New Cut Flower Co-op in SC

Here to tell us about it is Eva Moore, the communications director for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

I’m filling in for Commissioner Weathers this week as he is overseas on agriculture-related business. When he returns, I imagine your listeners will get to hear about his trip.

Recently, five producers in SC formed a cooperative association to supply their cut flowers to wholesale buyers.

They have members in the Upstate, Lowcountry, and Midlands, and are already selling to florists throughout the state.

Working together, they think they can leverage their experience and locations to serve more wholesale customers.

These are not growers coming together to form a new business. They remain independent producers but work together to be able to supply larger scale buyers, and to leverage things like cold storage and transportation.

Their long-term goal is to have distribution hubs with cold storage in the state’s three metropolitan areas.

They’ve also applied for a Specialty Crop Block Grant to buy a truck and hire a driver for the co-op.

The farmers are: Melissa Smith of Fraylick Farm, David Blue of Farmer Blue, Linda Bradley of Purple Tuteur Farm, Lisa Rudick of Clear Spring Gardens, and Julie Rainey of PearlGirl Flower Farm.

The cooperative was formed with the help of the South Carolina Center for Cooperative and Enterprise Development.

This is a collaborative effort between the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Clemson University Cooperative Extension, the South Carolina State Small Business Development Center and Matson Consulting. It’s funded through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant.

The center has helped several other agricultural co-ops get up and running South Carolina. An oyster co-op, a beef marketing co-op, and a group of African-American produce farmers in the Pee Dee region.

To get in touch with the co-op, email [email protected].

To learn more about the South Carolina Center for Cooperative and Enterprise Development, visit