Winchester Growers Ltd, a division of UNIVEG UK is the world’s largest daffodil producer. This year a staggering 400 million stems will be packed at the Winchester Growers site near Penzance, West Cornwall, with 280 million stems being grown by Winchester themselves.
Despite the incredibly challenging conditions caused by the violent storms and record rainfall that have battered the Cornish coast since the 2nd January, daffodils are still growing and are still being harvested, by hand, on a daily basis by around 580 loyal workers.
Chris May, General Manager at the Cornwall site said “The harvesting teams have been quite simply incredible. They have persevered through 100 mph winds, rain, hail and sea spray. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated team and our heartfelt thanks go out to them for their ongoing commitment to this challenging task”
May added “we are used to facing some harsh weather between late December and early May when the daffodils are being harvested but this year we have seen a ‘once in a lifetime storm’ five times in seven weeks”
It is a wonder that any flowers are available at all, but remarkably retailers are still receiving supplies of this early spring flower; a sign that hopefully winter will soon be behind us.
May concluded by saying “The sheath that protects the bud illustrates what the flower has been through as some storm markings are evident, nonetheless the bud will open as normal giving you a vibrant bright yellow flower”