Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s estimated that the value of lost plant sales in the UK will be £687m by the end of June and if it continues, £1.2bn by the end of December.
As plants are perishable, it also means many growers are facing a major stock write off, that comes with a huge loss of income.
Chairman of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) James Barnes told The Independent: “This crisis puts around 650 businesses across the UK at risk. These businesses contribute £1.4bn to the country’s GDP and employ tens of thousands of people. Many of these are family businesses at the heart of rural and remote communities.”
The HTA is calling on the government to support UK growers with a financial support scheme to help businesses who will be affected. “For those that can stay in business, there are also significantly longer-term issues as growers may not have time to plant next year’s crop, leading to a two year supply hit on the whole industry including retail, which will severely impact the availability of British grown seasonal plants and flowers,” says Barnes.
Buying plant and flowers online from big and small businesses alike is a small way customers can help, though, so we’ve trawled the online garden stores to find the best to buy from, for the foliage of every variety.