Flower grower picking 65,000 blooms a day stars in M&S campaign
- Credit: M&S
A Norfolk flower firm which has picked 18.5m blooms for Marks and Spencer over the last 20 years is starring in the retail giant's latest television campaign.
Collison Cut Flowers, based at Terrington St Clement, near King's Lynn, is one of the largest seasonal stocks producers in the UK and is now entering its peak harvest season.
It aims to supply M&S with 800,000 scented stocks before the end of July, which will see the 40-strong core team hand-picking between 60-65,000 plants a day.
To ensure the blooms arrive in peak condition with long-lasting scent, they go from the Norfolk glasshouses to shop shelves in less than 48 hours.
And the quality of the Collison family's flowers has been highlighted in the retailer's biggest ever "fresh market update" campaign, which aims to showcase the work of its "select farmers".
The three-generation family farm, which has supplied M&S for two decades, is visited by Norfolk-born TV weather presenter Lucy Verasamy in one of a series of 73 national adverts, running across 19 weeks.
Kathryn Camps, senior horticulture technologist for M&S, said it was "a joy to shine a light on the unique, talented and passionate growers we work with".
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She added: "Over the past 20 years, Ian’s family has been supporting us to deliver not only fantastic quality for our customers, but also the very best British seasonal blooms."
Ian Collison, of Collison Cut Flowers, said: “Our amazing team harvests each stem by hand, so we can quality control every single one and make sure that customers receive the best-quality seasonal blooms.
"This year has been unusual in that the colder weather has stayed around for much longer, but we’ve worked extra hard to make sure our stocks bloom in style – it’s safe to say they are looking perfect.
“Beyond our stocks, we’re a local business passionate about preserving the natural wildlife on our farm – developing a sustainable approach is at the forefront of everything we do.
"As well as using the rainwater we collect from our glasshouses to grow our flowers, we’ve developed wildflower meadows and butterfly banks to support the rich mix of local wildlife.
"For us, everything needs to work together harmoniously, and that’s as much about growing our blooms as it is preserving and celebrating the natural environment."