The English Flower Company has been buying and collecting from English growers for two years now and selling to florists where they can.
Only English grown flowers are selected on either the day they are cropped or the day after at which time they will also be delivered to customers.
They are the freshest flowers possible, having travelled no more than 50 miles. There’s no delivery charge and no VAT either. Occasionally travel to London takes them to Moyses Stevens and Hayford and Rhodes, two florists keen to promote British flowers.
Most of the growers are in Lincolnshire, are very professional and supply top quality flowers. The range through the year is fantastic including Phalaenopsis Orchids (stems and plants), Cymbidium stems and plants, Dendrobium stems and plants, Anemones, Ranunculus, Chrysanthamum blooms, Molucella, Alstroemeria, Lupins, Peonies and many many more.
The English Flower Company are proud to be helping local businesses and keeping to a minimum their carbon footprint.
They started simply with a van one day, looking around their area for large glasshouses. It didn’t take long before they found one and then another and so on.
Martyn Meadows, company owner said;
“Our decision to start selling English flowers was really a matter of circumstance. Leaving a job in London, to avoid the commute and looking for a more family friendly lifestyle. At the same time my wife got friendly with a wholesaler who delivered flowers to the florists where she worked. He was giving up the business and told her each week a little more about what was involved, the thinking being that we might be interested in buying his goodwill etc.
So, with that in mind, and coincidentally, the proximity of our new home very close to the towns of Spalding and Holbeach, where there are a good number of both big and small growers, we decided to give it a go”.
Martyn and his wife decided that they would only sell British flowers because they wanted to buy flowers at their freshest and best and to build up good relationships with the respective growers.
They felt that there might be a gap in the market for British flowers and were encouraged by a programme on tv, produced by Sarah Raven of Gardeners World. She took over a florist shop for the day and stocked one side with English flowers and the other with imported flowers. By far the most popular were the English flowers, offering seasonality and better scents.
All the larger growers they know are very keen to sell to them. Some sell millions of flowers to supermarkets, so to sell to a company on a much smaller scale involves a lot of extra work, or rather time they would otherwise spend completing what are sometimes quite long production lines.
Others are smaller producers, often a family business which has been passed down over the years. It is however getting harder for these smaller growers to carry on with their businesses as it is hard work for a relatively small return which is also not guaranteed.
Martyn feels that the three issues facing flower production in Britain are the cost of production, (heat and light) is now unsustainably high. The second is that the selling price has not gone up for a number of years, even though the cost of productio has risen considerably. To compound these two, Government legislation encroaches more and more on growing techniques.
One grower he spoke to recently has admitted that he cannot now afford to comply with recent legislation with regard to the control of weeds. Quite simply, what the government says he must do would make it completely unviable for him to continue.
With the growers problems in mind, it appears they might be desperate for sales but like many British businesses, they each have their place in the market and hold on to that tentatively as best they can.
In the last year the effect of the recession has been obvious, with two florists in the area closing down and one continuing to trade from home. The main hurdle is the inability to compete with supermarkets selling flowers cheaply.
The English Flower Company sells flowers to anyone who wants to buy them. From florists, to businesses, flower arrangers and friends and family. They would of course like to be able sell more but there is not the complete range available that florists need. Their current range includes, Daffodils, Tulips, Anemones and strangely, all types of the Orchid varieties.
As with all businesses in this economic climate, Martyn and his wife have also used their skills to diversify and have just
produced a series of notelets with their beautiful flowers as the theme.
It is hoped that these notelets will be available via some of the leading retailers.
Currently available as four packs, each reflecting designs created from the British grown flowers of the seasons.
To contact the English Flower Company, ring Martyn Meadows on
01778 421441 or 07720 716802