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History of the BFA

The British Florist Association was formed in 1948 and started life as the British Flower Industry Association. Since its formation the association has grown from strength to strength.

The first recorded industry trade body for the British cut flower industry was established back in 1917. Called the British Flower Marketing Association, it was founded by a group of growers, florists and wholesalers at New Covent Garden Flower Market, where the board bearing the names of the association’s presidents is still proudly displayed today. At the top of the list is Market trader and founding BFMA President, Mr George Monro VMH .

What we now know as The British Florist Association is one of two organisations that succeeded the British Flower Marketing Association. The BFA was founded in 1948 when a group of florists formed it to lobby against government plans to introduce a tax on funeral flowers.

Today’s BFA ran in parallel with its sister body, the British Flower Industry Association (for growers and wholesalers) before taking it over in 1977. Such was the close relationship between the two organisations, that the last BFIA President, Mr Philip Colman, bequeathed a substantial sum to the BFA to ensure its continued work for the floristry industry.

In 1956, the BFA was one of the founder members of Florint (originally FEUPF), which has brought together the national florist associations of more than 20 European countries.

In 2010, the British Florist Association acquired the Society of Floristry. Today, the British Florist Association is the only trade body representing the UK’s 7000 independent florist businesses. The BFA organises the UK’s ONLY florist industry conference and the UK’s ONLY trade show for florists, as well as nationwide networking and education activities and high-profile floristry competitions.

Constance Spry in her shop South Audley St, Mayfair, London - 1947. Photo by George Konig on Getty Images

Key Dates

1917 – British Flower Marketing Association is founded

1945 – British Flower Industry Association is founded and the BFMA closes.

1948 – British Retail Florist Association is founded (BRFA) as a retail focused body BRFA changes its name to the British Retail and Professional Florist Association

1956 – BFA is a founder member of Florint

1977 – The BFA takes over the British Flower Industry Association

2001 – renamed the British Florist Association

2010 – the BFA acquires the Society of Floristry

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