The directors of Grampian Growers, Scotland’s leading producer of daffodil blooms have made the unilateral decision to stop picking even though it means around £1 million worth of flowers will be left to wither in the fields.
The decision was made on ‘moral and ethical’ grounds despite no clear guidance coming from Scottish Government or Police Scotland.
Other flower businesses are however continuing to meet pre-Easter demand from supermarkets, excluding Sainsbury’s and the Co-op which have delisted flowers from stores in response to Covid-19.
Mark Clark, managing director of the Montrose-based co-operative said it would be possible to comply with social spacing requirements in the company’s pack house and fields with pickers keeping up to be up to six metres apart. He appealed for clarity as 3.6m bunches of daffodils ripen in the fields.
Mr Clark said despite being in discussion with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland all weekend and it was made clear that it would be up to Grampian Growers directors to decide what to do once they get a definitive answer on whether or not they are allowed to operate.
“It is very unlikely we will change our decision, and 70 per cent of our pickers have understandably already gone home to Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Romania, but there are other businesses still picking,” he said.
“We are putting lives and safety above everything. However this huge inconsistency is putting the whole industry in limbo.”