NFU cut flower report calls for grants, training and representation

NFU horticulture advisor Amy Gray says the British cut flower industry has big opportunities if it receives the right support, in a new report released today.

The value of British cut flowers has stayed roughly the same, rising from around £79m in 1988 to £82m in 2015. Meanwhile, the value of cut flower imports rose from £122m to £666m over the same time period. But imports fell and home growing rose for the first time in more than a decade last year, the 'Backing British Blooms' report shows.

Gray said: "Rising prices at the Dutch auctions coupled with an increase in consumer awareness and demand for seasonal British flower makes the British market increasingly competitive and desirable."

The report says supermarkets have 56 per cent of the UK market, a figure Gray says may have risen since Kantar issued it in 2011 because of the rise of discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.

Release coincides with British Flowers Week 2016 (13-19 June).

She recommends:

Development of a British Cut Flower Grower Association.

Improvement of provenance labelling of cut flowers in retailers and florists.

Commitment to fair trading practices.

Access to a range of effective plant protection products.

Fair mitigation measures to soften the impact of the National Living Wage.

Exam bodies to better engage with British flowers.

Land based colleges to introduce a floriculture module.

Grants for cut flower producers.

Development of a financially viable British flowers transport system.

Inclusion in the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable.

Availability of land for flower growing. 

See more in HW next issue.

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