Chairman Graham Ward OBE
What an amazing day! Sara attended the first ever British Cut Flower Seminar at Stoneleigh Park yesterday. The room was full of the movers and shakers in the world of British Flowers. There were representatives from DEFRA, The RHS, the NFU, the HTA the HDC and many other abbreviations!! Plus major supermarkets, colleges and universities, big commercial growers, New Covent Garden Market, small artisan growers, florists passionate about British Flowers, big names in Social media and the fabulous Rache de Thame from TV gardening fame.
And then there was Our Flower Patch! We were there as we seem to be the only company who is providing an education service where groups can access in one place all the information they need to sow, grow, plant and look after cut flower plants alongside providing structured cross curricular activities for young people to carry out. All with the aim of growing the flowers and selling them as a fundraising activity, thereby looking at financial responsibility and life skills. With a healthy measure of fun and bucket loads of enthusiasm thrown in!
There was such positivity and passion in the room for British Flowers and a real commitment to build a better future for the British Flower industry. Lots of talk about co-operation and the different sectors working together to make things really happen. A recurring theme was education. Be this education about where flowers come from, what is involved in their production; both in the UK and abroad, about the seasonality of flowers and why customers should look to choosing British Flowers when they are making their buying choices. Some of this education is for adults & consumers, but to fully secure a future for a long term British Flower industry then the education needs to start with the youngsters. Often a young child is a very good educator of their parents. We've all sucumbed to Pester Power! But when it is pester power with a good reason behind it then maybe it is a powerful tool for change. Cally tells a story of overhearing a child telling their parent they would not eat battery farmed eggs, after they had learned about the issues involved. Children are strong motivators for change, after all it's their future we are talking about too.
We will share more with you about what the outcomes of yesterdays meeting are when they are officially released and keep you updated on the progress made.
Delegates at Stoneleigh Seminar, including Gill Hodgson the one woman power house who organised it all!
Edward Munson, Jo Munson, Sara Willman, Gill Hodgson, Tracey Baty