THE UNITED KINGDOM - A NEW MARKET FOR MEDITERRANEAN FLOWERS?

R.R.W. Folley
The British people are not big consumers of cut flowers for everyday occasions. Flower prices are not higher than elsewhere, but the regular trade is through retail florists who use flowers to provide a service to their customers and are less interested in flowers as a commodity.

Flower consumption in Britain is low also because there has not been the big increase in personal incomes that has taken place elsewhere in western Europe. There is nevertheless, a time when the supply of home-grown flowers spills over into many thousands of small food shops. This occurs during the depth of winter when the bulbflowers are harvested : the flowers are then very cheap.

The regular trade is divided between individuals and institutions; personal buying is thought to account for 60 per cent of consumption. Carnations have a place as a decorative flower in this trade, but, like roses, compete at any time with chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemums are an adaptable flower and most important in the U.K. The glasshouse carnation crop is managed for winter production, but the higher winter prices attract supplies from places like Malta, East Africa and even South Africa.

It so happens that the major flower-buying festivals,which are recognized in the U.K., occur when home-grown flowers are not naturally plentiful. These occasions may be the time for promoting the sale of cheaper flowers on the British market, so long as they give good value for money. It can be said that flowers are most scarce relative to demand during the winter months. The days in Britain are neither too cold nor too hot to interfere with the movement of flowers, but with regard to price, at relatively high prices only a small increase in demand seems possible: possibly, too, buying of cheap flowers could be extended to the period between the end of the bulb flowers and the start of the garden flowers.

Folley, R.R.W. (1974). THE UNITED KINGDOM - A NEW MARKET FOR MEDITERRANEAN FLOWERS?. Acta Hortic. 43, 243-252
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1974.43.26
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1974.43.26

Acta Horticulturae