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OTHER ITA SITES:
An Inside Look at the UK Flower Industry
Within the UK flower industry a vast amount of the flowers used by florists are cultivated and grown in the UK. In spring the UK flower growers produce the most amount of daffodils in the world, many of which are exported. Narcissi, daffodils and tulips are grown throughout the UK. The flower growers in Cornwall produce the early varieties, Lincolnshire growers keep the UK industry supplied in mid season with Scotland providing the later varieties.
Chrysanthemums are also grown throughout the UK with the predominant producers being along the south coast. Seasonal summer flowers such as asters, gerbera, delphiniums, calla lily and stocks are grown a vast quantities throughout the whole of the UK.
UK florists have an abundant supply of hardy hedgerow foliage to choose from as well as more exotic foliages being grown under glass in the UK.
The UK flowers industry is worth in excess of two billion pounds annually, with the average person spending thirty six pounds each year on cut flowers and indoor plants. However, people in the UK have a long way to go before they can rival the likes of France, where it is common place for flowers to be brought from the local florists on a weekly basis. The supermarkets on the continent are only just beginning to offer cut flowers for sale and it is extremely rare to see flowers for sale at garages!
Historically people in the UK only buy flowers for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays and Valentine’s Day. The use of flower arrangements within the home is becoming increasingly popular in the UK as people are beginning to realise the importance that flowers have on the senses and fewer people are growing flowers themselves in their gardens to cut and display indoors. The popularity of TV home make-over shows has also helped to increase the amount of flower arrangements being ordered from the florists, especially those which specialise in contemporary and modern designs. TV coverage of horticultural shows such as Chelsea has also given impetus to the UK flower industry as a whole.
Although many flowers used by florists are grown within the UK the demand for exotics, tropical flowers and foliage designs means that huge quantities of flowers are imported into the UK each year, with the majority coming from Kenya, Israel and Columbia. All flowers coming from abroad have to adhere to the strict guidelines set down by DEFRA, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, to ensure that imported flowers and plants meet quality standards and for example, are not carrying disease which are detrimental to native UK flowers and plants.
The majority of traditional florists in the UK obtain their flowers from wholesale markets, returning to their workplaces to sort, store and of course make-up the beautiful designs and arrangements ordered.
Many of the florists in the UK are self employed and while many have taken recognised floristry qualifications, there are cottage UK flower industry style florists becoming increasingly popular by only supplying arrangements and designs using only locally produced seasonal flowers, these by and large do not offer either countrywide or worldwide deliveries.
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