"A blooming market emerges for Scottish flowers"

Scottish farmers are being encouraged to wake up and smell the roses as established growers capitalise on a blooming market for home-grown cut flowers.

The fledgling Flowers Grown in Scotland (FGS) co-operative of around 30 producers held an open day at  Blooming Bees on Wardmill Farm near Forfar, where Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon threw her weight behind the movement for locally-grown produce.

“We can see the potential for the Scottish flower industry grow because it’s about provenance. In much the same way as we buy local with our  meat, fruit or veg, we can do the same with our flowers,” she said.

“I’m keen to see what we can do to help the sector grow because there are clearly diversification opportunities that can be developed.”

Visitors at the event hosted by Blooming Bees at Wardmill Farm, Forfar. FGS was formed just 12 months ago, and founder members include Grampian Growers, Blooming Bees and the McWilliam family who have a pick-your-own flower field at Haughhead, Laurencekirk.

Grampian Growers development manager, Claire Dyce, said that while locally-produced cut flower sales had taken off in the last year, the sector faced challenges including logistics and having enough volume  to offer wholesalers continuity of supply.

“Customers are starting to recognise that buying Scottish is good.  Our flowers have environmental credentials, no air miles and a much longer shelf life compared to flowers that have been flown in from Holland or Africa and kept refrigerated for weeks,” she said. “But there are questions to iron out which is why we need to come together as a group to get the best price for our produce.”

To read the complete article, go to www.thecourier.co.uk

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