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Imports were higher than ever in 2021. Exports from EU countries to the UK increased by a third to €717 million. This almost exclusively concerns exports from the Netherlands. Imports into the UK from countries outside the EU increased even more, almost doubling in value to 217 million pounds (equivalent to about 250 million euros).
The figures from UK Customs for imports from EU countries are not yet reliable. This source gives a value of 617 million pounds for imports from EU countries for 2021, which would be around 10% less than in the two previous years. Following two exceptional years, 2020 and 2021, in which the ornamental horticulture industry exploded due to an influx of novice gardeners and a boom in home gardening and home decoration, the consensus among Dutch floral wholesalers and ornamentals growers is that 2022 turned out to be a little bit disappointing across all categories. However, they quickly added that in 2022, sales returned to pre-pandemic levels. Yet, no one would dare to downplay the impact of the eye-watering energy prices and the spike in commodity prices.
The Netherlands by far the largest in the United Kingdom
Shipments to the Netherlands’ major export destination, the UK were modestly down with 2.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent, respectively. The drop in export sales was more significant in France (- 9,3 per cent), Belgium (- 8 per cent) and, rather unsurprisingly, Russia.
The Netherlands is the most important supplier of cut flowers to the United Kingdom by far. In 2021, the Netherlands exported 710 million euros. In 2020, due to COVID-19, this was only 540 million and in 2019 it was only 550 million euros. Compared to the last pre-COVID year, there was an increase of almost 30% more in 2021.
By a distance, Kenya is the second biggest supplier of cut flowers. Imports from that country grew explosively in 2021. In previous years, it was always between 50 and 55 million pounds; in 2021, it was 128 million pounds, which is equivalent to almost 150 million euros.
Columbia is the second supplier from outside the EU. In 2021, imports from that country grew sharply to 55 million pounds from 34 million in 2020. Then there is a gap to the number three. That is Turkey. Last year, 9 million British pounds worth of cut flowers were imported from that country.
In 2020 the UK imported £581 million worth of flowers and £402 million of plants. The vast majority imported from the Netherlands, (102million euros) and the rest from Africa and South America.
British flowers accounted for 14% of the 1.18 billion sales worth in 2020 of all stems sold in the UK, compared with 12% three years ago, according to a report by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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The British Florist Association (BFA) is ‘not for profit’ organisation which represents approximately 6000 florists and used its database of 5540 florists with Survey Monkey for the Mothers Day Survey 2021. We also shared this on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The content of these results belong to the BFA and use of the content should be agreed by the BFA and accredited to the www.britishfloristasscoiation.org. Thank you.