Daffodil-growers mean business

The UK is the world’s biggest daffodil grower, and harvests 90 per cent of the world’s total production.

Wales is a small nation, but growing its national flower is big business for some farmers and daffodils in the UK have a retail product value of £71.5 million.

One such daffodil grower is Brooksgrove Farm, just outside Haverfordwest. The family-run farm specialises in growing Welsh flowers to supply the local and wider UK market, selling fresh from the fields and direct to the consumer.

Sustainable farming is key to Brooksgrove Farm’s success, as the business saw a real growth in customers taking an interest in where their flowers came from. As well as selling locally the family have created a new, native woodland by planting over 4,000 trees on their land.

Daffodils are the Welsh national flower, and Wales – alongside Cornwall, Lincolnshire and Scotland – produce most of the country’s supply. No machines are used in the fields as the flowers are so delicate that they must all be harvested by hand.

Gary Rees, owner of Brooksgrove Farm, said: “There’s been a big drive for buying sustainably as consumers become increasingly eco-conscious.

"People like the connection of buying something that’s been grown by a local farm, which is why so much of our business is from Welsh florists and customers.

"Once the flowers are picked they are stored in a fridge to help keep them fresh. We package the flowers in biodegradable boxes and use no plastic, sending them out the next day.”

As the largest bank for farmers across England and Wales, Barclays Business Banking counts many daffodil farmers among its clients.

Gary Rees adds: “Support from Barclays has been really important to the growth of our business. At our first meeting, my relationship manager put on her wellies and walked around the farm with me. It’s great to have someone who will take the trouble to come and listen to a small agricultural business’ needs and give us access to their whole team of agricultural experts.”

Mark Suthern, national head of agriculture at Barclays, said: “As the national flower of Wales, daffodils dress the windowsills of homes across the country on St. David’s Day. But they’re much more than a symbol – they’re a thriving part of the Welsh economy.

“The success of Welsh growers is helping to make the UK the world’s largest grower and producer of the flower. It’s an industry that adds £71.5 million to the economy each year, and Barclays is committed to supporting Britain’s daffodil growers.”

Source: Wales Farmer