Butters links with Kebol to move into bulb market

The Butters Group has signed a bulb partnership deal with a Dutch company to research and develop new products across the world.

One of the aims of the partnership with Kebol BV is to expand the bulb firm's growing operation in Brazil and to explore the globe for opportunities to produce new and better quality bulbs for the UK market.

Butters, based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, turns over £52m a year, and supplies products for in-store sale and home delivery, to retailers including M&S, Tesco, Waitrose, The Co-op, B&Q, Sainsbury, Interflora and Moonpig.

The group was established in 1973 and now employs more than 850 staff at peak times across its three sites in south Lincolnshire. It creates and distributes more than 1,700 product lines per year.

Kébol BV started in 1989 and is now the largest producer of amaryllis bulbs in Brazil.  It has a production facility in Lisse, Holland, employing 25 full time staff and has a purpose-built bulb facility of 30,000sq ft.

The deal means Butters will now have exclusive UK rights to distribute unique new varieties of amaryllis developed by Kébol. Kébol uses tissue culture to produce the amaryllis bulbs.

The deal is the latest in a series of moves by Butters Group to grow its business.

In 2011 the company established Butters Flowers Limited, which now packages and delivers around 70,000 flower boxes per week during the peak festivals such as Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, using flowers imported from South Africa, Asia and Africa.

In the same year Butters created its own growing nursery which has quadrupled in size in the last three years and now grows 3.2 million plants at its 4ha site next to the company HQ.

Last year the group bought Verde Horticulture, with sites in Hampshire and West Sussex, to create the UK’s largest plant supplier.

Butters Group managing director Andy Coaten said: "This joint venture is the latest exciting development for the Butters Group.

"It means we can offer our clients exclusive products and great quality at very competitive prices and secure a supply chain that our customers can rely on.

"It also allows us to explore some really exciting opportunities for product development across the globe."


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