The International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) exists to provide a forum for the mutual exchange of information and benefit of similar minded independent garden retailers on a world-wide basis. Beginning in 1960, a group of garden centre owners began annual tours within Europe organized by a German Company who also published a garden centre journal. IGCA was officially born in 1968, at a joint Conference in Oxford, England of the Horticultural Trade Association and the British Group of Garden Centres. This Conference was also attended by representatives from other European Countries were small groups of Garden Centres existed. Jeffrey Bernhard of the United Kingdom was elected to be the first IGCA President for a term of 3 years. The Association was governed by a Council of Representatives from eight countries including the USA who met twice a year.
IGCA continues to grow, attracting individual garden centres from around the world, and helping garden retailers become more competitive in a changing retail environment. The annual congress often sees over 200 delegates, from up to 20 different countries, and has incorporated a study tour that has a strong learning focus for the younger generation.