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Favourite Flower Campaign 2017

#Favouriteflower campaign - The campaign in 2017

Following on from last years success, the flower council of Holland will be running the favourite flower campaign again this autumn - starting in the first week of October.
 
With the aim of raising the profile of the Favourite Flower concept. We will keep you informed about the development of the campaign. We expect to be able to share more information with you at the start of September.

The #Favouriteflower campaign from Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk isn't just a campaign to run in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, as it did last year, new in 2017 the campaign runs in France and Germany for the first time too.

The campaign highlights the fact that gifting a favourite flower adds more value. Because with someone’s favourite flowers you’re not only gifting fabulous flowers, but with them they also carry love and memories. Our new campaign focuses on the stories behind favourite flowers. 

 

We all know that giving flowers is even more special when the flowers sent are the reciepients 'Favourite Flower'. Flowers are an emotional gift, responsible for beautiful reactions that triggers happiness.

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 2016 CAMPAIGN?

Hashtag stories

There’s a story behind every favourite flower. Stories full of beautiful, loving or sad moments and memories. With the #Favouriteflower hashtag stories the flower council of Holland will brought fantastic, moving and sometimes controversial stories around favourite flowers to life. They thereby literally demonsted their promise that it’s ‘funny how flowers do that’. The style of photography, the tone of the stories and the fact that this had never previously been done this way made this a contemporary campaign which offers innumerable options. They used short videos and multiple striking images. Every message contains a different story combined with a focus on the associated favourite flower. 

Large-scale campaign 

The campaign enjoyed optimum visibility in the the UK between 11 and 29 October. The campaign developed across the media on a large scale: video networks such as YouTube, social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but also advertisements in magazines and eye-catching messages on the street as well as advertising posters inside London Underground (Tube), and railway train carriages.  Press communication and large-scale PR events involving a big experiential event across London on the final campaign day - all encouraged media and other influencers like bloggers and vloggers to cover the message, as well as giving the public the opportunity to participate and explore their favourite flowers and to share their own #stories. This will brought flowers as the ideal gift to the attention of our primary target groups.

Linking up with the campaign

In 2016 you had the fantastic opportunity to download and use the A3 posters that were available for you to use on your shop floors and windows: Did you make the most of the opportunity? - will you this time?

When speaking about last years campaign UK Marketing Manager, Chanel de Kock at the Flower Council said “We keep pushing the boundaries to engage with our two main consumer target groups who live in a digital world, and the campaign was developed with exactly that in mind. We want people to share their own stories behind their favourite flower while getting our main message across. Our campaign will also end with a big floral splash across London, but I can’t reveal more on that right now.”

No doubt the campagin in 2017 will supass the success of last year and build on the momentum it produced.  

We have no doubt as with last year there will be so much publicity given to this campaign.  It makes so much sense to use the material in your own business and carry through the message to your own clients. 

We'll bring you more information as it becomes available, but make a note to get involved!

Seasonal Wedding Flowers for August and September

WEDDING FLOWERS & ACCESSORIES MAGAZINE SEASONAL FLOWERS.

The next issue of the Wedding Flowers and Accessories magazine be for August & September will soon be out!

This will be the third issue where we have compiled the popular 'SEASONAL FLOWER PAGES'. We, at the BFA have a great working relationship with the magazine and are delighted to make the selection each season.

But here's where we can give you the inside knowledge! We wanted to share with you the list that will appear in the magazine sold in countless outlets nationwide.

All the flowers have been checked with leading experts, growers and distributors to ensure their availability throughout this 'seasonal period'.  

  • Sunflowers
  • Dahlia
  • Amranthus
  • Berries: Hypericum, Raspberries, Rosehips, Snowberries
  • Craspedia
  • Nerines
  • Hydrangea (classic)

If you missed the previous issue's pages, here they are;

Once we have the artwork through for the current issue we will share it with you.

As you can see the BFA logo is a promenant part of the page.  Do you have your membership decal in the window? On you website? On wedding documents? Email footers? The logo can be downloaded from the member area.

Public recognition of the BFA is constantly growing, ensure you use this to your best advantage! and if you're not a member - well, what's stopping you? CLICK HERE and join now!

RHS Tatton Park 2017

 

RHS TATTON PARK FUTURE FLORIST COMPETITION 2017

 

RHS Tatton Park Flower show took place18th - 22nd July, it is one of the best loved events in the gardening calendar and see's the second of the two heats of the Future florist competitions.

The competition is set to find the best future florists training in colleges from around the UK - Tatton Park has seen the final heat competition in 2017, with the first heat taking part at Hampton Court. The Eight colleges across two heats are competing for one of four places in the final contest at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2018 to win the title of the to win RHS Floristry College. To read more about the 2017 finals CLICK HERE.

SCHEDULE:

This years Schedule is to create a fantasy bug - no smaller than 1x1m along with an accompanying object that compliments the bug that needed to be between 30x30cm - 50x50cm.  The bug could be brought to the event already made but the second item had to be created within the staging time given 6 hours. As the backdrop and base of the exhibit were judged as part of the overall display attention to detail throughout the exhibit was paramount!

WHO DOES THE WORK?

As the name of the competition suggests this competition is aimed at the students! Four designers can work on the design - but this includes the tutor and whilst they can coordinate and verbally lead an exhibit as a project the design, advance preparation and on sie work must be the students own! 

Reaseheath University Centre Win Silver!

Our congratulations go to BFA Member college Reaseheath level 3 Floristry team, who were awarded a Silver medal for their their fabulous creations.  

As Fiona Davies explained "This journey started back in February and all 8 members have been 100% committed, putting in hours and hours of hard work." However the work went beyond the floristry department Fiona went onto say "Big thanks to Reaseheath engineering who have also been brilliant- Justin as well as Barry and Kit who turned the team's vision into reality"

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Bishop Burton win silver Medal!

The second medal winner of the competition, with Silver and RHS Tatton Park Future Florist 2017 title are Bishop Burton College.

 

  Their colourful spider and web designs gave them the top spot in this closely fought competition.

 

All competitors throughout both heats now have to wait until August before hearing if they've been successful at securing their spot at the final Future Florist Competition at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower show in May 2018. 

To see more on the 2017 Future Florist college competition CLICK HERE

RHS Hampton Court 2017

RHS HAMPTON COURT FUTURE FLORIST COMPETITION 2017

 

RHS Hampton Court Place Flower show took place earlier in July, it is one of the best loved events in the gardening calendar and see's the start of the Future florist competitions.

The competition is set to find the best future florists training in colleges from around the UK - Hampton courts see the first competition in 2017 another competition is taking place at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show (which we'll report on soon). The Eight colleges across two heats are competing for one of four places in the final contest at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2018 to win the title of the to win RHS Floristry College. To read more about the 2017 finals CLICK HERE.

Capel Manor College take the top spot!

Our congratulations go to BFA Member college Capel Manor and the fantastic Capel’s floristry students, who were awarded Silver-gilt and Best in Show for their intricate exhibit.  


The design incorporated a ‘super bee’ with goggles to emphasise the fantasy theme, Bugs and Beasties. Designed by Level 3 student Leaha Meale, the exhibit was constructed of flora elements sitting on a daisy of mixed flowers.


The over-sized bee brings to the forefront the importance and protection of bees in our environment today. The bee will now be on tour and displayed at two of the college sites at the Enfield and Gunnersbury Park college centres over the summer.

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Writtle University College win a Silver Medal

An exhibit of fantastical bugs made from fresh flowers and plants has scooped a silver medal for BFA Member college Writtle University College at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Our congratulations go to everyone involved both for their medal and their design.

Further Education students and staff created The Enchanted Forest exhibit.  Elaine Thackray, FE Floristry Lecturer, said: “To say we are delighted is an understatement as the standard from the three other colleges was unbelievable. The students and staff worked hard over seven full days to prepare the exhibit and then it took six hours to build at the Show.”


Writtle University College’s exhibit took inspiration from nature to create an ethereal ambience. Floral foam was hand carved to create a bug and a tree man’s face. Materials - succulents, chrysanthemums, echinops, eryngium and different mosses - were selected for their variety of texture and forms whilst considering their longevity for the duration of the Show.

   

The team – including Level 2 and Level 3 Floristry students - paid attention to every surface of the exhibit, incorporating planting pockets for ferns into the tree man’s beard. There was even a surprise under the toadstool – fairy lights and insects made of floral materials.

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Hadlow College add another medal to thier haul.

BFA College Members Hadlow college won a bronze medal with their design, they showcased a paradise for a fantasy bug by providing the essential elements for life; food water and shelter.

Students – Linda Pope, Jasmine Pope, Yasmine Millen & Ruth Pope

   

Tracy Benton lecturer at the college explained "Longevity and contrasts of form and textures have been a priority and have enabled us to depict a stylised floral bug within a setting that he would be happy to live in."

 
Scabiosa seedheads, Hypericum “Cool Romance”, Leucadendron “Safari Sunset” bracts and Salix caprea, Asparagus setaceus, Rubus tricolour and Danae racemosa are among some key plant materials forming the insects.

Lunaria annua have been layered to make the iridescent bug wings and the fluffy Asparagus suggests the fine hairy parts of the bugs legs.

All the colleges now have to wait to August to hear whether they have scored highly enough to gain a place in the final competition at RHS Chelsea Flower Show next year.

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The Academy of Floristry's Bugs and Beasties

The Academy of Floristry decided not to enter the College competition this year but to enter the small, professional floristry exhibit again, this is the third year the competition has been run and the Academy of Floristry based in Bournemouth has entered, and the third time they have been awarded a gold medal - congratulations to you all!

As with the college competitions the theme was 'Bugs and Beasties' Sara-Maire Andrews explains "We were delighted, once again, to be awarded a Gold Medal."  


The designs which were created by tutors and L4 and L5 students illustrated a whole range of different techniques, showcasing the skills of qualified florists.


The bugs and beasties included were: Dragonfly, caterpillar, spider, beetle, ladybird, butterfly, bumble bee and snail unsurprisingly the design attracted a lot of interest from the visiting public.

World of Flowers 2017

WORLD OF FLOWERS 2017 INTRODUCES WORLD OF TRENDS.

The World of Flowers

The World of Flowers aims to inspire florists (and all other visitors) from all over the world by sharing the latest innovations and trends, with three days of competition, inspiration, workshops and networking.

A well-established and growing Trade Fair where over 250 exhibitors will be showcasing an extensive array of related products and services to more than 15,000 visitors from the international Green Sector.

World of Flowers is part of the  International Floriculture and Horticulture Trade Fair (IFTF) in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands, that runs 8 - 10 November 2017Located in a modern and light atmosphere, the IFTF (www.iftf.nl) is easily accessible and offers good facilities. During the same week, other fairs and open houses are being organised to welcome local and international visitors, showing a variety of innovations, concepts, flowers and plants.

The World of Trends

Created within the heart of the World of Flowers is the novel World of Trends. This new addition establishes the next step in this fourth edition of the event. Here, you will find a whole new world of trends and inspiration, and professional assistance in making the connection between trends and the application thereof in your business.

This exciting addition makes it even more worthwhile to come and visit the IFTF in November.

Wim Hazelaar Trophy

12 international florists will compete for the Wim Hazelaar Trophy during two days of the fair. They will work on 7 assignments using products made available to them on the spot, challenging the competitors on creativity, flexibility and craftsmanship.

The trophy is named after Wim Hazelaar – a Dutch floral artist and world champion known for making creations out of materials made available to him on the spot – and is organised for the second time within the World of Flowers.

For more information on the competition including how to enter CLICK HERE

Workshops and presentations

 Throughout the fair, various workshops and presentations will be given on current and future trends, craftmanship, developments and fun activities. This will strengthen the connection between trends, florists, producers, products and companies.

Pre-registration will start during Summer 2017.

 Florist Lounge

Meet Florint, the International Florist Association (www.florint.org), and numerous florists in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. Take a load off your feet in the comfy lounge, and recharge your creativity by exchanging ideas with experts in your own field, drawing inspiration to give your enterprise a refreshing boost forward.

florist lounge

International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF)

The 8th edition of the International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) Expo will be held in 2017 from Wednesday November 8th to Friday November 10th in Expo Haarlemmermeer in Vijfhuizen. It will be the industry wide event serving all segments of the Floriculture & Horticulture industry chain.

IFTF found an excellent home base 6 years ago in Expo Haarlemmermeer, a building designed and especially built as a state-of-the-art greenhouse for the Floriade 2002. Situated in the town of Vijfhuizen and close to Aalsmeer, where the FloraHolland Flower Auction is located hosting its own trade show the FloraHolland trade fair for their members, IFTF is here being yearly organized. A beautiful venue that currently has 34.000 m² exhibition space and which can be easily extended with another 14.000 m², making it a total of 48.000 m² potential available exhibition space.

Wim Hazelaar Trophy

Your chance to compete for the  Wim Hazelaar Trophy at World of Flowers, IFTF.

Would you like to be compete along with the best international Florists for the Wim Hazelaar Trophy, showcasing your skills at the heart of the International trade fair 'World of Flowers'

About the competition

The organisers of the Wim Hazelaar Trophy are inviting international florists, floral arrangers and floral artists to register for the competition. In total 12 participants can enter the competition, which comprises of 7 assignments in two days.

The competition is for participants with experience. People without education or still in training would not be suitable and not accept. It is hoped the participants will inspire their colleagues visiting the World of Flowers.

Preparation in advance is not required, as the participants will work with products made available by the organisers. To work with only the directly available products was the prime competence of the late champion florist Wim Hazelaar.

As a participant in the competition, you have to show your qualities to the international visitors and you will be judged by high-quality floral judges. 

When

8th and 9th November 2017

Where

The Wim Hazelaar Trophy is integrated into the World of Flowers. The World of Flowers offers competition, inspiration, concepts, workshops, presentation and connection to new (floral) developments. And you can be part of this! For more information: www.greenteamconsultancy.com.

How to enter or find out more information

Registration is now open, the closing date for registration is 12th August. Following this date the finalist will be decided and the candidates will be notified.

Are you interested in participating? Send your Curriculum Vitea (maximum 2 pages) and 5 pictures of recent work to Ruud Hazelaar email: wimhazelaartrofee@gmail.com

More about the Competition and Trophy

Wim Hazelaar (1943-2016) was the winner of many Dutch Championships over the years and Winner of the Fleurop World Cup (1982). To remember his work and creativity his nephew and flower artists Ruud Hazelaar has organized the ‘Wim Hazelaar trophy’ competition. 

About the 2016 Competition

Karin Pasman won the Wim Hazelaar trophy in 2016. Karin was totally surprised when announced as the winner after the competition on Thursday at the IFTF World of Flowers 2016. Karin was very proud of her trophy, she can cherish the Mobach Ceramics vase for a year. Also Karin received a cheque for € 250 from Chris Martens (Smithers Oasis Benelux). Dennis Lanzaat and Joyce Brueren were second and third.

Organiser Ruud Hazelaar was very pleased with the 2016 Wim Hazelaar trophy competition. The participants were a mixed group which competed together over two days. They worked hard on the given assignments and beautiful pieces were made. The participants had to make an Advent wreath and an oasis heart. They also had to make a piece with the hazelaar (Corylus). The participants were able to use the sponsored materials from Adomex, Marginpar, Queens Flower and Your Lily.

The IFTF fair with its international audience was a great opportunity to organize this competition. Many visitors have visited the location of the participants in Hall C and had a conversation with one or more participants. 

 

Introducing Customised Sachets from Chrysal

 

Getting noticed and getting your name “out there” is critical in today’s highly competitive market. 

That’s why Chrysal have recently introduced their Customised Sachets costing from as little as 10 pence a sachet – a small price to pay to have your beautiful designs last up to 60% longer versus water alone!  Minimum order quantities are low too at just 2,000 sachets, and have an 18 month shelf life. 

The sachets are produced in the trust-worthy Chrysal Universal powder formulation for one litre of water and are suitable for use with all cut flowers.

Whether it be your business logo or a special event you wish to promote such as Valentines or Mother’s Day, Chrysal customised sachets give you the option. What's more all you need to do is send your artwork to the team at chrysal and they'll do the rest for you.  Later in the year, following some final fine-tuning there will be an online tool which offers templates to select or if you have something more specific in mind, the freedom to let your imagination run wild. If you'd like to place your order you can contact the Chrysal UK office on 0113 3074050 or email info@chrysal.co.uk.

New Covent Garden Markets Trade Open Day

Look round the biggest flower market in the UK at

New Covent Garden Market’s Trade Open Day

 

On Wednesday 28 June, BFA Members New Covent Garden Market are holding a Trade Open Day at its new Flower Market, for trade and businesses only.

     

Florists and flower businesses can look round the biggest Flower Market in the UK and meet 20 wholesalers. See New Covent Garden Market’s new Flower Hall that’s bright, modern and jam-packed with flowers, plants, foliage and floral sundries. Experience the beauty, the buzz and, of course, the banter.

If you are already a Flower Market customer, you can join the market and its traders for a special Flower Market day.

WHAT’S ON

POP-UP CINEMA

New Covent Garden Market is creating a cinema in the Flower Market for one morning only. Here, they’ll be screening their new short documentary film that captures the move to the new Flower Market and features many of the market community. The people, the stories, the feelings. Watch it all unfold. Pop in anytime during the Open Day.

DRINKS AND SNACKS

Visitors can enjoy a free drink and snack on the morning. Market’s are best explored on a full stomach.

FREE ENTRY

During the Open Day, it’s free entry and parking for all vehicles.

WHEN

Wednesday 28 June 2017
04:00 to 10:00 (with some wholesalers open till 13:00)

WHERE

Flower Market, New Covent Garden Market, London, SW8 5BH

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions, please contact New Covent Garden Market on hello@cgma.co.uk or call 020 7501 3495.

Wedding Flowers magazine seasonal flowers

WEDDING FLOWERS & ACCESSORIES MAGAZINE SEASONAL FLOWERS.

The next issue of the Wedding Flowers and Accessories magazine will be for June and July.  We at the BFA are delighted to continue our working relationship with the magazine and compile the popular 'SEASONAL FLOWER PAGES'.

We wanted to share with you the list that will appear in the magazine sold in countless outlets nationwide.

All the flowers have been checked with leading experts, growers and distributors to ensure their availability throughout this 'seasonal period'.  

  • Lisianthus
  • Agapanthus
  • Roses
  • Echeveria/succulents
  • Sweet peas
  • Hydrangea
  • Corn flower
  • Clematis
  • Ammi visnaga
  • Lilies

If you missed the previous issue's pages, here they are;

Once we have the artwork through for the current issue we will share it with you.

As you can see the BFA logo is a promenant part of the page.  Do you have your membership decal in the window? On you website? On wedding documents? Email footers? The logo can be downloaded from the member area.

Public recognition of the BFA is constantly growing, ensure you use this to your best advantage!

Mother’s Day Survey Results 2017

Mother’s Day Survey Results

Thank you to everyone that took the time to enter our survey for Valentine’s Day. It makes really interesting reading.

Below is a brief summary of the results.

How did your 2017 Mother's Day sales compare to those last year?

32.6 % of our florists had a slight increase in comparison to previous years where there was a significant increase. The comparison between the significant and the slight was however only 6% difference. Not enough to cause a panic.

A similar answer on the 2nd question, where ‘’How did your footfall on Mother's Day compare with last year?’’ and once again the answer was, the same as last year rather than greater than last year. Only a 3% difference between the two questions.

The next is the interesting part, because once again the relay orders do seem to have fallen in comparison to your websites, with significant less incoming relay orders than last year. When we follow this with ‘How did the number of online orders from your own website compare to last year? Is a resounding increase with a total of 42% saying yes it had increased. Rather worrying is the 32 % said it was not applicable.

What is really amazing is how blooming good florists are at getting their numbers right. A huge 67.4% accurately estimated that they predicted the demand correctly. This simply because of the skill and experience florist have in handling the peak periods.

Based on the high prices most florist had during Mother’s Day, not one person decreased their prices over MD, 46.67 increased them and 53.33 % kept the same as last year.

The trend we keep on finding is that 58% of the florists in our survey found that the orders were placed in the last 2 days leading up to MD. Having a crystal ball would be good, so considering that most people accurately predicted the demand, this is really good. Do some people have a crystal ball?

Question 8, grab and go, was mixed a bag as you can see from the results.

The last question shows that 35.48% were satisfied with MD. It’s always good to have bit more business.  One florist added- ‘’ had two people steal flowers from outside my shop. I posted to Facebook and within an hour my shop went crazy!’’.
 

ALL SURVEY RESULTS

Q1: How did your 2017 Mother's Day sales compare to those last year?

 

Q2: How did your footfall on Mother's Day compare with last year?

 

Q3: How did the number of incoming relay orders compare to last year?

 

Q4: How did the number of online orders from your own website compare to last year?

 

Q5: Overall, how accurately did you predict the demand in your shop this year?

 

Q6: How did your selling prices on Mother's Day 2017 compare to last year?

 

Q7: When were the majority of your customer orders placed?

 

Q8: What percentage of sales were grab and go impulse purchases that you had ready for customers

 

Q9: Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied were you with Mother's Day 2017? Where 1 is very satisfied and 5 is very dissatisfied.

 

Academy of Floral Art training of a different sort

Devon’s Academy of Floral Art brought Poltimore into bloom for the
first ever Poltimore Flower Festival

·      Poltimore House brought to life for a weekend of floral design
·      45 floristry students of the Academy of Floral Art past and present participated
·      £4500 raised for the Poltimore Trust
 

Over St George’s Day weekend, hundreds of flower enthusiasts visited Poltimore House just outside Exeter for the first ever Poltimore Flower Festival. Dozens of stunning floral designs staged throughout the Grade II listed property by 45 students past and present of Devon’s acclaimed Academy of Floral Art brought Poltimore House to life.
 
“It was such a real privilege for us to bring Poltimore into bloom for St George’s Day,” said Julie Collins, one of the two Principal of The Academy of Floral Art. “At the Academy of Floral Art, we are always seeking out valuable design experiences for our students, and it was wonderful to showcase their creative floristry in such a raw and romantic location as Poltimore House, our local historic landmark.”
 
The florists from the Academy of Floral Art worked with the Club of the Exe to decorate a number of rooms in Poltimore House such as the entrance hallway, which the florists filled with chairs of all shapes and sizes, each dressed with fresh flowers and foliage to reflect the grand hallway’s former use as a reception room.
 
In the Music Room, the team designed a specially commissioned floral harp frame and a dressed a music book with trailing stems of fresh foliage. The Tudor courtyard and its spiral staircase inspired the florists to create a Knot Garden with a St George’s dragon of foliage, a floral fountain and an archway, whilst in the Drawing Room where the Treaty of Exeter was signed, the florists reconstructed the volume in flowers.
 
Meanwhile, in the old Operating Theatre left from Poltimore’s time as hospital (1945-1975), the florists adopted a playful, scientific approach, displaying flowers in petri dishes, labelling test tubes with the botanical names of the flowers, and presenting displays in cages and in jars.
 
 

Co-founder and Principle of the Academy of Floral Art will be one of the masterclass tutors at this years BFA FleurEx, to find out more about why this is an unmissable event and the other two incredible top tutors, click the links below.

Administrative Professionals Day

 Administrative Professionals Day - April 26

Administrative Professionals' Day (also known as Secretaries' Day or Admin Day) is a day observed annually.  The day recognizes the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals. 

Yes, it is very popular in the states and many other countries, no, the UK isn't really one that recognises it too widely at the moment, however that's not to say that we, as florist businesses throughout the UK can't offer a service to the companies that we deal with and are in our local vacinity.....

Marketing to Administrative Professionals

We've heard of a great idea that we're confident you can borrow, and whilst we don't expect you to gain orders from all of the corrospondence you send out, we'd be shocked if you didn't receive some interest!

Also don't forget the importance of 'touching base' with these companies, this way you remind them 'we're here' and when they do need flower, they'll recall you.

The great idea to market the day for FREE!!

Send out creative emails that playfully goad business leaders into buying, you could write something along the lines of....

“If you already rewarded your administrative professionals with an extra week of paid holiday and an all-expenses-paid trip to the south of France, then read no further. But if you haven’t done that, then maybe flowers would make a great way for you to express your appreciation for your valued employees.”

Send out the emails to corporate clients as well as companies you network with. Heck, why not go for it and contact banks, insurance companies and other corporations with lots of helper employees – you could offer a special discount for a large order to a single location. 

Whilst the day isn't so popular in the UK sometimes bosses do want to express their gratitude, you may even find some are greatful for the opportunity!

We'd like to thank Kay Cross, from 'Flowers Naturally' in Westfield, New Jersey for her idea.

More about the day.

The "suits" may come and go ...

... but for so many companies it's the professional expertise of secretaries, administrative assistants, and receptionists who keep the engines running everywhere — from small business offices to the upper reaches of multinational corporations.

The role of secretaries and executive assistants have been recognized since the end of World War II, when industry boomed in the early 1950's. Jobs were also plentiful, as women were called upon to take on the role as assistants to the new captains of industry. Today, their role has become increasingly important to day-to-day operations of companies worldwide.

While Bosses Day is fixed to October 16 every year, Secretary's Day changes, it's celebrated on Wednesday in the fourth week of April during Administrative Professionals Week! a week that again is more recognised in the US than the UK.

Worldwide in the modern workplace, new titles such as Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant represent a legion of women - and men - who are highly skilled and educated. Far from just possessing the stereotypical "interpersonal and communications skills", admins are responsible for office duties ranging from expert computer troubleshooting to managing new hires, one of the reasons the name was changed from secretaries day, as it was previously know.

Dates for following years

2017 Wednesday April 26th
2018 Wednesday April 25th
2019 Wednesday April 24th
2020 Wednesday April 22nd

 

BFA in wedding flower magazine

BFA's SEASONAL FLOWER GUIDE HITS THE NEWSTANDS

Earlier in the year we shared the fantastic news that the BFA are working with THE Wedding Flower magazine and will be sharing our expertise and featured in each of their magazines and working together!

We're delighted to have formed a good relationship and working with the Wedding Flowers & Accessories magazine - the UK's only magazine dedicated to wedding flowers, one of the few magazines that have seen the sales of their hardcopy continue to  increase!

In their latest issue we have creating the content for their very popular seasonal guide pages that go into each issue.  We have spoken with experts in Holland to ensure that each flower we feature is available to florists throughout the 2 months of the magazine issue.

 

Featured in this issue May June issue which went on sale 13th April are:

  • Lily of the valley
  • Peony
  • Calla lillies
  • Antirrhinum
  • Astilbe
  • Delphinium
  • Brodea
  • Astrantia
  • Alchemilla

As can be seen from the image above the BFA Logo is clearly shown to all the readers - make sure your BFA member logo is prominently positioned in your window and on your website, stationary etc. so brides can make the connection from our work in magazine. To read more about this CLICK HERE and see our full article

BFA Exhibit at RHS Chelsea

British Florist Association to mark its 100th anniversary with floral feature at the

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 

  • 6000 fresh cut flowers to be used to create a 2.5m high ‘100’ feature
  • The British Florist Association is the voice of the independent florist
  • The back wall will showcase portraits of pioneering British florists past and present

The British Florist Association is proud to announce that it will be creating a floral stand feature at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May as a highlight of its 100th anniversary celebrations.

The stand ‘The British Florist Association at 100’ will be staged in the heart of the floristry zone of Chelsea’s Great Pavilion, and has been designed by floristry students at BFA Member College, Moreton Morell in Warwickshire, led by its award-winning tutors Jane Benefield and Laura Leong.

“What better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the British Florist Association than at Chelsea, the world’s greatest flower show?” said Brian Wills-Pope, Chair of the BFA. “The British Florist Association has always been the voice of the independent florist, and Chelsea is an extraordinary showcase of the best of professional floral design. This year, we are not only organising the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year final and heats in partnership with the RHS for the 8th year in succession, but we will also have our own floral feature as a platform to share our passion for floristry with a wider audience.”

To the front of the stand will be a colossal freestanding number ‘100’ some 2.5 metres high, decorated with over 6000 fresh cut flowers in eye-catching, vibrant shades of pink, orange and green. Visitors will be able to look through the giant circles of flowers onto the future of floristry: the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition. Taking pride of place amidst the of fascinating archive photographs on the back wall of the stand - showcasing florists, florist shops and floral styles of the past century - will be the original wooden ‘Presidents’ Board’ of the founding flower trades organisation.

The BFA is grateful to eFlorist and to Florismart for their generous sponsorship.

About the British Florist Association

The BFA is the voice of the independent florist. Founded in 1917, the British Florist Association is currently the only trade body representing the UK’s 7000 independent florist businesses to both government and consumers. The BFA publishes the UK’s only printed trade florist magazine, organises the UK’s only florist industry conference, the UK’s only trade show for florists, as well as nationwide networking and education activities and high-profile floristry competitions including the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, UK Florist of the Year at BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the WorldSkillsUK floristry heats.

The History of the British Florist Association

The first recorded industry trade body for the British cut flower industry was established back in 1917. Called the British Flower Marketing Association, it was founded by a group of growers, florists and wholesalers at New Covent Garden Flower Market, where the board bearing the names of the association’s presidents is still proudly displayed today.

What we now know as The British Florist Association is one of two organisations that succeeded the British Flower Marketing Association. The BFA was founded in 1948 when a group of florists formed it to lobby against government plans to introduce a tax on funeral flowers. Today’s BFA ran in parallel with its sister body, the British Flower Industry Association (for growers and wholesalers) before taking it over in 1977. Such was the close relationship between the two organisations, that the last BFIA President, Mr Philip Colman, bequeathed a substantial sum to the BFA to ensure its continued work for the floristry industry.

In 1956, the BFA was one of the founder members of Florint (originally FEUPF), which has brought together the national florist associations of more than 20 European countries. In 2010, the British Florist Association acquired the Society of Floristry to become the only floristry trade body, and the voice of the independent florist.

For more information on the BFA's history CLICK HERE

Rhod Gilbert's Work Florist Work Experience

RHOD GILBERT'S WORK EXPERIENCE SHOWCASED &

COMPETITIVE WORK AS HE JOINED A BFA CHELSEA HEAT COMPETITION!!
 

Many will recognise Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert, he's been on numberous TV shows including 'Mock the Week', 'Have I got news for you', '8 out of 10 cats', he's also hosted 'Never mind the Buzzocks' and more recently The apprentice - Your Fired! All that on top of the countless appearances as a comedian (who has won many awards).

Another programme of his that you may have enjoyed is one that Rhod has not only starred in but written, his hugely popular programme Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience which is now on it's 7th series.  The show airs on BBC One in Wales, and BBC2 across the network, after taking on many roles Rhod thought it was about time he turned his hand to floristry!

Rhod was thrown in at the deep end and worked in our industry over Valentines! But his ambitions didn’t stop there – he wanted to get a taste of competitive work and join in the Birmingham Chelsea heat! 

Whilst Rhod explained he came into the industry with no preconceived ideas and admitted “I haven’t given flowers that much thought in my life” however shocked with the volume of work the business dealt with, over Valentine’s 5,460 roses were sold and more than 550 deliveries were done throughout the three branches.

The shop gave Rhod a taste of many roles within the floristry world, but this had to start with the basic – what flowers were silk and which were real! He really couldn’t tell them apart! He received a crash course in conditioning flowers, insight into the purchasing of flowers, went out on deliveries. Perhaps unsurprisingly he was excellent with serving customers, and Alison said “I really think he has a natural ability” as with guidance, he even produced a ‘pretty good’ hand-tie. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, he found the cold conditions an issue and was hopeless at being a tidy worker, and despite his best attempts flower wrapping caused him much frustration and failure!

When speaking about this time Rhod “I can see it’s tremendously hard work with pressured when your busy, but take out the pressure, take out the busyness, stress and all, and it’s actually really therapeutic and relaxing” 

When talking about his experiences Rhod explained “I’ve had a massive conversion, got really into it and really enjoyed it on the retail side, but especially on the competition side – I’ve had a ball, I’ve really got into it!”

Rhod, along with all the competitors had to create a ‘Create a structural arrangement for a wedding being held at the Tate Modern Gallery’

The production team and Rhod came along at 8.30am to start filming before competitors arrived - It was made clear from the very first conversation with the small team working on the show that the competition came first and could not be desrupted by the filming, when we pointed out that competitors take the day very seriously we were reassured as they explained Rhod would too!

 

 

Rhod gained confidence as took on the task of creating the competition piece almost entirely unaided – “The idea is mine, and the construction and execution is mine” he came a long way in a little time as he said in his own words – “when I came into this 4 days ago, I couldn’t tell a fake flower from a real one, I’ve come a long way in 4 days’

Speaking with Rhod whilst the judging was taking place he explained “I’m quietly confident” and went onto say “I think I’m going to do alright”. Although he had only seen fellow competitors work in passing at that point his observations were “Some of the standard looks amazing, some of the things look really creative” “It’s interesting that some people have gone quite conceptual, some people have gone quite literal – I’ve gone quiet literal.”

Rhod created a bed with red roses and white chrysanth complete with the newly married couple!  The bamboo bed frame work was balanced on 4 tall vases filled with green cymbidium orchids, giving an overall free-standing design.  Judge - Tracy Tomlinson’s feedback included compliments about the concept and excellent undulation of the red rose duvet, but explained some of the workmanship let him down - along with this his ‘chunky legs’ the disproportionate vases in relation to the rest of the design.  Rhod was thrilled with his total score, a respectable 68 points, but was brought down to size by Tracy as she reprimanded him on the rubbish left in the corner by the side of his design. 

After the announcement of first second and third place – none of which were Rhod! we presented him with an honorary student Institute of professional florist’s certificate –  it was clear that Rhod was quite touched by the gesture.  It was a pleasure to have him with us throughout the day, he was very interested in all the competition pieces taking a good look at each work and chatting with each designer.

RHOD GILBERT'S WORK EXPERIENCE AS A FLORIST - Aired on BBC Wales Friday 31st March and is available now on BBC Iplayer.

The date of airing across the network on BBC 2 is still to be announced.

 

Previous episodes of the show are available on line CLICK HERE to see more details

Our episode will the final in the series and speaking about the show with Rhod, who is associate Producer on the programme, he stated “after doing this for 7 series we know when we have a good one – and this is going to be a good one, honestly.” 

We’re thrilled that Floristry is getting exposure with prime-time TV coverage again, but what's set's this apart from other shows such as The World's Biggest Flower Market that aired last May, is this time the camera are inside the florist shop! 

A few months back, we at the BFA were contacted by the TV company & producers with the exciting proposition! Rhod worked in BFA Members; Guttridges in Porthcawl, a very busy family run florist business with three branches, over Valentine's, and whilst Alison (third generation florist that helps run the business) initially had reservations, she knew the pros were bound to out-way any cons, and as we all were, was keen to have floristry’s profile raised she was also optimistic that it may inspire viewer to become florists. 

We were pleased to help Rhod's competitive streak come to the fore, when he took on the mantle to compet in the BFA Chelsea Heat competiton in Birmingham. When talking about his experiences Rhod explained “I’ve had a massive conversion, got really into it and really enjoyed it - on the retail side, but especially on the competition side – I’ve had a ball, I’ve really got into it!”


Rhod receiving feedback from the Judge (and BFA Association Manager) Tracy Tomlinson.

One of the reasons the programme has been such a success is the way Rhod throws himself into the role. We saw this on the day of the competition and Alison confirmed this had been the case throughout his time with them - It was fantastic to witness how seriously Rhod took ‘being on the job’.

We still have far more information to share with you and look forward to floristry having more exposure when it airs nationally.  We enjoyed the programme a great deal and were pleased that Floristry and The BFA recieved some great exposure!!

New Covent Garden Flower Market's New Home

A new home and era for the UK’s biggest and only dedicated flower market

Historic move for New Covent Garden’s Flower Market after 43 years

 

On Monday 3rd April, the Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market - the UK’s biggest, specialist flower and plant hall - headed for a new home. Remaining in Nine Elms, in the heart of London, it relocated half a mile down Nine Elms Lane from its existing site, affording its 21 world-class traders a more inspiring place to sell flowers. The opening hails the start of a new era for this historic market which dates back to 1670, and will ensure the wholesalers continue to flower London for many generations to come.

London’s home of flowers

The Flower Market is at the heart of the floristry industry in the capital and beyond, supplying 75% of London’s florists, from high street retailers to high-end event companies. It is a community where the lives of expert traders and creative florists are intextricably intertwined, who, together, flower London every single day. The market’s flowers dress London’s royal palaces, shops, market stalls, hotels, offices, parties, homes, weddings and funerals.

Its first incarnation was situated in Covent Garden, W1, housed in the market square from 1670 under Charles II’s reign. Then in 1974, the market moved to Nine Elms in SW8, just two miles from Mayfair, four miles from The City and just three miles from its original trading site at ‘Old’ Covent Garden. And on Monday 11th November 1974 the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK began trading on the new site.

 

 

A smart move

The new Flower Market provides a better home for buying and selling top quality flowers, plants, foliage and sundries from around the world, building on the markets unique position as the UK’s only specialist flower and plant wholesaler. The new building has been designed to give its customers a richer buying experience. Bright lights blend with natural light to make it easier to see each petal in high definition. A simpler layout creates a livelier market with a more vibrant atmosphere. The modern space provides a clean canvas that accentuates the kaleidoscopic colours of the flowers. For the traders, simple, effective logic makes the market work more smoothly and easily for them. And a conditioning system conditions the Flower Hall to a constant 14°C, the perfect temperature for storing flowers.

Pam Alexander, Chair Covent Garden Market Authority, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our traders and customers a better, more inspiring space to buy and sell flowers. Our wholesalers’ knowledge, expertise and relationships are the life blood of everything that goes on at the market and we’re hopeful that this new home will help them and their customers to take on new creative challenges and grow their businesses ever further.

“The Flower Market is the first new market building here at New Covent Garden Market. Over the coming five years, we are transforming the whole site into a Brand New Covent Garden Market for our 175 businesses and thousands of customers, and will be creating a new Food Quarter and food business hub for London. All the while, continuing to feed and flower London throughout.”

 

 

The market that flowers London

As the UK’s premier flower market, New Covent Garden Market houses two Royal Warrant holders supplying blooms to the countries most prestigious households. The market’s well-known customers include the The Dorchester, The Savoy, and celebrity and royal florists Simon Lycett, Shane Connolly and McQueens, supplying the likes of the BAFTAs,  the V&A, Natural History Museum,  St Paul’s Cathedral , and Vanity Fair. Many of the traders at the market are third or even fourth generation and these ladies and gentlemen are the thoroughbreds of the floristry world, holding an exceptional level of knowledge and expertise on flowers, plants, foliage and sundries through the decades and from around the world. The market is unrivalled when it comes to sourcing of the best quality, seasonal flowers from the UK and around the world.

British Flowers Week Judges

British Flowers Week Judges are chosen!

The Fantastic Four are: Simon Lycett, head judge and celebrity florist Shane Connolly, florist by appointment to both HRH The Prince of Wales and HM The Queen Alice Vincent, Daily Telegraph journalist ‘treading the line between plants and pop culture’ Amy Gray, Horticultural Adviser, National Farmers’ Union This team brings together a unique mix of floristry talent, media expertise and flower growing experience. Their mission is to decide which five florists will feature during British Flowers Week. 

To find out more about the competition

 

Each day for five days New Covent Garden Market will share three designs from each of the famous five across social media, email and the web. British Flowers Week celebrates the best of British flowers and foliage, uniting the industry in celebrating what outstanding florists can do with the best locally-sourced materials. Last year the campaign reached over 12m people on social media and 6m viewers of BBC1’s Countryfile

Simon Lycett 

As well as being florist to the stars, Simon frequently appears on both TV and radio. In 2016 he co-hosted BBC 2’s documentary on the flower industry as well as standing in as guest presenter on BBC Radio London’s Jo Good show. Simon’s career has included the flowers for ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ as well as the Beckham’s wedding, Elton John’s 50th birthday party and the dinner the night before William and Kate’s wedding where more than 50 crowned heads of state were present.

Shane Connolly

Shane’s company proudly bears Royal Warrants By appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales and HM The Queen. He designed all the flowers for the wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 so he is a perfect ambassador for British Flowers Week with his strong commitment to British and seasonal flowers. Shane’s green credentials are impeccable as is his support for Floral Angels the charity that repurposes flowers from events to enhance the lives of those less fortunate. Shane is also the author of a number of books.

Alice Vincent

Alice Vincent is a journalist and author who has been working on The Telegraph's arts desk since 2013. She keeps a column on urban and contemporary gardening and, in March, released her first book, How to Grow Stuff, an approachable guide to gardening for those who don't know where to start. She has written about floristry and featured British Flowers Week in her coverage last year.

Amy Gray

Amy is the National Farmers’ Union adviser on fruit, protected edibles and ornamental plants. She develops policy in these sectors and needs to remain abreast of political, commercial and economic developments. Amy has a specific interest in cut flowers and in 2016 produced ‘Backing British Blooms’, a report looking at the state of the British cut flower industry. 

Take a look back at the stunning designs and remind yourself about the success of last years British Flower Week.
 

Take me straight to.....

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT BRITISH FLOWERS WEEK
 

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED & MARKET YOUR BUSINESS THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

We will we'll keep you informed of the events, images and designs of British Flowers Week, including a series of specially commissioned floral designs by five top florists at London's New Covent Garden Flower Market as they did last year, but start thinking now - what can you do within your business.  Alternatively just click on the link below and we'll take you through exactly what you can do, please bear in mind this is last years marketing material, we'll bring you details of the 2017 batch the second it becomes available...

Mothers Day Campaign

GRABBING ATTENTION THIS MOTHER'S DAY #paintitpink

After our great success with the valentine's campaign we're now calling on you to 'Paint Facebook Pink' for Mother's Day.

Last month we shared images, videos and gave the consumer a 'fly on the wall' view of behind the scenes in a florist.  The flower, the conditioning the creating of the order, the completed product and so much more was shared - We showed the great British public what a florist will do - what sets us apart from other 'Flower sellers'

We are under great pressure with Mother's Day sales and whilst we individually, can't compete with the cash advertising budgets of moonpig, asda, tescos and alike, we can make a heck of an impact together, show the difference when you buy from a professional florist, get across the value of our own work and influence consumers through the country!

Let's show a united front and all do our bit with this innovative promotion suggestion, that all florists can get behind.

We all know our florists grade flowers are better than those from any Tom, Dick or Harry, along with all the other things that set's us apart! Now, let's get all 4000 or so florists shops on Facebook from Wednesday 22nd March telling everyone....

HERE'S THE PLAN Get up images or videos on facebook, from Wednesday 22nd March

1. THE FLOWERS ARRIVING!

The van full & being unloaded, piles of boxes, the empty buckets ready!

2. THE CONDITIONING PROCESS

Florists conditioning the different flower selection, the piles of leave, the full buckets! The sea or flowers! - probably more than most people on facebook have ever seen!

3. THE MAKING OF THE BOUQUETS

Florists hands on making the handties and arrangements at different stages: from the very beginning to the very end. As well as:

  • funny shots - you and all your colleagues callapsed in a heap!? 
  • The sea of designss ready to be collected & delivered
  • the vans and vehicles lined up ready for deliveries to begin
  • Happy customers collecting their flowers
  • Customers receiving their flowers from the driver with delight!
People love to be a fly on the wall, see what happens behind the scenes - let's show them the effort we put into making their flowers so stunning! What makes us the experts - the undoubted professionals, we're not just flower sellers we're florists - let's be proud and show the difference!
Where we work in the industry all the time we forget what a breath taking scene it is, allow yourself to consider what would make you go 'wow' or 'I never knew that - that's really interesting... SHARE!' If you were a consumer!
 

These are just some suggestions please put up your own image ideas too, but - LET'S TAKE OVER FACEBOOK! PLEASE REMEMBER...

  • On facebook post please @Britishfloristassociation so we can share them.
  • use the #paintitpink  - let's all use this hashtag and build up great momentum.
  • Also #bfa #britshfloristassociation #mothersday

 We are all in this fantastic industry and our strength is our diversity, no images will be the same yet, the fact we produce different styles is a beautiful concept, and shouts the message we taylor-make every bouquet by hand!

Please start posting from Wednesday 22nd March to give us 5 good days of painting facebook, instagram and pinterest pink!

Post as many times as you like, not only will you be sending out a strong message to your local customers, but together we can build up a storm.

Let's turn facebook over to florists this Mother's Day and every florist whether a BFA member or not can proudly state they are part of our great industry with a trade association that encourages that we all pull together.... Together lets bring floristy home.

MOTHER'S DAY POSTERS!!

To help you promote mothersday we have created 6 posters for you to use and adpat as you wish.  These are available to download as a pdf, jpeg or Word document - allowing you to add your own details or message.  Theses are all available in our Member area CLICK HERE or on the images below.

Apprenticeship latest news

DFE approves developement of the trailblazer floristry apprenticeship

 

The Department of Education has given approval to the Floristry Trailblazer group under the chairmanship of Sandie Griffith, Jemini Flowers Oxford to develop an apprenticeship standard for Floristry which will replace existing standards. They stated “that they were content that the proposal has the potential to have sufficient breadth and depth to be a high quality apprenticeship”.

As Chairman of Training and Education for the British Florist Association and having owned her own Floristry business for 30 plus years, Sandie has a wealth of experience in training florists.  Her training group is supported by employers, training providers, the awarding body City and Guilds and Sector Skills Council Lantra.  She has also canvassed and gained the support of a large number of employers in the Industry who are committed to help develop this standard.

This is a really positive development for Floristry and we need employers to take ownership in the development and invite anyone who would like to be part of this consultation to contact the Chairman at sandie@jemini.co.uk.

Why is this such great news?

You may recall The Department of Education ran a survey to see if a Floristry Apprenticeship would be supported by the industry! Our concern was that as we are perceived as Retail that we may have been asked to use the Retail standards with some Floristry units bolted on - this would not be good for our Industry, the training of florist or the standards of the next generation of florists.

However, our fears were not realised... our industry pulled together and the proposal put forward persuaded the Department of Education that we should develop our own standard. Great stuff, thank you to everyone that filled in the survey in February.

How is it developed?

There are some rules around the development of the apprenticeship - namely it has to be developed for employers by employers. 

We're exceptionally fortunate to have Sandie Griffith who is the approved Chairman of the Floristry Trailblazer group - the group that will develop an apprenticeship standard for Floristry which will replace existing standards.

As you may image developing these standard isn't a straight forward task, which is why as an owner of her Floristry business Jemini Flowers in Oxford for 30 plus years, as well as being Chairman of Training and Education for the British Florist Association, Sandie has a wealth of experience and is the perfect person to lead the project.

Sandie has spoken with many employers but would like to hear from you if you employ staff and are committed to taking part in the development and consultation of these standards - now is your chance to have your say and help develop the future of floristry.

What happens now?

The current apprenticeship, we understand will run until December 2017, another win for the Industry - we appealed for an extension to continue running this, the department of education wished to stop this spring which would have left the flower world without a floristry apprenticeships.  With Young people having to stay in education until 18 years of age, and the government encouraging apprenticeship schemes this would have left our industry disadvantaged.

Now the hard work begins

Sandie and her team will now begin the task of working on and writing the apprenticeship standard and assessment plan - with particular attention being drawn to ensuring all apprentices will be competent in all the knowledge, skill and behaviours (KSBs) covered in the standard as set out in the proposal to The Department of Education.

The Department of Education has advised Sandie that they will be scrutinising her draft when it's submitted, paying particular attention to ensuring sufficient emphasis on the floristry KSBs relative to the retail components.  They highlighted that "we already have retail standards and your group's standard will need to be very clearly distinct from these."

Have your say!

If you would like to comment about any of the success of the project, the forthcoming Trailblazer group or the development of the apprenticeship standard for Floristry please email sandie@jemini.co.uk who will welcome your comments.

Watch this space.

We will of course keep you up to date with the latest information.  If you don't currently get our weekly emails it's the best way to keep on top of all the activities happening in our industry use the link below and sign up now.

Valentines Survey Results

Valentine’s Day results and the Trends for 2017.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to enter our survey for Valentine’s Day. It makes really interesting reading.

This year we changed the questions to reflect the changes of our industry and to look for the trends that we should look out for next year.

Below is a brief summary of the results and a couple of comments from florists, we especially like the one about heads rolling if the guys bought from Aldi!

The first question was:
How did all of your Valentine's Day sales in 2017 compare to those in 2016 when Valentines fell on a Sunday?

With Valentines falling on a Sunday last year it’s always a bit harder to judge but if you a keep a book on the sales from the last week day Valentines fell, it can help. The majority, at over 36% said it had significantly increased. Even the 2nd question for when Valentines fell on a Friday there was a big increase and this is positive news with a huge 46.7% said it was greater.

Relay didn’t really change as you can see below but on-line orders in your shops went up by 22% compared to last year.

Interesting to read that some florists sold less red roses than last year, but the trend continued with that red flower still being the most popular, however, the trend for mixed flowers seems to be creeping up. 

It’s also good to see that the vast majority at 47.9 % predicted accurately the amount of red rose bought and sold. There’s some very savvy florists out there!

70.21% saw an increase in prices. This can have a massive effect on profitability and more reason to visit Vision 17 this year.  When 81% of florists had, their orders coming in the last 2 days of business in the lead up to Valentines, it’s time to have readymade orders as question 14 said and 56% agreed they had a good amount of impulse purchases bought (in addition to pre-ordered collections and deliveries).  

Comments for a couple of florists (anonymously)

Really do not know why, after 34 years in the business I failed to judge the decline on a peak trading day, trade has always been excellent at these events, despite overall business falling away. Are customers not bothered about buying the best quality produce from independent stores and prefer to go on price from the supermarkets, they advertise so much in the press what deals they have, I've always said a florist does not need to advertise at the peak periods, there is always enough business there to keep us flat out, not any more tho' !!!

..................................................................

We've now got an aldi's in our town but a decent amount of guys saying that they'd have their heads to play with if they'd turned up with supermarket flowers. Loved them more personal touch you get from a florist shop.

ALL SURVEY RESULTS

How did all of your Valentine's Day sales in 2017 compare to those in 2016 when Valentines fell on a Sunday?

How did all of your valentines day sales in 2017 compare to those in 2014 when Valentines day fell on a Friday.

How did the number of incoming relay orders compare to previous years, if applicable?

How did the number of online orders from your own website compare to previous years?

 

Overall was the proportion of red roses you sold more or less than last year?

How many red roses did you buy this year?

 

Did you see a trend away from red rose sales to mixed flower designs?

If you sell other Valentines' Day gifts such as chocolates, soft toys, cosmetics etc what percentage of your Valentine's Day
sales were made up of fresh flowers?

Overall, how accurately did you predict the demand in your shop this year?

How did your selling prices on Valentine's Day 2017 compare to 2016?

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied were you the level of business on Valentine's Day 2017? 

(where 1 is very satisfied and 5 is very dissatisfied)

How many people did you employ (including drivers) during the period of Valentines?

When were the majority of your customer orders placed?

On Valentines Day which describes your business?

New National Minimum Wage

Get ready for the new national minimum wage increases

On 1 April 2017, the rates of the national minimum wage will increase, (despite an increase in most rates on 1 October 2016.)

From now on the national minimum wage rate will be in alignment with the  national living wage! (previously one increased on the 1st October and one on the 1st April)

What's the difference? The national living wage is for all working people aged 25 and over, this was introduced on 1 April 2016. The national minimum wage is for everyone under 25, but now they'll be increasing at the same time it's just a title - as long as the rates are correct!! so take a look below!

Start date 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 under 18 Apprentice*
1st April 2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.40

*Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example

An apprentice aged 22 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.40

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

  • are aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

Comparing previous years rates

 

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2016 £7.20 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30

 

Rates before April 2016

The following rates were for the National Minimum Wage before the National Living Wage was introduced. The rates were usually updated every October.

Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
2015 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30
2014 £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73
2013 £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
2012 £6.19 £4.98 £3.68 £2.65
2011 £6.08 £4.98 £3.68 £2.60
2010 £5.93 £4.92 £3.64 £2.50

 

Rates before 2010

The age groups were different before 2010 and there were no National Minimum Wage rates for apprentices.

Year 22 and over 18 to 21 Under 18  
2009 £5.80 £4.83 £3.57
2008 £5.73 £4.77 £3.53
2007 £5.52 £4.60 £3.40
2006 £5.35 £4.45 £3.30
2005 £5.05 £4.25 £3.00

Planned National Insurance hikes for the Self Employed are Scrapped!

Planned National Insurance hikes for the Self Employed are Scrapped!

Following a lot of criticism on the planned National Insurance contribution increase for self employed made as part of spring Budget, The chancellor's Philip Hammond, stated he's listened and gone back on his plans!

The U-turn came during an emergency 8am meeting between Mr Hammond and Theresa May on Wednesday 15th March, reports state the decision was taken by the pair jointly.

Mr Hammond broke the news in a letter to all Tory MPs just before Mrs May took Prime Minister’s Questions at midday, a week on from the budget.

The letter to MPs read;

“I am writing to clarify the government’s position with regard to the changes to National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for the self-employed, announced in last week’s Budget

“As I set out last Wednesday, the gap between benefits available to the self-employed and those in employment has closed significantly over the last few years – most notably buy the introduction of the new state pension in April 2016, worth an additional £1,800 to a self-employed person for each year of retirement.

“It remains our judgment that the current difference in benefit entitle no longer justify the scale of difference in the level of total NICs paid in respect of employees and the self-employed.

“Colleagues will be aware that there has been a sharp increase in self-employment over the last few years.

“Most commentators believe that at least part of the increase is driven by differences in tax treatment.

“HMRC estimates that the cost to the public finances of this trend is around £5bn this year alone and the parallel increase in incorporation will cost more than £6bn a year by the end of the Parliament.

“This represents a significant risk to the tax base and thus to the funding of our public services.

“The measures I announced in the Budget sought to reflect more fairly the differences in entitlement in the contributions made by the self-employed and addresses the challenge of sustainability of the tax base.

“The Government continues to believe that this is the right approach.

“Since the Budget, however, there has been much comment on the question of the commitments made in our 2015 manifesto.

“Ahead of the Autumn Statement last year, the Prime Minister and I decided that, however difficult the fiscal challenges we face, the tax-lock and spending ring-fence commitments we have made for this Parliament should be honoured in full.

“I made this clear in the Autumn Statement speech. As far as National Insurance contributions we concerned, the locks were legislated for in the National Insurance contributions (Rate Ceilings) Act 2015.

“When that Bill was introduced, it was made clear that the lock would apply only to Class 1 contributions (employer and employee).

“The measures proposed in the Budget fall within the constraints set out by the tax-lock legislation and the spending ring-fences.

“However, in light of the debate over the last few days it is clear that compliance with the ‘legislative’ test of the manifesto commitment is not adequate.

“It is very important both to me and to the Prime Minister that we are compliant not just with the letter, but also the spirit, of the commitments that were made.

“In light of what has emerged as a clear view among colleagues and a significant section of the public, I have decided not to proceed with the Class 4 NIC measures set out in the Budget.

“There will be no increases in NICs rates in this Parliament.

“We will continue with the abolition of Class 2 NICs from April 2018.

“The cost of the changes I am announcing today will be funded by measures to be announced in the Autumn Budget.

“I undertook in the Budget speech to consult over the summer on options to address the principal outstanding difference in benefit entitlement between employed and self-employed: parental benefits.

“We now intend to widen this exercise to look at the other areas of difference in treatment alongside the Government’s consideration of the forthcoming report by Matthew Taylor, CEO of the RSA, on their implication if different ways of working for employment rights.

“Once we have completed these pieces of work, the Government will set out how it intends to take forward, and fund, reforms in this area.

“I plan to make a statement in the House later today.”

Floristry Hit's Prime Time TV

RHOD GILBERT'S WORK EXPERIENCE COME TO FLORISTRY &

EVEN JOINS IN A BFA CHELSEA HEAT COMPETITION!!
 

Many will recognise Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert, he's been on numberous TV shows including 'Mock the Week', 'Have I got news for you', '8 out of 10 cats', he's also hosted 'Never mind the Buzzocks' and more recently The apprentice - Your Fired! All that on top of the countless appearances as a comedian (who has won many awards).

Another programme of his that you may have enjoyed is one that Rhod has not only starred in but written, his hugely popular programme Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience which is now on it's 7th series.  The show airs on BBC One in Wales, and BBC2 across the network, after taking on many roles Rhod thought it was about time he turned his hand to floristry!

Rhod was thrown in at the deep end and worked in our industry over Valentines! But his ambitions didn’t stop there – he wanted to get a taste of competitive work and join in the Birmingham Chelsea heat! 

Whilst we need to take care not to spill the beans too much, we'll be the first to share all the behind the scenes gossip, once the programme has aired and bring you our interviews with Ali the brave florist that let him work for them, the judge of his competition piece and of course the man himself!

RHOD GILBERT'S WORK EXPERIENCE AS A FLORIST - Airs on BBC Wales Friday 31st March and will be immediatel avaialbe on BBC Iplayer. The date of airing across the network on BBC 2 is still to be announced.

Previous episodes of the show are available on line CLICK HERE to see more details

Our episode will the final in the series and speaking about the show with Rhod, who is associate Producer on the programme, he stated “after doing this for 7 series we know when we have a good one – and this is going to be a good one, honestly.” 

We’re thrilled that Floristry is getting exposure with prime-time TV coverage again, but what's set's this apart from other shows such as The World's Biggest Flower Market that aired last May, is this time the camera are inside the florist shop! 

A few months back, we at the BFA were contacted by the TV company & producers with the exciting proposition! Rhod worked in BFA Members; Guttridges in Porthcawl, a very busy family run florist business with three branches, over Valentine's, and whilst Alison (third generation florist that helps run the business) initially had reservations, she knew the pros were bound to out-way any cons, and as we all were, was keen to have floristry’s profile raised she was also optimistic that it may inspire viewer to become florists. 

We were pleased to help Rhod's competitive streak come to the fore, when he took on the mantle to compet in the BFA Chelsea Heat competiton in Birmingham. When talking about his experiences Rhod explained “I’ve had a massive conversion, got really into it and really enjoyed it - on the retail side, but especially on the competition side – I’ve had a ball, I’ve really got into it!”


Rhod receiving feedback from the Judge (and BFA Association Manager) Tracy Tomlinson.

One of the reasons the programme has been such a success is the way Rhod throws himself into the role. We saw this on the day of the competition and Alison confirmed this had been the case throughout his time with them - It was fantastic to witness how seriously Rhod took ‘being on the job’.

We'll bring you far more information as soon as we can, whilst we won't know exactly what will end up 'on the edit' floor we're quietly confident that Floristry, The BFA & IoPF will all be getting some great exposure!!

Of course we'll remind you about the show and bring you the link to the BBC Iplayer link, keep a close eye on our newsletters, if you don't get them sign up using the link below now.

 

Wedding Flower Magazine Awards

Last week we shared the fantastic news that the BFA are working with THE Wedding Flower magazine and will be sharing our expertise and featured in each of their magazines and working together on different forthcoming projects!

We're delighted to have formed a good relationship and working with the Wedding Flowers & Accessories magazine - the UK's only magazine dedicated to wedding flowers, one that has completely bucked the national trend of falling sales with a whopping 6.9% year-on-year rise in sales!  (and this excludes their popular downloadable digital edition!)

We will be creating the content for their very popular seasonal guide pages that go into each issue.  We have spoken with experts in Holland to ensure that each flower we feature is available to florists throughout the 2 months of the magazine issue. Make sure your BFA member logo is prominently positioned in your window and on your website, stationary etc. so brides can make the connection from our work in magazine. To read more about this CLICK HERE and see our full article


NOW IT'S YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO GET INVOLVED WITH THIS GREAT MAGAZINE!!
 

As new for 2017 Wedding Flowers & Accessories magazine's search for the best wedding florist in the land has started!

As our friends explain; If your bouquets are the best in the country, your floral crowns fit for a queen, or your tablecentres are Instagram-worthy, then you'll want to show off your talent and enter. Here is your perfect opportunity to show our brides and your peers in the wedding industry exactly what you can do – and oh, did we mention that you could be crowned the ultimate Wedding Flowers Magazine wedding florist of the year?

The Categories

There is a fantastic range of categories with something for everyone; 

  • Bridal designs
  • Bridesmaids' designs
  • Chair decorations
  • Hair decoration
  • Buttonholes, corsages and boutonnière
  • Tablecentres
  • Reception décor
  • Vintage
  • Newcomer (in business for two years and under)
  • Use of British flowers
  • Best use of roses
  • Embellished bouquet
  • Decorations for cakes
  • Showstopper

the full details of the categories and entry details can be found on their website CLICK HERE. You can inteperate the titles how you wish and select the category for your designs, however, we can assure you that the friendly team will contact you if they feel your entry would be better suited to another category.

How to Enter

There are a couple of points to consider:

1. You can enter as many works into each category as you wish, each entry is £50*. You will need to include a clear photograph for each piece you are entering and the work has to have been created within the last 12 months.

2. Based on the image you have provided the judges will announce the shortlist of three finalists per category at a later date.

3. The judging and awards will take place on the same day, September 6 2017, at The Noak Hotel in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

*DISCOUNTED ENTRY FOR BFA MEMBERS - We're pleased to announce that BFA members will be entitled to discounted rates and there will be other incentives for florists everywhere, these details are currently being finalised so, we'll bring you the full extent of the good news and savings to be had soon.

CLICK HERE to enter the competition, t&c's can be found on this page too.

Winner's Prize

Each category winner will receive a trophy for their category along with a Wedding Flower Awards winner logo.

All the winners from each category will be automatically put forward for the Wedding Flowers – FLORIST OF THE YEAR award, the winner will receive the following;

  • Front Cover Shoot
  • Interview with' feature in mag
  • Wedding Flower Awards trophy and Florist of the Year logo
  • Certificate of achievment
  • Florist profile on weddingandweddingflowers.co.uk
  • 2 full page ads in Wedding Flowers and Accessories magazine
  • VIP Winners goodie bag

What this could mean to you!

This is the first time The Wedding Flowers Magazine are running awards! in association with the BFA. You can get involved and have an opportunity for your business to be showcased in a way that money simply can't buy!

If you're not currently a BFA member you connection with the association has never been more important - for many reasons, this being one of them CLICK HERE and join now.

2017 Budget

The main points that might affect you & the running of your business

Following the chancellor Phillip Hammonds Spring Budget on Wednesday 8th March, below we've highlighted the key points that might affect you and your business

£435 million to support businesses affected by the business rates relief revaluation

This means no small business that is coming out of small business rates relief will pay more than £600 more in business rates this year than they did in 2016-17.

Funding for local authorities will allow them to provide £300 million of discretionary relief to provide help to businesses most affected by the revaluation.

The main rate of National Insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed will increase

UPDATE 

On Wednesday 15th March, after much criticism about the conservative's breaking a manitesto promise not to increase N.I Contributions, Cancellor Philip Hammond scrapped his plans to increase N.I Contributions for self employed individuals. CLICK HERE to read more

Currently, the self-employed pay both Class 4 and Class 2 NICs:

  • Class 4 NICs at 9% are paid on profits between £8,060 and £43,000
  • Class 2 NICs are paid on profits of £5,965 or more

Preposed cancelled plans; From 2018, Class 2 NICs will be abolished. Class 4 NICs will rise to 10% in April 2018 and to 11% in April 2019.

Taken together, only a self-employed person with profits over £16,250 will have to pay more as a result of these changes.

The government state “this better reflects the fact that the differences in contributory benefit entitlement between the self-employed and employees are now small, following the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016”

They go onto say “In the summer, the government will also consider whether there is a case for greater consistency in parental benefits between the employed and self-employed.” We’ll keep you posted. The future of developement of further plans that Philip implied in the budget now remain unclear - we will keep you updates as news unfolds.

Small Businesses and landlords under the VAT threshold will have an extra year to prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD)

Unincorporated businesses (businesses owned privately by one or more people) that have an annual turnover below the VAT registration threshold will have until April 2019 to prepare before MTD becomes mandatory.

Under MTD, businesses will use digital software to keep tax records and update HMRC quarterly.

At Spring Budget 2017 the government announced that it would provide 3.1 million small businesses with an extra year (until 2019) before they are required to keep digital records and send HMRC quarterly updates. You can read more detailed information about this announcement in the tax information and impact note.

Tax-free dividend allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018

This will reduce the tax difference between the self-employed and those working through a company. Typically, general investors will need over £50,000 worth of stocks and shares outside an ISA to be affected.

Tax-Free Childcare will soon be available to working parents

Tax-Free Childcare will provide up to £2,000 a year in childcare support for each child under 12.

Parents will be able to receive up to £4,000 for disabled children up to the age of 17.

Parents of younger children will be able to apply for the scheme first, with all eligible parents able to access the scheme by the end of the year.

Working parents in England will also be able to apply for an additional 15 hours of free childcare for three and four year olds, bringing the total to 30 hours a week.

The Lifetime ISA will be available from 6 April this year

The Lifetime ISA will allow younger adults to save up to £4,000 each year and receive a bonus of up to £1,000 a year on these contributions. Funds can be withdrawn tax-free to put towards a first home or saved until a person turns 60.

 

The Big Event

Taking on ‘The Big Event’ with the Academy of Floral Art

Staging the floral displays for a prestigious celebration in a large, imposing venue can be a daunting prospect. How do you cost for profit, how do you design and create decorations that will make an impact and not just disappear into the vast space? What sort of insurance, contracts and risk assessments do you need in place, and how do you make the florals come together seamlessly on the day? This sort of project can propel your flower business into the next league, but we know – not least from our BFA Florist Get Togethers – just how fearful many of you are about taking on larger-scale events.

BFA member college, the Academy of Floral Art, is tackling this issue head-on with a unique residential course entitled ‘The Big Event’. They are inviting intermediate to experienced florists to Devon’s magnificent Bridwell Park, where they will have exclusive access to the property and the chance to immerse themselves in the world of event floristry at this luxurious stately home, working, sleeping and eating here for two full days.

“We are very excited about ‘The Big Event’ at Bridwell Park”, says Academy tutor, Tina Parkes. “We are passionate about giving florists the knowledge, confidence and hands-on experience of how to pitch, cost and plan for a large-scale event as well as the techniques to create designs to complement the scale and style of the space. looking to build on their existing skills and take on more challenging projects.”


Students will be instructed, guided and supported throughout by the Academy’s expert tutors - Tina Parkes, Julie Collins, Amanda Randell and Kathryn Delve. All four are not only highly qualified (they include Dutch, British and American Master Florists, Chelsea Gold medalists, and IoPF Academic Fellows) but also experienced commercial florists with plenty of practical experience of event floristry.

“It’s going to be a pretty packed two days and our students will learn a lot,” explains Julie Collins. “We will detail how to research and present your pitch, how to design for a big space and sketch your ideas to help plan the structures, mechanics, flowers and foliage you will need. Florists will learn the essentials of how to draft a client contract, a risk assessment, an ordering grid and a staff work plan. And, above all, they will be getting hands-on with real-life big event floristry, creating stunning floral designs in four of the magnificent reception rooms at Bridwell Park.”

 ‘The Big Event’ will take place at Bridwell Park, Devon on 6-7 June 2017. You can read more about the Academy of Floral Art on their BFA member page here, and to find out more about ‘The Big Event’ course and how to sign up, call the Academy team on 01392 834893 or visit http://www.academyoffloralart.com/shop/floral-spa-day/floral-spa/

 

Exciting News

BFA working with the Wedding Flowers Magazine

We're delighted to announce that the BFA have formed a good relationship and will be working with the Wedding Flowers & Accessories magazine on different forthcoming projects!

Wedding Flowers and Accessories magazine is the UK's only magazine dedicated to wedding flowers, and whilst magazine sales have declined on the whole Wedding Flowers & Accessories have entirely bucked this trend with a 6.9% year-on-year rise!  (and this excludes their popular downloadable digital edition!)

I'm sure every one of us reading this has spoken to a bride armed with one, if not half a dozen of these magazines - we know they are read by brides to be up and down the UK and we're thrilled to be working with them.

Whilst we have lots to tell you, at the moment we're delighted to reveal that they have asked us to create their seasonal guide pages.  These go into each issue and are a very popular section of the magazine. The next issue - May - June will feature our first work.  

We will - of course be sharing the very typical, favourite seaonal flowers for the time the issue is on the news stands, but we will be ensuring that the flowers we promote are also available to you - the fabulous florists that thrill brides throughout every season.

Previous Issue's Seasonal Guide double page spread

We will be credited for our assocation with the Seasonal guide section and our BFA Logo will be featured on the page - We highly recommend you make sure that your decal is prominent and your member logo feature on your webistes, stationary, vehicles etc.  

The BFA (and it's logo) has become far more regonised of late and this will continue to a far greater degree as we continue through 2017. (You can find it to download in the member area).

As we've suggested we have more to reveal and will continue to bring you exciting news on how you as our BFA members can be involved with our new relationship - Keep your eyes on our weekly newsletter for the latest updates.

Need to sign up to the newsletter - CLICK HERE

Need to become a BFA Business member - CLICK HERE

 

Competition launched to find starring florists for British Flowers Week photoshoot

Competition launched to find starring florists for British Flowers Week photoshoot

New Covent Garden Market are searching for five florists to feature in the national campaign promoting British flowers and floristry

  • Florists can win the chance to star in the British Flowers Week photoshoot
  • Photoshoot is the cornerstone of national campaign, now in its fifth year
  • Opportunity for florists to showcase their designs to millions of people 

New Covent Garden Market, the team behind British Flowers Week, are launching a competition to find five fantastic florists with front page grabbing designs to be the stars of this year’s British Flowers Week photoshoot. 

This competition is an opportunity for florists to get their designs seen by millions of people across the country; last year the hashtag #BritishFlowersWeek reached 12 million people on social media alone. Previous florists hand-picked to star in the photoshoot include Simon Lycett, Rebel Rebel, Shane Connolly, Zita Elze, McQueens and Jane Packer.

Some images from British Flowers Week 2016

What it would involve

Florists are being asked to create three floral designs; a showstopper, a technical challenge, and a signature arrangement, all celebrating the best of British flowers and floristry. The photoshoot will take place at the brand new Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market on 6 June. Each florist will be given a budget of £300 for the three designs.

How to enter

Florists can easily enter the competition by CLICKING HERE or going to http://www.britishflowersweek.com/floristphotoshoot-competition/ and completing an entry form. 

Deadline

The deadline for applications is midday on 14 April 2017. The five winning florists will be announced on Monday 1 May. The judges will be announced soon. 

Judging

The five featured florists, to be chosen by an expert panel of judges, will each create three designs for the British Flowers Week photoshoot, which forms the cornerstone of the campaign. During British Flowers Week each florist will have one day devoted to showcasing them and their designs.

More info on the competition

You can find more information on the competition by CLICKING HERE and visiting the British Flowers Week page.

..................................................................................

Take a look back at the stunning designs and remind yourself about the success of last years British Flower Week.
 

Take me straight to.....

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT BRITISH FLOWERS WEEK
 

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED & MARKET YOUR BUSINESS THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

We will we'll keep you informed of the events, images and designs of British Flowers Week, including a series of specially commissioned floral designs by five top florists at London's New Covent Garden Flower Market as they did last year, but start thinking now - what can you do within your business.  Alternatively just click on the link below and we'll take you through exactly what you can do, please bear in mind this is last years marketing material, we'll bring you details of the 2017 batch the second it becomes available...

Imminent re-evaluation of business rates

Imminent re-evaluation of business rates - action by BFA on your behalf.

At the time of writing the Business Rates review is very much 'up in the air' as Ministers are expected to soften impact of business rate changes. Chancellor Philip Hammond has told Conservative MPs he is "listening" to their concerns about an imminent re-evaluation of business rates.

Ministers are under pressure with MPs warning the changes will lead to "eye-watering" bill rises for some firms.  Business groups and some Tory MPs have warned of high street store closures and are urging Mr Hammond to use next month's Budget to mitigate the impact. However, it might not be all bad news as government reports that the changes that come into force on 1 April as a result of a revaluation of premises carried out by the government, will result in three quarters of businesses' rates either going down or stay the same. 

We at the BFA, act on behalf of florists - as the only trade association in the florist industry that is recognised by Government both in the UK and EU.  As such we felt is was necessary to act on behalf of florists and make our thought known on the subject - the British Florist Association Chairman Brian Wills-pope has contacted the Chancellor, his letter can be seen below. 

We will of course bring you more news when confirmation is made.  In the mean time you may want to visit the www.gov.uk website to

Find and check your business rates valuation 

The tool includes:

  • a simple search tool to find your property
  • a draft valuation for 2017
  • business rates estimator for 2017
  • current valuation (rateable value)
  • previous valuations (valuations applied on 1st April 2010 & 1st April 2005)

Click on the link here Find and check your business rates valuation.

Letter from BFA Chairman to the  Chancellor of the Exchequer

 

 

YOUR LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADR & ODR!

YOUR LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADR & ODR! - Don't pay out when you don't need to!!


We have been notified of Florists being contacted by a very credible sounding company trying to sell their services quoting new laws…. Don’t be fooled into paying for a service you don’t need here are the facts!

What is it?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to ways of resolving disputes between consumers and traders that don’t involve going to court.

The government wants to encourage the development of ADR. Better ADR and easier access to it should also be good for all businesses committed to giving their customers the best possible service.

Common forms of ADR are:

  • mediation, where an independent third party helps the disputing parties to come to a mutually acceptable outcome
  • arbitration, where an independent third party considers the facts and takes a decision that’s often binding on one or both parties
  • In the UK, there are already several large and well-established ADR schemes in regulated sectors.

These include:

  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for financial services
  • Ofgem for energy providers
  • Ofcom for the communications industries

When did it take effect?

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) regulations came into force on 1st October 2015

Does this apply to me and my florist business?

Yes and no… The regulations do not make participation in ADR schemes mandatory for traders. However, the regulations do require almost all businesses which sell directly to consumers to point the consumer to a certified ADR scheme – where they cannot resolve a dispute in-house – and declare whether or not they intend to use that scheme.

So what should I do?

As we are not in the regulated sectors (financial service etc. some examples of which are above.) As stated on the government website - 

“In all other areas the Secretary of State will be the generic competent authority and has appointed the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) to carry out these functions on his behalf. “

In short, you can say we use trading standards!

This covers all UK retailers, including florists.  They can be the ones you can direct customers to, the ADR – Alternative dispute resolution body in the event of a dispute that cannot be settled between a consumer and a retailer aka you and your customer!

 

 

Is that all I need to know?

Maybe not do you sell online? if so read on!

Do you have a website that sell flowers online? 

The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) regulations came into effect in February 2016 and also affect all retailers that trade on line as well.

The information is a little confusing but we have done a great deal of research on your behalf, so here goes!

Whilst it is stated;

“If you are an “online trader” who sells goods, services or digital content to consumers online, you will need to make changes to your website, and in some cases to your contractual terms” i.e your terms and conditions

However before you get too concerned It is also states

Does this mean that all online traders and online marketplaces need to use ADR?

No. The Regulations do not oblige traders to use ADR, only to provide notice of the ODR Platform.

So what should we do?

We at the BFA want you to fully know all the facts so we have taken factual information from expert sites, but look out for our comments as to how we suggest you proceed.

Who has to comply?

All online traders who sell goods, services or digital content to consumers (or in the words of the Regulations who “intend to enter into online sales contracts or online service contracts with consumers”) via their own website within the EU (with some exceptions, such as “health professionals”) and any online marketplaces (such as eBay).

How do you comply?

  • Online traders must provide a link to the ODR Platform on their website. The link should be easily accessible for consumers. A logical place would be alongside existing complaints procedure information on a trader’s website.

BFA Note – this is the European Commission official website’s link to their ODR form : https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/odr/main/index.cfm?event=main.home.show&lng=EN

 

  • In addition, all online traders must state their email address on their website (an online contact form that does not show the email address is not sufficient to meet this requirement).

BFA Note – this only needs to be in your t&c’s if you don’t want to make it too public, but it’s an easy thing to comply with.

BFA Note – There is a lot of addition requirements that apply to a traders that are required to use an approved ADR provider however this does not apply to us as we are not in the regulated sectors and required to use an approved ADR provider – please see above. If you wish to read this use the links at the end of this feature.

How will the ODR Platform work?

  • The consumer fills in an online complaint form on, and submits it to, the ODR Platform.
  • The complaint is sent from the ODR Platform to the relevant trader, who proposes an ADR entity to the consumer (if applicable). The trader has 10 days to state whether it is either obliged to use a particular approved ADR provider, or if it is not obliged, if it is willing to use one of the approved ADR providers detailed in the message from the ODR Platform.
  • If the trader is unwilling to use an approved ADR provider, then the ODR Platform will not be able to process the complaint any further.
  • Once the trader has responded to this message the ODR Platform will then send a similar message to the consumer.
  • Once (and if) consumer and trader agree on an ADR entity to handle their dispute, the ODR Platform automatically transfers the complaint to that entity.
  • If that transfer occurs, the ADR entity handles the case entirely online and reaches an outcome in 90 days.
  • It will be apparent from this that if the trader is not willing to use an ADR provider, then the matter does not proceed to ADR – so in that respect, this is not a compulsory regime.

What is it?

The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes introduce to the UK the European Commission’s online dispute resolution platform (the ODR Platform). The ODR Platform is intended to encourage cross-border purchasing by consumers across the EU and is part of the Commission’s Digital Single Market initiative (There is more information of a dedicated Digital Single Market hub here).

Online dispute resolution is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure conducted online. The ODR Platform will provide a portal for consumers to submit a complaint to a relevant, registered ADR provider with the aim of resolving the dispute. It will offer a translation function to help facilitate cross-border disputes. The aim is to make consumers and traders more confident in trading online and across borders. Consumers and traders alike will know that they will have a platform to settle their disputes out of court in a simple, fast and low-cost way.

Closing comments

The fact is that without know all the information It’s easy to be blinded with science, with this being fairly new there may well be companies that contact your business convincing you to join their schemes of only £xxx per year!! no doubt promising additional advice and services! – If this is something you want to do for your business – please go ahead, however we want you to be armed with the facts and not to feel obliged to sign up to a membership scheme that isn’t necessary!  The BFA know of emails being sent out earlier this month if you have already signed up to something you wish you hadn't whether regarding ADR or not - remember, you always have a 14 day cooling off period to cancel contracts!

Sources of information and further information:

Gov.uk website - Alternative dispute resolution for consumers Link - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alternative-dispute-resolution-for-consumers/alternative-dispute-resolution-for-consumers#online-dispute-resolution

www.osborneclarke.com - Europe’s new online dispute resolution platform: what do you need to do? Link - http://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/europes-new-online-dispute-resolution-platform-what-do-you-need-to-do/

Business companion information Link - https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/consumer-contracts/alternative-dispute-resolution#Onlinedisputeresolution

Business companion information as a downloadable pdf - https://www.businesscompanion.info/sites/default/files/ADR%20business%20guidance%20inc%20ODR%20Dec%202015.pdf (Just so you know this is a 39 page document!)

 European committion setting disputes online pdf - http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/solving_consumer_disputes/docs/adr-odr.factsheet_web.pdf (A surprisingly consise 3 page pdf document!)

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

You will find a great deal of information in the information links provided.

 

Results of the Christmas Trade survey

The Results of the Christmas Florist Trade Survey are in.

Throughout January we've been collecting results of the Christmas survey, thank you to the hundreds of you that took the time to fill it in.  We've now calculated the results and they are as follows... please scroll down the page and see all the stats at your leisure and draw your own conclusions.

So what's the outcome?

Sales up sales down?

On the whole our Christmas sales increased this year compared to last. 54.54% of you reported this... how did we fair compared to the rest of the retailers?  Well fantastically!! The Centre for retail research gave us the stats that In 2016, the fall in sales in traditional stores was down -1.6%. In 2015 it had been -0.1%.  Let's just reflect on that a moment... whilst we didn't drill down into the exact % your sales increased, I think with 17.17% of you saying it significantly increased and 37.37% of you saying it slightly increased, we as an industry can feel very positive about these results!

WhIist passing trade was down, again lets review this compared to others.... there were just 6% more florists businesses that saw a down turn... 33.33% remained the same, 30.30% reported an increase in passing trade with 36.36% having a decrease.  The national trading figures report "compared to several previous Christmases, there was an unexpected dearth of shoppers in the main cities on many days, whilst the smaller retail centres looked like ghost towns. All that was missing was tumbleweed blowing through the streets." with reports like that (again from The Centre for retail research) I think we can all be 'very satisfied'

Internet sales!

we saw an increase in internet orders. This very much reflected the general trend in the UK. But it's well worth bearing in mind the big online story was not the fact that online now represented more than one-quarter of total retail sales, but the rapid growth in mobile retailing. Many ecommerce retailers found that up to 80% of shopper visits to their websites were done via mobile phones and tablets, and 42.3% of all online purchases were made using mobiles.  How does your ecommerce site work on mobile devises? - a very serious question, don't ignore this! We have to be ontop of our game and our websites with shopping facilities have to be good and mobile friendly to say ahead of the game!


Added extras?

Half of florist had less than 10% of their sales made up of items other than flowers followed by 1/3 getting 10 - 25% of sales on items other than flowers, with sales up obviously it follows that flower sales on the whole increased.  However, this wasn't from relay companies as these were clearly down.

How did you predict demand?

Half of all florists surveyed predicted their demand and ordering acurately, more good news is that around 40% of you increased your prices around 60% left your prices the same as Christmas 2015, thankfully none of you decreased your prices. Following feedback from our Florist Get Together Evenings, it seems clear that more florists are switching to fixed pricing, which may be why they didn't need to move their prices around so much. What were other retailers doing?  Well the November Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend became ten days of offers and promotions, and was preceded by offers and followed by other offers. Not surprisingly, for most retailers this pulled forward sales from December which became rather flat for everyone except electrical goods specialists and the grocery and licensed victuallers. So does this matter to us, obviously we come under the 'goods specialist' and we can't have cut flowers being purchased in November for Christmas, but should we bear in mind that more consumers are buying Christmas items earlier? Should we consider adding a Christmas marketing campagin to our November activities so Auntie doesn't get reduced black friday gifts rather than the usual christmas handtie?  You'll recall we kept on in our newsletters and in articles to promote yourselves in conjunction with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, not to 'give away' but to promote your business, is this something that should be a must? We'll let you decide!

Satisfied with trade?

On the question of satisfaction is was a close run thing. Almost the same amount of you said that you were satisfied (27.27%) neither satisfied, or disatisfied (28.28% If we assume that 3 meant that's how you felt) but we can't ignore the 22.22% of you that weren't satisfied with your Christmas sales, and the very dissatisfied florists that made up 12.12% of the survey, compared to 10.10% of you that were very satisfied with your Christmas sales. We all have individual businesses and aspirations so these figures maybe considered a little difficult to precisely interpret, we'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Food for thought!

There are a few things to note here, research shows although many consumers loathe Christmas shopping, most active shoppers love the buzz, the decorations, the crowds and the vast range of products available at Christmas time. Retailers that survive are those that can create that excitement - we know that we need to make shopping a positive experience for our consumers, but research shows this is especially important at Christmas, let's make the visit to their local professional florist a really fantastic experience, so it's something they do on numberous occasions on the lead up to Christmas!  I'm sure you know how you don't feel Christmasy until you've heard that song, or had your first Baileys well let try and make your customers visit to your business be part of their 'must do's' to feel Christmasy too!

 

ALL SURVEY RESULTS

How did your Christmas 2016 sales compare to those of Christmas 2015?

How did your footfall compare with that of Christmas 2015?

How did the number of incoming relay orders compare to those of Christmas 2016? 

 How did the number of online orders from your own website compare to those of Christmas 2015? 

Overall, was the proportion of flowers you sold more - or less - than those sold during Christmas 2015? 

 

What proportion of your Christmas 2016 sales came from product?

Overall, how accurately did you predict Christmas demand in your shop in 2016?

How did your selling prices compare to Christmas 2015? 

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied were you with Christmas 2016 sales? 1 = very satisfied, 5 = very unsatisfied. 

 

To read more about the centre for research information we used CLICK HERE and view their website page.

YOUR INDUSTRY NEEDS YOU TO ACT NOW

YOUR INDUSTRY NEEDS YOU TO ACT NOW!!

Click here to fill in the survey

The Department of Education are running a survey to see if it is necessary to continue with Florist Apprenticeships! We are all part of the same industry and we think the training of our next generation of Florists is important to all sectors of the Industry whether we are employers, florists, training providers, wholesalers, growers etc. and I hope you will all agree,  that even if you will not be delivering this apprenticeship it is important for the Industry to have the choice.

The problems and risks we face

One of the main problems we may have, is that the department of education may not let us develop our own standard but try to get us to use the Retail standards with some Floristry units bolted on, this would not be good for our Industry as the products we sell are taken by a florist and enhanced.  As you all know this requires a skill which needs good underpinning knowledge, if we dilute these skills we are not doing ourselves or our Industry justice.  Sandie Griffith the BFA Training and Education manager suggests that we are a 70% Florists 30% Retail-Customer Service but would value your comments, contact Info@britishfloristassociation.org.

Your voice needs to be heard, your opinion really matters

Click here to fill in the survey

We appreciate that you may feel that  this survey is aimed at employers but if you take a quick look, I think you will see it is aimed at all interested parties and please can you encourage any employers you are in touch with to complete the survey also.

We have had a lot of support from employers but obviously there are a lot more out there that might not have heard and we only have a week to put in as many surveys as possible. 

  The Survey Closes 5th February - so act now!

I'm sure you agree, it is really important that we can train florists by this route and that floristry is seen a profession, with strong qualification that are suitable for florists.

We are at a disadvantage as a small industry, so your support is essential. Please take 2 minutes to fill in the survey now, it closes 5th February!!

The message from the department of education

Dear All,
Many thanks again for submitting proposals to develop new Apprenticeship Standards.

As part of the assessment process we have placed all bids online to give interested parties an opportunity to comment on your proposals. Those who participate in the survey are asked to feedback against a number of factors that will help us assess the bid.

This survey is live and the link to it is available here. It will close on the 5th of February. In order to ensure we have the broadest evidence base for making our decision, we would encourage you to forward this to any relevant contacts, for them to complete.

Thank you once again for your application.

Warm Regards
The Trailblazer Team
DfE Apprenticeships Directorate

Click here to fill in the survey

How to fill in the survey?

Simply fill in your name, email and organisation in boxes 1 - 3, in box 4 select Floristry in the drop down list.  On page 2 you can view the document which has been submitted by Sandie Griffith the British Florist Associations Training and Education Director. 

Box 66. Asks "Do you support the development of the Apprenticeship Standard set out in the Expression of Interest?" please click yes.  If you wish to add a comment such as..

Is it essential for the continued success of the florist industry that this apprenticeship goes ahead, and the department of education back the professionalism and training of florists through this apprenticeship.

Box 67. questions the necessity of the appreticeship, specifically asking if it needs to run for the necessary 12 months - please answer yes, or as suggested give comments.

Box 67 - An Apprenticeship Standard must involve rigorous and substantial training of over a year to achieve full competence. Do you think this Apprenticeship Standard would take at least 12 months to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviour required for sufficient competence in this occupation? If no please give details.

Box 68. Asks "Are you aware of any other existing or proposed Apprenticeship Standards that may overlap with this one? If Yes please give details."  As mentioned above, we are at risk of being told to use other standards that will not benefit our industry. It is far more suitable that we produce our own tailormade qualification as we need.  We will be consulting with many employers regarding this, so please answer no.

Box 69. if/how many apprentices you will be taking on per year.  If you feel there is a possiblity of you taking on/have an employee that could be trained this way please indicate appropriately.

Please fill in the final few boxes as you wish before hitting submit, and confirm submission.

Thank you for making your voice heard and helping to strengthen the industry.

If you have any further queries regarding this, or need any more assistance, please contact info@britishfloristassocation.org

CLICK HERE to view the Proposal to develop a new apprenticeship standard

 

The Valentines Survival Guide

The Valentines Survival Guide

 

Everyone at the BFA know's exactly what it's like to be a florist at Valentines - we either are or have been in your shoes. You plan, research, consider and try and get predictions spot on and think of everything... but there are so many points to think about, and this is whilst your still running your business day to day!

This is why we've created the comprehensive 'Valentines Survival Guide' full of top tips, ideas and reminders to make this your best valentines ever.

We all wish you the very best of luck & are rooting for you to excel.

Here at the BFA we will be shouting to the consumer from every direction to use their local professional BFA florist - It's time for the florist fight back & we're right with you.

 

CLICK HERE & DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE NOW!

A new era is dawning on New Covent Garden Flower Market

A new era is dawning on New Covent Garden Flower Market

In just over ten weeks, the brand new Flower Market will open at New Covent Garden Market. The new market is a modern, bright and pleasant space for the buying and selling of flowers, plants, foliage and sundries. 

Located just along Nine Elms Lane from the current market, the new Flower Market remains in the heart of London and brings new benefits to give florists a richer buying experience on every visit. 

Everything you need to know about the new Flower Market

  • The brand new Flower Market will now open on Monday 3 April 2017
  • The new home will be a more inspiring place for florists to buy beautiful flowers, plants, foliage and sundries
  • New Covent Garden Market have created a guide to the new Flower Market for customers and florists, here: brand.newcoventgardenmarket.com/flower-market

The whole complex has been well considered with covered parking available to allow orders to be loaded protected from the elements, which means no more damp flower heads. Inside the new modern market bright lights let customers see each petal in high definition, so they can handpick only the best for their customers. The new Flower Market will be a more vibrant space with a better atmosphere and more buzz. A warm café, that is not chilled, will be a cosier place to visit during those early mornings. 

But not everything in the new Flower Market will be different. It will be home to your favourite market wholesalers, as well as a dozen contract florists. The things florists love; the energy, the spirit, the community and the banter. These, the essence of the market, all stay.

Everything florists need to know about the new Flower Market can be found here on the Brand New Covent Garden Market website: brand.newcoventgardenmarket.com/flowermarket. The guide has visiting information as well as a map of the Flower Hall.

The new Flower Market will open for business on Monday 3 April 2017. The last day of trading in the current market will be Friday 31 March 2017. The wholesalers will move over the weekend 1-2 April.

Alastair Owen, New Covent Garden Market’s Communications Manager, said:

“We can’t wait for our customers to see our new home. It’s a bright, fresh and modern space that will make coming to the Flower Market an even better experience. The current market has served us very well for 40 years, but it’s now time to give our customers a more inspiring place to buy beautiful flowers, plants, foliage and sundries.

“Our online guide explains all about the new Flower Market. From day one, you’ll be ready to continue buying, seamlessly, from your favourite wholesalers. With the new building we are sure the Flower Market will continue to be a very special place.”

It seems no time at all since we brought you the plans at the beginning of August and it'll seem even less time until the doors open, but if you want a preview of what's behind those new doors explore the new Flower Market in a guide for customers and florists by clicking here - brand.newcoventgardenmarket.com/flower-market

Now Even More Connection with consumers

Now Even More Connection with consumers

The BFA promote the message to 'Support your Local Professional BFA florist' to the consumer at every opportunity.  But now we take it a step further...

Within this month Consumers around the UK will have the first consumer newsletter in their in-box.  Thoughout 2016 we ran competitions to collect names and email addresses of the great British public that were keen to get their hands on a beautiful handtied.

This has given us a great head start with well over a thousand names and addresses to launch with.  As you know more than most - people love flowers, so having inspirational articles brought  straight to them will be a hit...... and of course, this enable us to promote you - the local professional independent BFA florist and all the benefits of  buying flowers from you brings!

As we write articles each week for our consumer website www.britishfloristassociation.org  which we then share on our consumer facebook page we have endless content for the newsletters... of course the first issue will also feature our competition winner.

If your business hasn't updated your 'Find a Florist Profile' take the time to do this now, before Valentine's swamps your workload CLICK HERE and login your details in the member area.  If you are not a member and wonder what the profile page is all about CLICK HERE and find out more, don't miss out on this which is entirely free with BFA membership which is currently still half price just £40 + VAT for the year - with promo code CB50 CLICK HERE to join now!

The Flower Lounge are the Wedding Industry Awards National Winner

THE FLOWER LOUNGE ARE CROWNED THE WEDDING INDUSTRY FLORIST OF THE YEAR

The very best wedding suppliers in the country were honoured on Thursday 12th January at The Wedding Industry Awards, which hosted a glittering ceremony held at the world famous Café de Paris in London’s West End. With 26 national titles up for grabs covering everything from photography, entertainment and flowers to venues, cakes and wedding dresses, the competition was fierce and those who picked up awards were rightly jubilant.

None no more so than the winner that we're all most interested about - The National Winner of the Wedding Florist of the Year, we're thrilled  to announce that The Flower Lounge from Didsbury nr Manchester grabbed this top spot.


 Roger Black MBE and TWIA founder Damian Bailey along with Sian.

You may recall us telling you about Sian as we were delighted to share that she has joined the BFA team as the  Retail officer, we knew we'd made a fabulous addition to the team, even before this national accolade.  CLICK HERE to learn more about The Flower Lounge and the lady behind it and what makes her tick.... 

The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA) ensures that there is a credible, reliable, independent regional and national awards process.  Sian's business The Flower Lounge had previously won the North West Regions Florist of the Year for three years running, so had consistently been working her way up to the top spot.  The awards are the only client-voted regional and national awards in the wedding industry and the judging panel is made up of industry experts.

Founder of The Wedding Industry Awards, Damian Bailey said: “The Wedding Industry Awards really have become the gold standard for wedding excellence in this country both regionally and nationally, with the TWIA logo now a trusted and coveted mark of the very highest quality throughout the industry. Every year, the standard of entrants just gets higher and higher so to make the regional shortlist is a huge achievement, let alone going on to be crowned a regional or national winner. Of course the cherry on the cake is winning a national award in such esteemed company! Having received more than 25,000 client-only votes and after our judges reviewed every entry with a fine tooth comb winning a national award is a feat worthy of notice.”

We all know how much couples spend on weddings, but with all calcualtions tolled the UK wedding industry is worth an estimated £10 billion annually.  Sian, fellow wedding florist and suppliers throughout the UK are constantly working hard to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Happily, for Sian, The Flower Lounge and the winners of the other 25 categories, they’ve now got a coveted award to help them woo clients in 2017 and beyond.

In the spectacular surroundings of the Cafe de Paris, set in the heart of London's West End, there was plenty of chance for the finalists to rub shoulders with others at the top of their game, forge new relationships and reinforce existing ones. Enjoy debriefing about your weddings of 2016, or just raise a cheeky glass to the best industry there is to work in as complimentary drinks flowed along with the delicious food. There was also an array of incredible entertainment from Dancefloor Couture, Thom Music and Abigail Katie Lambert.  A fantastic celebration of excellent winners (well we know we can vouch for our category winner at least.)