Exchange rates push plant buyers to Holland

Buying from the Dutch is getting easier, with exchange rates and lengthy availability lists for UK growers putting some plant buyers off and turning them on to Dutch van sales and promotional offers instead, industry figures have suggested.

Image: Morguefile
Image: Morguefile

Beckworth Emporium horticulture manager Mike Easom said: "It is very easy at the moment to buy from the Dutch. You can easily buy off the lorry. The disadvantage is getting plants on your electronic point-of-sale system and putting on your labels."

He added: "The UK sales reps do a fantastic job. They are extremely knowledgeable and are often ex-nursery people. But they are selling from the boot of their car and that doesn't always mean I'll buy. With the Dutch lorries you can have it there and then. The euro is very good at the moment so you'd be silly not to. But it's difficult because I'm a big supporter of the UK market."

Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker said some stock lists are not as attractive or easy to buy from as lists that offer promotional collections of plants that are quickly delivered.

Former Horticultural Development Company chairman Neil Bragg said the euro is a big talking point for growers and a positive for those importing young plants. HTA director Carol Paris said there are better plant prices available for retail buyers.

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