Suttons calls on Oriental orchid expertise

PUBLISHED: 10:47 11 October 2006 | UPDATED: 19:49 01 June 2010

BLOOMIN' MARVELLOUS:  Richard Coats shows two Chinese partners, Wu Fung Tu and Ahby Zeng how the collaboration with orchids is progressing. Watching on is, Steve Morley, production director.

BLOOMIN' MARVELLOUS: Richard Coats shows two Chinese partners, Wu Fung Tu and Ahby Zeng how the collaboration with orchids is progressing. Watching on is, Steve Morley, production director.

A WISBECH firm has formed a partnership with the Chinese to use Oriental expertise to become the UK s largest producer of orchids. Suttons, featured recently in the Sunday Times/Virgin Atlantic Top 100 UK companies, has acquired a 50 per cent stake S-Flor

A WISBECH firm has formed a partnership with the Chinese to use Oriental expertise to become the UK's largest producer of orchids.

Suttons, featured recently in the Sunday Times/Virgin Atlantic Top 100 UK companies, has acquired a 50 per cent stake S-Flora, a collaboration with China's leading producer of exotic Orchid plants, Floranational.

"Between the two companies there are now over 250 hectares of covered production area involving over 2000 employees," said Derek Burgoyne, Suttons' managing director.

Suttons will use the specialist knowledge and growing techniques of the Chinese within the company's seven hectare glasshouse complex at their P A Moerman site near Spalding, a site that has previously been awarded Grower of the Year on two consecutive years.

Richard Coats, sales director at Suttons, said: "Not only do we have the specialist knowledge and expertise from China to produce superior quality, but we will be able to offer major retailers and wholesale the best range and prices throughout Europe'"

Mr Burgoyne says he is excited about the prospects of developing other new and rare types of plants in China from Floranational's extensive micro propagation facilities,.

"It would be very satisfying if we could be developing new products in China, finishing them off in the UK, and exporting them to Europe in the future," he said.

"Much as we admire and respect the Dutch industry, we strive to be the very best in our industry bar none" he said.

Suttons claim they are uniquely placed in the market, being growers of all major categories; cut flowers, indoor plants, outdoor plants, and dry bulbs.

"Because Suttons are growers, our supermarket customers benefit from the best prices and the ultimate freshness," said Mr Burgoyne.

"The Orchid partnership is an important extension of that principle of direct supply from producer to retailer.

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