carried out by IPSOS MRBI, notes that Irish consumers’ gardening spend rose to €729 million last year. This was an increase of 16% since it was last measured in 2014, when it had a €631 million valuation.