What will Brexit mean to a florist
20 March 2019
The UK flower industry is worth a whopping £2.2 billion a year, with maybe 80% of the flowers coming via Holland, with only a small amount available from the UK. Although many are grown in other countries such as Columbia, Kenya or Italy, most are grown in the Netherlands and these come via the Dutch distribution centres and auction houses in an astonishing feat of logistics! The fantastic team from Night Fox then bring my flowers straight to my shop - as you can see from Chris' face above at Mother's Day, these guys work very hard for us!
The growers take their product to auction early in the morning, selling to a variety of suppliers who then supply across Europe. When you see me at my laptop in my shop, I'm not watching Netflix box-sets, I'm jostling to get the best product at the best price when the suppliers go live! Fastest fingers win!
I am also able to buy straight from the growers, by-passing the auction houses. I do this whenever possible so I get first dibs on the best product and fresher stock by buying fresh from the grower. This ensures that you, my customers, get the best product! Fresher, longer lasting and excellent value with the added benefit that I know the grower for each product.
So come Brexit - if and when it happens! - what will that mean for me? And for you as a customer? Well, who knows! In all seriousness though, there are a number of possibilities and consequences. If border controls are tightened, the stock may take longer to get to me and so I lose the freshness that makes my flowers last and last. Not good! If tariffs are introduced, then I might see a price increase which I cannot absorb and have to pass on to customers. Not good!! We just don't know right now, but we have plans.
So don't panic! We have ways and means...My supplier Florismart is in discussions with a number of Columbian growers who can supply direct to the UK. We are building links with British growers to extend our use of UK grown stock like Ben Crossland's gorgeous alstromeria, E.Cole and Son's tulips and the Irish Green Guys' stunning foliage. As a small and independent business, we can move fast and adapt quickly to change to make sure we continue to provide the best quality product possible for you.
So, stiff upper lip chaps, keep calm and buy flowers, and remember, it'll all be over by Christmas!
Here's a link to ITV Calendar News today, who interviewed me a while back. Stay flowery