A Writtle College Floristry graduate has given a presentation at the first ever Great British Flower seminar.
Mandy Hearn has just graduated from the BA (Hons) Professional Floristry course and spoke to 90 delegates at Stoneleigh Park.
The audience comprised of a wide range of industry representatives, from florists to supermarkets, small artisan growers to large scale commercial growers, wholesalers to Defra. They were there to discuss issues surrounding the decline in UK-grown flowers and plans to revive this important and valuable sector.
Mandy, from Weeley near Clacton-on-Sea, became involved with the Flowers from the Farm initiative following her research for her dissertation entitled: Can UK cut flower growers compete with foreign imports?
Mandy spoke to the audience about the insight she had gained into the industry through her research and floriculture studies and the importance of education in improving standards.
“We need to raise awareness of the flowers grown in the UK, but education also needs to be centre stage for all those involved in the supply chain, including growers, wholesalers, florists and customers,” Mandy said.
“Quality and standards are key. It is important that colleges and universities link with all levels of the supply chain and use their expertise to guide the future of the industry in the UK. This will be through innovative thinking and passionate graduates with all-round knowledge of growing and up-to date technical skills. The industry needs to produce new flower varieties, market produce effectively, and use better post-harvest treatments to improve quality, linked with better biodiversity systems, renewable energy and recycling.
“It was a great honour to have the opportunity to discuss my research and studies at Writtle College, and to discuss the future of British flowers.”