A new green initiative for the meetings industry, Veggies4Venues, has been launched by two industry experts and a horticultural guru.
Veggies4Venues was developed by Jacquie Rogers and Robin St Clair Jones as an opportunity to utilise a combined 50 years of industry knowledge and networks with their gardening skills. Adding to the mix is Jo Hooper, a full time professional gardener and orchard management specialist who has managed diverse horticultural projects from farm cultivation in Costa Rica to working for the National Trust in the UK.
Rogers and St Clair Jones worked together for 18 years at The Brighton Centre before Rogers moved north to join the original ACC Liverpool team in 2006. Jones continued as Chairman of his own communication company in the south.
Now, both Rogers and St Clair Jones work as part-time consultants within the meetings industry, which frees up time to indulge in their passion for all things horticultural.
“Having made time to study garden design academically and a keen gardener myself, I considered how my new found talents might be used alongside my industry experience,” says Rogers. “My experience managing venues indicated how much interest was generated from clients and colleagues by the creation of a simple herb garden; herbs selected by chefs which contributed to our menus. Growing and providing a small piece of ’homegrown produce’ creates a sense of wellbeing whether on your family’s plate or the plate of a conference delegate.”
St Clair Jones already runs the Veg Patch People with Hooper, offering a bespoke service for people who want to benefit from homegrown produce, but lack the time or expertise. “We realised the same business model and principles could be supplied on a larger scale,” he says.
Hooper adds: “We can offer varying levels of service, from basic design through to full on-site cultivations. What really excites us is the more bizarre the brief, the more creative a solution is required and the uniqueness of the final product.”
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