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Cathy Streeter, Sussex Roses

"UK: "Customer awareness for local flowers is finally kicking in"

"Customer awareness for local flowers is finally kicking in," says British flower grower Cathy Streeter of Sussex Roses. Over the last few years British flower growers are experiencing a lot of competition from abroad. "Regarding roses, our biggest competitors are Holland, Colombia, Israel and Ecuador," says Streeter. In order to raise the awareness for local flowers, the British Flowers Week was held last week for the third year.

On the left: Hand-tied from £15. On the right: Jam Jar posy from £7.

During this week-long event, growers and florists promoted the British flowers. The aim of the campaign is to bring British flowers back into British homes. Also Sussex roses was involved in the British Flowers Week and organized some promotional activities, like offering an exclusive hand- tied bouquet and a jam jar posy, and hiding lonely bouquets within the local area to keep consumer's eyes peeled.

This event contributes to the current trend towards locally-grown products. "Many consumers have already embraced locally-grown food and fortunately, they are now starting to appreciate the value of locally-grown flowers too," says Streeter. Therefore, it becomes more interesting to grow flowers in the UK. "Last year, for example, we saw a dramatic improvement in the number of British flower growers," says Streeter.

Sussex Roses' greenhouse.

Sussex Roses grows different flower crops in a one acre-sized greenhouse and on one acre of open land. "In the greenhouse, we grow over 10,000 rose bushes, rows of cordon sweet peas, hybrid delphiniums, dahlias including Karma varieties, antirrhinums, sunflowers, chrysanthemums and a varied selection of seasonal bedding plants. Outside, we grow viburum opulus (guelder rose), astilbe and griselinia. This latter variety will be maturing in the coming years.

The British Flowers Week in support of British cut flowers, was founded and organised by New Covent Garden Flower Market (

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Sussex Roses
Cathy Streeter