Leading British flower distributor The Butters Group has signed a unique joint venture agreement with Dutch bulb producer Kébol BV.
It is hoped the deal will bolster research and new product development globally, with two of the key aims of the partnership being to expand Kébol BV’s growing operation in Brazil, and to explore the planet for opportunities to produce new and better quality bulbs for the UK market.
The Butters Group, based in Spalding, Lincolnshire, is already one of the UK’s leading distributors of horticultural products, supplying products for in-store sale and home delivery to the leading UK high street stores.
Kébol BV, a family-owned business started in 1989, is now the largest producer of amaryllis bulbs in Brazil, and has a production facility in Lisse, Holland.
Butters Group managing director, Andy Coaten, said: “This joint venture is the latest exciting development for the Butters Group.
“It means we can offer our clients exclusive products and great quality at very competitive prices and secure a supply chain that our customers can rely on.
“It also allows us to explore some really exciting opportunities for product development across the globe.”
The deal means The Butters Group will now have exclusive UK rights to distribute unique new varieties of amaryllis developed by Kébol.
Kébol‘s use of tissue culture to produce the amaryllis bulbs is well established, and the two companies believe this will give the new venture both a cost and quality advantage against competitors.
The deal is the latest in a series of business-growing moves by The Butters Group, which was founded in 1973, and is now an employer of more than 850 people.
In 2011 the company established Butters Flowers Limited, which now packages and delivers around 70,000 flower boxes per week during the peak festivals such as Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, using flowers imported from as far afield as South Africa, Asia and Africa.
In the same year Butters created its own growing nursery which has quadrupled in size in the last three years and now grows 3.2 million plants at its 11-acre site next to the company HQ.
Meanwhile, in 2013, the group bought Verde Horticulture, with sites in Hampshire and West Sussex, to create the UK’s largest plant supplier.