Bumper Year For Flower Exporters Despite Transport Hitches

Churchtown Farm

Today is the last posting day for Christmas and a busy day for travel operators, the Post Office and Scilly’s flower farmers.

And our exporters are full of praise for the transport operators.

Amanda Pearce of St Agnes says she has taken yesterday’s weather and helicopter disruption in her stride. Amanda says there’s not much you can do about fog, adding, “it was all going too well.”

She said the Post Office had been particularly helpful in the circumstances.

Dave Page at British International Helicopters on St Mary’s says his team will do all they can to move 1.2 tons of freight and they’ll be adding two extra air freight services.

Zoe Julian of Churchtown Flower Farm on St Martin’s says the BIH team has been brilliant.

The Steamship Company will take 15 pallets of flowers to the mainland on the Gry Maritha today and many of those will be from Mainland Marketing.

Keith Hale says the crop will be taken by road to Spalding for distribution and he praised the dedication of the ship’s crew.

It’s been a much better than expected pre-Christmas period for many of our islands’ flower growers.

Amanda says the recent warm weather has brought her a good crop and they stopped taking orders for Christmas yesterday, while Keith says he’s pleased with the volume of narcissi, at more than double 2010’s yield.

Last year, winds and icy conditions meant production was 50% down.

Churchtown Farm will stop phone orders for the 25th at midday today, with their furthest travelling order going to Shetland.

And having despatched 20,000 flowers in the seasonal rush, Zoe said her St Martin’s team are looking forward to the break.

Keith says he’s watching the weather and doesn’t want too many flowers opening up during the Christmas break.

The focus of the New Year will be fulfilling supermarket orders for Asda.

St Mary’s grown flowers have been in Waitrose and Marks and Spencer since October.