Organically grown flowers take time and a lot of thought

There’s a market for organically grown flowers in the UK. It’s part of a growing awareness of environmental issues and consumers’ desire to buy local, sustainably-grown products.

Since 2020, growers must be certified organic before using the word “organic”. This legal move is to give consumers clarity.

Many people are really pleased with the quality of organically-grown flowers – especially regarding how long they last because these flowers have a really short supply chain.

Organic growing requires a holistic, systems-based approach that focuses on aspects such as soil health, the introduction of natural predators, and growing several different crops to help reduce the spread of pests and diseases.

However, this approach can create marketing problems for the grower. You haven’t simply grown a few crops for wholesale; you’ve got quite a few different things to sell, which is more complicated.

I would say for conventional flower growers thinking of going into organic production – especially if they sell wholesale – there’s a real opening there, but it will take time and a lot of thought – there isn’t a marketing supply chain to just sell into, and it requires a change of mindset.

I, therefore, recommend that growers seek further advice from a certifying body such as the Soil Association or Organic Farmers and Growers.

This article was first published in the December 2023 issue of FloraCulture International. The author is Jim Aplin, the director of the UK’s Organic Growers Alliance (OGA).

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