Camellia for Foliage, Flowers, Fruit & Tea

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RECOMMENDATIONS

These are given under 4 headings:

1) Tea
a) Develop the R & D programme based on information accumulated to date. Develop protocols for propagation, chemical and organic inputs, weed control strategies, nutritional requirements and site selection all specific to the UK.

b) Marketing to be meticulously controlled. Examples are in Dilmah, Lipton, Clipper. Direct the market; look at some success stories in tea - all with strong marketing as cornerstone. Keep tight control, even if shared, of promotions, branding etc.; the opportunities presented by a new industry must be seized at the start.

c) Unlike the Americans and Australians, avoid catering to Japanese domestic tea market; instead create a British based product. (It will soon find demand in Japan and elsewhere. Japan is a rewarding and difficult market. They will buy perceived top UK quality, e.g. Wedgwood tea sets)

2) Plants
a) Designers and Plant users should increase the range of applications Camellia can have in the landscape, including hedging. Some of its many merits are better understood and exploited overseas. Increase specified uses of Camellia in designs, such as hedging and screening.

b) Camellia blight is established in the UK and should be De-listed as a notifiable disease. Worldwide there is no case of successful elimination of the Fungal Pathogen from a state and there is no economic case to do so. It is too widespread already in Europe for passporting to be considered.

c) UK to bid to host the 2007 or 2009 International Camellia Congress.

3) Foliage
a) Local producers should stabilise foliage price to market.

4) Oil
a) Collaborate with Chinese research institutes; create joint venture if this gives access to new Camellia oil sources/markets.

5) General
a) Develop working links with other Camellia centres for immediate and lasting benefit, UK and worldwide. b) Stabilise foliage price to market with local producers. c) Encourage a forum to explore opportunities for Horticulture in Britain resulting from upheaval in Agriculture. Find contributions from landscaping, gardening, and countryside disciplines. d) Form an Association of those interested in the possibility of growing tea in the UK. Possibly this could be facilitated via the Tregothnan website.

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