London markets issue call for bedding and nursery stock

Wholesalers at London markets are calling on British bedding and nursery stock growers to consider the sales opportunities the markets could provide.

Traders are keen to get hold of British-grown plants and some have contacted the NFU's Business Development Manager (BDM) scheme that aims to put market traders in touch with suppliers.

NFU horticulture adviser Chris Hartfield said: "We are trying to promote opportunities at New Spitalfields for edible horticulture and will highlight the opportunities for ornamentals too."

He added that New Covent Garden was the traditional place for ornamental horticulture, with only a handful of traders in the others.

New Spitalfields business development manager Tim Williams said only Bristow was currently selling bedding plants and nursery stock. "We are very interested in taking more," he added.

"This is on the periphery of the BDM scheme but there is definitely an opportunity. It works well for Bristow and in season they take as much British produce as they can."

British Protected Ornamentals Association chair Sarah Fairhurst said it was a good opportunity for growers. "I know of at least one grower who has done this and he finds it very good. Hopefully, others will get involved.

"We have to have more avenues for selling stock and there is a resurgence of interest in wholesale markets."

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