Sir: Horticulturists within the Sainsbury’s supply base are celebrating that the Queen has granted a Royal Charter to the Institute of Horticulture. This achievement means that horticulturists (growers) are entitled to the professional recognition and reward equal to those pursuing careers in medicine, law and accountancy.

Sainsbury’s provided a letter of support for chartership, demonstrating that it is a retailer that fully recognises the importance of people and horticultural skills for future sustainability. As the commercial sector representative on the Chartered Institute of Horticulture’s council, I believe the diverse industry should use its broad communication channels to promote horticulture as a professional career, and most importantly that growers and horticultural businesses should aspire to recruit chartered horticulturists.

At this time the Chartered Institute is offering six months’ free membership to new members. This is the time when the fragmented horticulture industry sector should work together and inspire the next generation of professional horticulturists.

Dr Theresa Huxley, product technologist, Sainsbury’s