The cut flower and foliage industry is one of the fastest growing sectors within Northern Ireland horticulture. CAFRE has contributed to the growth of this sector from an estimated farm gate value of £210,000 in 2004 to an estimated value of £1.65 million in 2020.
Locally produced flowers and foliage are popular with Northern Ireland consumers because of the product quality and long vase life. Currently there are over 30 growers producing cut flowers and foliage for local markets, florists and multiple retailers throughout the UK and Ireland. Please click the link below for a list of Northern Ireland growers and crops available.
There are currently a wide range of locally produced cut flowers & foliage available on a seasonal basis. Further details can be found on the Local produce availability calendar
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CAFRE, Greenmount Campus organise and deliver practical workshops on the growing and marketing of cut flowers and foliage and practical demonstrations of our Cut flower and Foliage Projects. If you are interested in cut flower or foliage production please contact CAFRE Senior Horticulture Development Adviser Kieran Lavelle for further information or to be added to our mailing list for events. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are considering going into growing and marketing locally produced cut flowers and foliage or are already doing so then it would be helpful to read the advice leaflet Caring for your customers and increasing your sales
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Local cut flowers and foliage – grown here not flown here!
Cut flower and foliage growers across Northern Ireland are promoting their locally grown produce through a number of new initiatives. Recently the grower’s group NIFFA (Northern Ireland Flower and Foliage Association) produced a ‘Local Produce Availability Calendar’, NIFFA product labels and re-launched their website to make it easier to find a local cut flower and foliage producer in your area. These initiatives were undertaken as part of NIFFA’s involvement in the Supply Chain Development Programme. This DARD funded programme is facilitated by the Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership (CARP).
This timely promotion coincides with a number of events to promote UK grown cut flowers and foliage including British Flowers Week (June 16 -20), a celebration of all things floral held in New Covent Garden Market in London. The NIFFA campaign highlights the very high quality and impressive selection of cut flowers and foliage available from local growers including scented stock, lilies, Peonies, Eucalyptus, Alstroemeria, Sweet William, Snapdragons and many more.
Apart from supporting local businesses, buying locally grown cut flowers and foliage means you are getting better quality product with a longer vase life. Northern Ireland’s cut flowers are often harvested, packed and ready for sale on the same day. Compare this freshness to cut flowers grown around the world and often transported thousands of miles before they reach the shelves in Northern Ireland.
Many of the locally grown cut flower and foliage products are available from local supermarkets, multiple retailers, florists, markets and from the farm gate. Always ask for ‘locally grown’ when shopping for flowers and foliage and remember to look out for the NIFFA logo.
For more information on cut flower and foliage production contact CAFRE’s Cut Flower Development Adviser Mark Finnegan (tel. 028 3752 9052).
Local autumn flowers
Eric Morrow of T. Morrow & Sons is a fourth generation family horticulture business established in 1938, based on the outskirts of Newry, Co. Down. The business concentrated mainly on the growing of salad crops up until three years ago when it diversified into the growing and supply of seasonal cut flowers with the assistance of CAFRE Cut Flower Development Adviser, David Davidson. T. Morrow and Sons have adopted the production of cut flower crops which could be grown and marketed successfully in Northern Ireland. “It gives me real satisfaction as a CAFRE Development Adviser to witness T. Morrow and Sons benefiting from adoption of the CAFRE cut flower technology programme and short course training courses”.
CAFRE continue to support the sustainable growth and development of the cut flower sector in the north of Ireland by working in partnership with businesses to facilitate technology adoption, delivering short course training and development plans along with benchmarks to improve cut flower business performance.
The current list of cut flowers grown by T. Morrow and Sons includes tulips for supply in early spring, with scented stocks, oriental lily and gladioli being the mainstay during the summer months. The lily crop however has been successfully extended on into autumn using grow lights, while bloom chrysanthemums are being grown for supply from October to December. All these products are packed and marketed for various outlets including a multiple retail buyer based in the south of Ireland, a supermarket chain and local retail florists throughout the growing year such as George Preston Florists, Newry and Woodlawn flowers in Bessbrook.
Eric Morrow Says “In the short-term the objective of the business is to expand, with extending the growing area by the introduction of a new one-acre block of glass, and to increase production efficiencies with investment in automation and accreditation achievement”.
In a more long-term strategy the business wants to achieve industry longevity through human resource development and embrace ‘green’ technology, as T. Morrow & Sons realise the importance of a sustainable future.