British positives from Brexit
Our wonderful flowers are now even better value!
There has been much doom and gloom in the news about Brexit and how it will affect daily life here in the UK. Having spoken to many British growers in the recent weeks, I am inclined to suggest that a minor resurgence of British-grown produce may actually be on the cards following the Brexit vote.
The value of imports from abroad is directly in response to the value of the pound. With the de-valuing of the pound, overseas imports are becoming more expensive, and British-grown flowers are looking like a much better value product for buyers in the UK.
There is the shocking statistic that 97% of the £2bn UK flower market is currently imported – just imagine a slice of that swinging to British-grown! The Dutch market which has played such a huge role in the plant market over the past few decades is now appearing to become less appealing.
This is such a great opportunity to push British-grown flowers and produce! In the UK, we have been going through quite a trend for British products and produce. Maybe now is the time to include British-grown flowers into this on-going trend?!
What is holding the UK back? Technology!
What has technology got to do with British-grown flowers?
What sets the Dutch apart when it comes to their plants is their quality and their efficiency. The minute a planting or growing plan is in place; the plants are tracked from seed to sold. Dutch systems can tell the buyer how many of each plant are available and exactly when they can be delivered; the quality is assumed and assured.
Nigel Lister understands the difficulty in sourcing British-grown flowers from both his retail and wholesale background:
“I decided on the smartphone option because I wanted a grower to be able to take a photo of the available product and load it onto a global platform (multiple language and currency screens are coming in further releases) instantly. Buyers can see what’s available and the price, and make an offer through the app or just make contact with the grower in different ways, including an inbuilt Facebook Messenger facility.”
The ActionFresh app answers the questions that the Dutch systems are so easily able to do. When, where, price, and quantity.
Brexit as an oppourtunity for British-grown flowers
‘Flowers from the Farm’ is a co-operative group of 300 cut flower growers in the UK that was founded by Gill Hodgson. Hodgson sees Brexit as:
“a fabulous opportunity. Some florists are reporting 25 per cent more expensive orders than three weeks ago, for the same order.” She suggested that this may mean more florists seek flowers from closer to home, particularly if trade barriers mean delays at ports for imports.”
Gill sees her members reporting higher prices and an increase in demand for British-grown flowers; she really believes that this could be the ‘silver lining’ of Brexit!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see British-grown flowers having a real resurgence?!