17 June 2013 By Billy Hawkins
The annual meeting of all the companies who work in partnership with Kew is an opportunity to share experiences and to learn more about the future for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew want to remain relevant and contemporary whilst retaining the wonderful heritage of their past – one of the purest connections is through plants and worldwide problem solving. Partners of Kew are able to tap into this kind of research – the Boots Botanics range, for example, have benefitted from research into the purest extract of oil from particular plants. The result being that fewer plants are harvested for a greater amount of essential oil. From an Alitex point of view we enjoy learning from the experts (Kew) who recommend us, how we can improve the growing experience for our customers and remain at the top of our game.
Julia Buckley, information assistant (art and illustrations) showed that the very many beautiful ancient transcripts that Kew own and continue to preserve for posterity are in safe hands and reveal so much about the history of worldwide botany. As regards the future; "We are enthusiastic to collaborate on commercial partnerships and value the reciprocal benefits this brings."
The role of Kew goes way beyond presenting plants in their best possible environment - we should not underestimate the future role of an institution that understands the biology of our surroundings in such depth and aims to preserve in perpetuity. Kew’s cultural aims of sustainable and ethical development are reflected in the commercial partnerships they choose. It is essential, Richard Deverell explained, that Kew looks beyond core business values to more encompassing core values, if they are to be able to move forward as they desire.
The values, quality and forward thinking Kew expounded were reflected in the speeches made by other licensees. Everyone was talking about the same themes and associating their products and business values closely with Kew (which explains the partnerships); it genuinely felt like a force for good rather than a commercial.
New for Kew this year is a Light and Sound walk at Christmas plus entry to the Kitchens and Palace are now included in your entrance ticket. Aside from the huge array of festivals and events taking place over the next few months, Kew and its sister institution Wakehurst Place, remain at the cutting edge of science and it is inspiring to hear about their progress and plans for the future.
We continue to value our partnership with Kew and look forward to our second year of formalised working together after decades of informal collaboration. For more information about Alitex and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew click here.