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What will Brexit mean for Marlborough’s independent florists?

Kate Howard of Hedge Rose, London RoadKate Howard of Hedge Rose, London RoadA survey carried out by the British Florist Association has found that more than 90 per cent of florists throughout the UK think that Brexit will have a direct impact on their businesses.        

As Friday, 29 March approaches they have had little or no reassurance.  Currently “...the UK is dependent on Dutch flowers to supply its flower shops…About 925 million euros worth of Dutch flowers is shipped to the United Kingdom every year.”

Unless concerns are addressed long delays caused by customs checks could have a detrimental effect on all perishable goods especially flowers and an 8-12 per cent tariff could make flowers prohibitively expensive for UK consumers.

Kate Howard, who has owned Hedge Rose florist shop on London Road for eight years, spoke to marlborough.news:  “Florists nationally are worried about Brexit. We rely on the 90 per cent of flowers which are imported from Holland."

"There are UK growers, but they only account for between ten and twelve per cent of flowers sold. They grow a limited range and a lot of those flowers go direct to supermarkets rather than to florist shops.”

“It’s OK to be idealistic and think we can grow them here, but it will take time – it won’t be immediate. For me it just feels so late in the day to be leaving businesses with this huge question mark.”

“It’s definitely made me feel I have to wait to make firm decisions about anything.”

“I’m cautiously optimistic that everything will be sorted out in our favour as the UK is such a huge customer for the Dutch.”

Sarah Styles, whose independent florist shop is in Old Hughenden Yard, echoed these sentiments: “It’s a bit of a waiting game to find out what will happen. All the flowers come from Holland so I am concerned. I’m hoping they will work something out.”

Belinda from Primrose Lane florist, Kingsbury Street is also hoping for the best: "As a florist there’s always something to deal with."

The British Florist Association is urging that the voices of British florists are listened to.  In a press release, they say: “There is a serious concern that Brexit could pose a real danger to florist businesses as we know them."

"All of which will have a knock on effect to the British consumers that rely on talented florists to express their emotions be they happy or sad, help celebrate the milestones of their life or simply bring joy to them or their loved ones.” 

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