Meet the company behind our Remembrance poppies
Report by Anna White, The Sunday Telegraph
With the spring bank holiday traditionally marking the start of the summer season, the cold, crisp autumn days usually associated with Remembrance Sunday may seem some way off.
But for James Cropper, the luxury paper manufacturer which makes the poppies for the Royal British Legion, the summer months are a key period in the annual production of the paper at the heart of the commemorative flowers.
The family-run business, founded in the 1845, has been producing the vibrant red paper used for the poppy petals since 1978, when the charity wanted to switch from fabric to biodegradable paper.
And the British company has been made to innovate over the years to keep pace with what is a forward-thinking charity, despite its historic roots.
In pursuit of perfection, the Royal British Legion paved the way for designer shopping bags and the decadent packaging seen in today’s luxury market.
With this year’s centenary marking the outbreak of the First World War, and the 70thcommemoration of the D-Day in the Second World War, the Poppy Appeal has shifted up a gear and will produce 25% more poppies than in 2013, taking the total to more than 45 million.
“The poppy is not a symbol of blood, politics or religion,” says Helen Hill, acting head of remembrance at the Royal British Legion. “It’s a way of remembering but also hoping for a better future”.
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Pictured: Mark Cropper with the paper used to make Remembrance Day Poppies