Where have all the flowers gone?

Where have all the flowers gone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside from ‘industry’, at 22% of regional gross value added, the principle sources of wealth in Cornwall are agriculture and tourism. Little was known of either before the nineteenth century, but with the coming of the railways, markets opened up nationwide for vegetables, flowers, fish and china clay.

Reliable statistics on the local economy are rare, but the estimated per capita production is below 70% of the European average, and therefore qualifies for financial support from the European Commission. Cornwall’s isolated position – almost separated from mainland Britain by the River Tamar, and over 250 miles from London – also marks it as a distinct region and economic environment from neighbouring Devon.

Perversely for a land so steeped in farming and natural beauty, the funding received between 2008 to 2013 was earmarked for information and communications technology in particular. Global concerns about food shortages highlight the wealth of opportunity for Cornwall which enjoys an extended growing season.

Where there’s an abundance of agricultural land, there’s an equally rich opportunity to farm. If basic processing can be added to this without despoiling the environment in any way, then it provides labour and adds value to raw products. On the assumption that these are suitable managed, marketing and transport are the only remaining factors that are needed to complete the equation.

As the escalating cost of oil continues to push up the cost of imports, Cornwall has a great opportunity to become the larder of Britain as well as of countries who depend on others for their food supply.

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Image: Daffodil field in South East Cornwall by Mark Robinson