The NFU has called for cut flowers to be labelled with their country of origin to enable consumers to support British growers.
Amy Gray, horticulture adviser to the NFU, said the proportion of homegrown flowers sold in the UK had declined to the point where they represented just 12%.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme Gray said: “The industry has gone through a seismic change over the last 30 years or so and we’ve seen a persistent decline in the proportion of homegrown flowers sold in this country. We’re at a stage now where it’s 12%.”
Gray said there was strong competition from markets around the world and, while domestic growers were constrained by seasonal supply, consumers wanted “consistency” throughout the year.
She said there was a system in place to record the country of origin for food products. “We would like to see a similar system in place for flowers,” she said.
“During peak times, what we really want to see is British people buying British flowers and supporting their growers. Our growers produce a premium product. Consumers should have the opportunity to make an informed decision and provenance labelling is a way to give them the information to make that informed choice.”
The call has been timed to coincide with the start of the Chelsea Flower Show this week.
In its election manifesto the NFU called for “clear, unambiguous” country-of-origin labelling on food packaging and the extension of the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to protect farmers from unfair buying practices.
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