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US: Benchmarking the industry

The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) is asking all businesses and nonprofits engaged in horticulture for their input in a brief, three-minute survey to help grow the industry.

This short industry survey is designed to measure the types of information used to run horticultural businesses and to identify ways to increase horticulture’s access to federal, state, and other sources of critical funding.

“These resources will shape our ability to grow and strengthen the industry as a whole,” says Debbie Hamrick, chair of the Economic Committee for NICH conducting the survey.

“NICH wants the industry to have more. More customers. More sales. More profit. More understanding from government when laws, policies, or rules are put in place,” she explains. “In essence, we want more impact.”

NICH is asking all business and nonprofits engaged in horticulture for their input in the economic survey. “We need hundreds of industry people to help NICH understand the internal and external economic and marketing sources they use,” she explains.

Some of the questions the survey asks are which internal numbers are the ones tracked to benchmark performance? What external information is helpful in developing sales and marketing plans, or in speaking before your City Council or County Commissioners about expanding your business?

The results of this survey will help NICH identify what data is important to collect, understand, and disseminate to the industry. It also will identify any gaps in current data and prioritize NICH’s efforts, says Hamrick, who is the director of specialty crops for the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation.

The information NICH develops will be accessible and usable by the industry to meet its needs, whether that’s boosting business sales through a better understanding of the market, or boosting individual productivity and/or profitability through better knowledge of the economic drivers impacting business.

NICH has already made strides in documenting, measuring, and disseminating the economic impact and benefits of consumer and community horticulture. Through the publication of the first free-to-use #PlantsDoThat infographic, NICH created a tool to shift the conversation to the benefits the industry provides to the economy, environment, human health and society.

Additional infographics demonstrating how plants impact and improve our lives where we work, live, heal, and learn will be released this winter.

“The economic health and profitability of the multitude of sectors involved in consumer horticulture is vitally important to the industry’s long term sustainability,” says Hamrick. “We encourage all businesses and non-profits engaged in horticulture to take part in this survey:

Publication date: 1/31/2018



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