The Co-op brought together its flower growers and suppliers on the 19th June at the home of Lincoln’s Naylor Flowers in celebration of British Flower Week and an industry that is “in bloom”.
The retailer, which signed the NFU’s Fruit and Vegetable Pledge in 2016, has applied many of the same principles to its horticulture offering – moving away from annual tender cycles towards the establishment of long-term, three year agreements. This enables suppliers to agree production programmes with growers in advance and with greater certainty and also offers an increased level of financial security.
The Co-op’s horticulture team is also looking to establishing specific grower groups – mimicking the success of the retailer’s farming groups which have engendered greater trust and transparency along the supply chain.
Sales of the Co-op’s seasonal British bouquet – which rotates flowers based on seasonality – have proved a hit with consumers with sales showing an increase of 67% in the last year.
Kathryn Camps, Co-op’s horticulture technical and development manager, said: “We’re thrilled to see the British flower industry enjoying such a renaissance and must pay credit to the wide range of growers and suppliers across the country, such as Naylor Flowers and JZ Flowers, who ensure that UK consumers can enjoy the very best blooms all year-round. Our intention is to work with our horticulture growers in the same way we do with our fresh produce suppliers and we’ve made significant strides in extending seasons and utilising crops more efficiently, as well as implementing those all-important three-year deals. It’s important that we spend time on farm with growers as it allows us to better understand production challenges and days like today are a really valuable opportunity to take a step back and take stock of how far the industry has come.”
Matthew Naylor, managing director of Naylor Flowers, added: “We’re delighted to be celebrating Britain’s flourishing flower industry alongside the Co-op, one of our trusted retail partners. At the heart of a successful industry lies a bedrock of strong retailer – supplier relationships and the Co-op, by facilitating long-term three year contracts, has given us a stability that means we can grow our business and focus on supplying the British public with their favourite home-grown flowers.”
Photo credit – © Tim George/ UNP 0845 600 7737