Blooming marvellous! - Cornish Horticulture
Enterprises grants £750,000 to daffodil growers.
Cornwall's daffodil industry, an important part of the Cornish
landscape at this time of year, is receiving a boost thanks
to investments totalling £750,000 to enable twelve of
Cornwall's growers to bring their businesses into bloom over
the next three years.
Cornish Horticulture Enterprises, the Objective One umbrella
scheme that provides capital investment to help farmers add
value to their primary horticultural produce through processing,
packing or marketing, has approved investments that will assist
The investments, which involve twelve growers, will provide
funding for bulb grading and packing facilities. Daffodil
bulbs are lifted from the ground every two-to-three years,
with around half the bulbs replanted and the remainder are
sold to bulb marketing companies to later go onto garden centres
and other outlets in the UK, Europe and the USA. To enable
growers to be successful in this highly competitive market,
bulbs have to be cleaned and graded to ensure only the highest
quality bulbs reach these markets. The funding from CHE will
enable growers to purchase the necessary equipment to carry
out this process on site.
Other investments include revenue funding for individual
growers and groups to develop web sites and promote the Cornish
flowers and bulbs at National and International shows, as
well as developing markets in the UK and abroad.
One recent investment at Winchester Growers Ltd, Varfell
Farm, Penzance is having a significant effect. The introduction
of three Flow-Wrapping and labelling machines has increased
output and reduced cost. These daffodils previously would
have been picked and transported to Lincolnshire for packing,
but are now packed at Varfell, securing more jobs in Cornwall
and saving significant transport costs.
Winchester Growers pack about sixteen million bunches for
supermarkets in the UK, Europe and USA. To supplement their
own production, Winchester market five million bunches from
ten Cornish growers as well as bulbs in the summer/autumn.
Chris May of Winchester Growers said: "The machines
are making a huge difference to our business. We are able
to deal with large volumes daily, using a dedicated work force.
The flowers are pre-cooled, packed on the new Flow-Wrap machines,
pre-cooled for the second time before being distributed at
optimum temperatures direct to the retail customer. This system
extends 'shelf life' for the retailer and 'vase
life' for the consumer. Involving the local growers has
provided us with greater volume of quality product, which
has allowed them to concentrate on production and Winchester
on processing and marketing."
Roger Whilding of CHE Ltd, said: "We were very pleased
to be able to facilitate Objective One funding for these growers
to help protect and expand their sales of flowers and bulbs
and improve the quality of both product and the packaging.
Several growers are developing their own sales through collaborative
websites and local sales through the Eden Project."
The twelve projects have a combined total project value of
£780,912 have received £163,933 of their funding
from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and
Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) with match funding from DEFRA and the
additional funding from the individual growers.
Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up
the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of
Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support
the local economy between 2000 and 2006.
EAGGF aims to:
Help preserve the link between diversified farming
and the land.
Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture
as a key activity in rural areas.
Ensure the diversification of the economy
in rural areas.
Help to keep thriving communities in rural areas.
Preserve and improve the environment,
the landscape and the rural heritage.
For further information contact:
Cornish Horticultural Enterprises
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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