(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 13th June 2019) London, Uk – –
Homegrown stems accounted for 14% of £865m worth of flowers sold in Britain last year
The British-grown flower industry is now worth £121m – up from £82m in 2015 – following years of decline owing to imported stems, figures reveal.
Last year homegrown flowers accounted for 14% of the £865m worth of all stems sold in the UK, compared with 12% three years ago, according to a report by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The uplift has been driven by increased consumer demand for British blooms, in turn allowing UK growers to expand and flourish. Environmental benefits include increased biodiversity as growing flowers supports wildlife such as bees and butterflies across local farms.
According to Alastair Owen of New Covent Garden Market, the largest fresh produce market in the country, the use of British blooms in recent royal weddings had helped drive growth in homegrown stems. “We encourage anyone who loves flowers to get involved and to buy more British,” said Owen.
Without the lengthy transportation and refrigeration used for imported flowers, British stems are said to have a better scent and stay fresher for longer. Imported flowers are either cultivated in vast glasshouses in the Netherlands, or flown in by the millions of stems from farms in Africa and South America.
Supermarkets remain the largest outlet for cut flowers in the UK, however, representing just over half of all sales. Waitrose has reported a resurgence in the popularity of British peonies, up 48% compared with last year.
The Co-op recently became the second UK supermarket – after Aldi – to sign up to the National Farmers’ Union’s plants and flowers pledge, a 12-point charter aiming to increase the proportion of British plants and flowers available for consumers to buy.
By Rebecca Smithers