One of the country’s leading event florists, Simon Lycett, has told flower growers that they need to connect the public with seasonal British flowers in the same way they have connected with local food to strengthen their sector, in a workshop hosted by the NFU.
The Backing British Blooms workshop, which heard from leaders across the ornamentals sector, opened a dialogue between growers and the industry and started work on an action plan to achieve the principles laid out in the report.
The NFU is calling for improved provenance labelling of cut flowers in retailers and florists to enable the public to greater recognise which flowers are home-grown.
NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: “It is so important that the public are aware of which flowers are grown in Britain and improved labelling in supermarkets and florists would give them the information they need to make informed choices.
“Opening a dialogue within the industry to continue working to grow the fantastic British cut flower market is crucial and building a strong network will only benefit growers.
“Our Backing British Blooms report laid out the opportunities available for cut flowers as a surge in public demand makes it increasingly competitive and desirable. The time to take back some of the market has never been better and secure the revival of the British cut flower industry.”
Mr Lycett, who is also a florist to the royal palaces, told growers that increasing the co-operative mindset that is proven to work in the Dutch flower market will continue to strengthen the British market.
He said: “I am passionate about British flowers and floristry and its unique, scarce and rare qualities need to be greater utilised and more highly regarded. The whole industry is aiming in the same direction and coming together will help to strengthen and increase the sector.
“We need to work together to make the flower-buying public more aware of seasonal, British-grown flowers in the same way they seem to have connected with the local and seasonal elements of food buying.
“Florists in the market want the biggest and the most magnificent – which is exactly what British producers can provide. Working together to discover how to market these products to reach those people and connecting to the supply chain will help to promote British, seasonal flowers.”
British flowers currently supply between 10% and 12% of the market and faces stiff competition from the Dutch market.