Meet-the-Buyers Event

Brasted, Kent, UK

February 29, 2024 to February 29, 2024

Meet-the-Buyers Event
  • COST


A great chance for British suppliers to have one-to-one meetings with international garden trade buyers seeking new products from the UK!

Gardenex holds regular Meet the Buyer events at our offices in Brasted, near Sevenoaks, Kent.  These are an invaluable and cost-effective opportunity for UK-based suppliers to have one-to-one meetings with international garden trade buyers.  Our speed-dating format allows UK suppliers the chance to promote their products and services in 25 minute meeting slots, and start the foundations for an excellent working partnership.  Buyers taking part include garden centre retailers, importers/distributors/wholesalers, mail-order and online stores from Europe and occasionally further afield.

Our next Meet the Buyer event will take place on Thursday, 29 February 2024.  The buyers taking part are from Belgium (garden and pet), Finland (garden) and Spain (garden).  Please see the ‘Buyer Profiles’ tab for more information about the companies and their product requirements.

If you would like to take part, please complete and submit the application form by 15 February – see tab above.  For any further information, please contact Eleanor by email or tel: 01959 587 443 / 01959 565995.

We have attended a number of these events and have always found them to be a very useful tool for our export market. In general they are very informative and have repaid the time, effort and expense many times over.

- A happy supplier!


The companies taking part in our Meet the Buyer event on Thursday, 29 February 2024 are:

Aveve – Belgium’s largest country store and
Pet and garden buyers attending!

Aveve is Belgium’s largest country store chain, which has 220 outlets and a total sales area of over 260,000m2. 50 of the stores are wholly owned and the remainder franchised. They focus on 3 product categories: garden, pet and home baking. Stores in the French-speaking areas operate under the Hobby Vert banner. Aveve also has 3 Aveve Tuin Dier Hobby shops in the Netherlands. In spring 2023, the company launched a new e-commerce site, selling garden, pet and food/home-baking items. Aveve holds an in-house fair for approved suppliers in second half November. UK suppliers are able to deliver to one of Aveve’s central warehouses, the biggest of which is 36,000m² and is located in Leuven, next to their headquarters and largest store (3,000m²).

Aveve has 4 types of shops. The rural Aveve outlets (S and M) average 1,200m2 and sell lawn and garden care products, pottery, animal/pet food/care and everything for home baking. The L and XL stores, located in city areas or retail parks and with an average size of 2,500m2, offer a wider range including bbqs, lawnmowers, electric garden equipment, decoration, live animals, and plants. Aveve has a focus on private label (+/- 30% of turnover), with 100% in some categories, for example seeds & bulbs and home baking.

Aveve is a subsidiary of Arvesta, Belgium’s leading agricultural/horticultural trading group. Arvesta also encompasses a number of other subsidiaries including the Eurotuin group of 3 garden centres and online store, along with garden and agricultural wholesaler Sanac BV. The Arvesta group as a whole has a total staff of 2,300 and an annual turnover of €1.9 billion. Annual turnover for Aveve Retail in 2023 was €320million (excl. taxes).

The Head of Buying – Garden is looking for: innovations in garden equipment, pottery, decoration and BBQs.

The Head of Buying – Pet is looking for: innovations in foods/snacks and accessories for all types of pet, along with snacks and accessories for hobby farm animals and for garden birds. She would also like to meet private label producers of wet food for cats and dogs.


Digebis – Spanish importer/distributor of garden

Digebis is a long-established Spanish importer/distributor, which supplies DIY chains, independent garden centres and hardware stores, florists and the professional landscape sector. Customers include Leroy Merlin, the largest DIY retailer in the Iberian peninsula with around 140 stores in Spain and 50 in Portugal, and the Bauhaus chain. The company also has listings with the groupings of independent garden centres, Aliat and Jardinarium. Digebis services retailers all over the region from its central warehouse in Barcelona. In addition to supplying Leroy Merlin with a selection of products, Digebis is also present on the Leroy Merlin marketplace where it can offer its full range.

Digebis handles garden furniture covers, border-edging, vertical garden systems, self-watering planters and drip irrigation, fountains, LED houseplant lights, worm composting bins, flood prevention barriers etc. Its emphasis is on innovation, respect for nature and high quality – and it has won the Spanish Garden Centre Association’s award for the most innovative product three times. Digebis has represented several UK suppliers for many years.

Digebis exhibits at the Spanish trade fair Iberflora/Eurobrico and has a stand at the Spanish Garden Centre Association conference this year.

Suppliers should note the need for Spanish language on product packaging. Whilst this may seem expensive for initial small orders, Digebis is now selling container loads into Leroy Merlin for one UK supplier. The buyer emphasised the importance of packaging, which should be eco/sustainable. To reduce the transport cost, packaging should be optimised to fit as many units as possible onto a pallet.

The buyer is looking for further innovative products for the garden or landscaping sectors. He is particularly keen to meet suppliers of new, original, sustainable garden products that are suitable for sale in large volumes to the DIY sector.


Schetelig Oy – leading Finnish importer/wholesaler of garden
Select Koti & Puutarha, then Tuotteet to see the retail range

The Schetelig Group is a Finnish importer/wholesaler, which traditionally supplied horticultural goods mainly to the professional garden sector. It is a fifth generation family business, which also has operations in Slovakia and Hungary. Annual turnover is around €40 million. In 2011, the Schetelig Group took over Tarha-Tuote Oy, a company active in the garden retail sector, and became the largest importer/wholesaler across the horticultural and home garden sectors in Finland.

Schetelig’s Home & Garden division imports/distributes quality, practical and decorative garden products, and supplies garden centres, hardware stores, supermarkets and department stores all over Finland. It is already working with UK suppliers.

The Sales & Purchasing Director responsible for Schetelig’s Home & Garden division is taking part in our event. He is looking for further new, innovative practical gardening equipment and accessories, along with garden decoration, to complement the existing range.

I am really pleased with the incredible service offered by Gardenex & PetQuip. This was the second time that I had participated in a Meet-the-Buyers event and literally, just a few days earlier, I had received an order along with an order forecast from the buyer I met at the previous Meet-the-Buyers event.

- A happy supplier!


If you would like to have a meeting with one or more of the buyers taking part in our Meet the Buyer event on 29 February 2024, please complete and submit the application form by 15 February – see tab above.  Gardenex will send a list of all applicants to the buyers who will select those they wish to meet.  We will then confirm to you whether or not your application has been successful.

Successful applicants will be allocated 25 minute one-to-one, private meetings with the buyer/s.  This is a great opportunity to introduce and present your company, products and USPs.  Most suppliers bring samples.

The cost is shown below:

Rates + VAT Member Non-Member
First meeting £105 £205
Subsequent meeting/s £95 £195


On receipt of the application form and confirmation from the buyer/s that they would like to meet you, Gardenex will send you an invoice.  Invoices must be settled in advance of the event.  Payment can be made by credit card over the telephone, BACS or cheque.

The Gardenex Meet-the-Suppliers events are better than five days at a trade show!

- A happy buyer!


If you would like to take part in our Meet the Buyer event, please complete and submit the application form below by Thursday 15 February.

If you would like any further information, please contact Eleanor by email or tel: 01959 587 443 / 01959 565995.

Thank you!



Please mark order of preference in case it is not possible to allocate all meetings requested
Aveve (Belgian country store chain - garden buyer)
Aveve (Belgian country store chain - pet buyer)
Digebis (Spanish importer/distributor - garden)
Schetelig Oy (Finnish importer/wholesaler - garden)
*Note: Requests for meeting slots are handled on a first-come, first-served basis but they are also allocated according to the preferences of the buyers involved. Gardenex makes every effort to ensure that at least one meeting is allocated per application if feasible and, if more than one meeting is allocated, that they are as close together as possible. Due to these complexities however, no guarantees can be made. Meeting times will be notified to applicants during w/c 19 February.


This description will be used to inform buyers (no more than 20 words please) and will be provided with your website