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Florescence Quality Cut Flowers - 2011 ACCI Business of the Year Award

Quality, consistency a winning formula

Florescence owners Lee and Charles Reynolds might have won the 2011 ACCI Business of the Year Award and three others the night before, but they were still up at 6am the next morning picking their famous liliums.

The commercial exotic flower farm took out the HHG Legal Group Business of the Year Award, the Australia Post Award for Businesses with 5-10 employees, the Albany Port Authority Agribusiness Award and the Small Business Centre Great Southern Business Achiever Award in the 2011 ACCI Business Awards.

The Reynolds have owned Florescence since 2004 and in that time the business has moved from a small farm with limited production to being the largest commercial exotic flower farm outside the Perth metropolitan area.

Charles said they were delighted to win the first award thinking they would be able to relax for the rest of the evening and then became overwhelmed by their success over the course of the evening.

"We were blown out of the water to take the overall award – it is also a little daunting to have won that one because we still believe there's so much more to achieve and develop," Charles said.

"I think we have an enormous capacity to continue to grow but the big thing for us is that the growth has to be consistent with our ability to maintain our quality," he said.

It is this maintenance of quality that has secured Florescence a lucrative contract with the Lynch Group, who supply flowers to Woolworths and Coles. Florescence will now produce 1000 bunches of oriental liliums for Lynch each week.

Florescence will eventually supply about 90 per cent of the wholesale lilium market in Perth.

Charles believed the fact a big national company was looking at a small regional grower as a supplier was one of the reasons for their award success. This combined with their ability to think of new ways of doing things.

Florescence is currently working with Wilson's Machinery to mechanise some of the most time-consuming and labour intensive processes such as removing bulbs from rows, and trying to source a bulb planting machine.

"When we first came here I thought growing liliums was not going to be too difficult, but it is far more of a science than people realise," Charles said.

After completing the ACCI award application, Charles passed the submission around the entire team for comment.

"This was a great idea so everyone had input. It prompted us to remember what we had done and put it in – there was nothing in there that is exaggerated," Lee said.

"Even if we had not won it was a great check against our business plan. It is validation of all we've put into planning and a tribute to the fantastic network that has developed around us," she said.

"I think the awards are wonderful recognition not of us but of the incredible work done by our staff and their never-ending supply of great advice – as well as the wonderful customers who have become attracted to flowers who have never done before," Charles said.

Return to Award Winners 2011