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Wednesday 14 June 2017
Ahead British Flowers Week next week, running from 19th to 25th June, Lincolnshire flower growing family Richard Robinson, centre, with sons Henry (turquoise shirt) and Charles (checked shirt) begin the harvest of early British sunflowers for Waitrose. Henry and Charles Robinson, are the sixth generation of flower growers, working on their 147 year old family farm, with their father Richard in the Fens, near Spalding. The farm has 420 acres of sunflower fields, with the growers picking eight to nine million stems a year. They also grow sweet Williams for the supermarket, which has a long standing commitment to supporting British growers. During the summer months, 60% of the flowers Waitrose sell are sourced from British farms. Waitrose Horticulture Buyer, Lucy Matthewson says, "Sunflowers are a true sign that summer is here and we're lucky to work with such dedicated British growers to offer our shoppers an abundance of homegrown flowers. And what could be more surprising than treating Dad this Father's Day to some colourful blooms, grown by a father and his sons." Photograph by Fiona Hanson/Waitrose
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British sunflower sales thrive in heatwave
British sunflowers are enjoying a bumper crop this year thanks to the heatwave – with annual sales up 46% at Waitrose.
The supermarket chain’s flower buyer Nicola Wall said: “Sunflowers love the sun and these summertime favourites are proving very popular this year. As we enjoy the blistering heatwave, the sunflower crop is thriving and we expect the admiration of these beautiful flowers to continue as customers add a touch of sunshine to their homes and gardens.”
The sunflowers stocked by Waitrose are harvested by Henry and Charles Robinson in the Lincolnshire Fens, who work on their 148-year-old family farm with their father Richard.
Waitrose has five bouquet lines that feature Sunflowers as the main flower. A minimum of 40% of the flowers stocked by Waitrose all year round are grown in Britain.
Richard Robinson (centre) with sons Henry (left) and Charles (right)
PHOTO: Fiona Hanson/Waitrose
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