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Flower shortage for Mothers Day!!

Flower shortage for Mothers Day!!

I am been following a number of discussions on Facebook regarding the shortage of flowers that many find themselves in.  Some say that the many South American growers have switched from growing flowers to produce for higher returns. I have found no evidence of this and while I am sure there are some examples to be found it is NOT the reason for the current  flower shortage.

After talking to a number of importers and growers I think the reason is more complicated than that.

This is what I learned.

A. The demand for flowers is high and since the very cold winter has finally warmed up people are coming out of hibernation and want color in their homes.

B. The natural timing of the holidays has left many growers without production for Mothers Day. Every few years we see this happen when there are not enough days between Valentines, Easter and Mothers day. This year Easter was 21 days later than 2013.  Add in a lot of cloudy rainy days and the result can be not enough flowers left for the Mothers Day demand.

C. Finally we see that there really is the proverbial 900 pound gorilla in the room. Large farms have been buying up small and large farms at an alarming rate. Most of these large farms service the mass markets and as a result the production has moved from the traditional channels (grower, importer, wholesaler, retailer) to the grower, bouquet maker to the mass market.

Buyers at all levels have over the years become used to having plenty of sourcing options and are hesitant to book big numbers for holidays assuming that the prices will fall as the holidays gets closer. This is one of those times when this was a bad idea. Open market prices are nearly double pre-book prices but even then there is little supply to fill the void. So now nearly everyone is scrambling.

By William “Williee” Armellini

 

4 Comments

  • I guess in the end everyone got what they needed

  • I am updating this post to reflect what is happening out there. Seems that prices on some items is softening but still strong on the in demand varieties and products.

    Some wholesalers played this holiday right and as a result had flowers at fair prices. The time is running short to get products to market and into consumers hands.

    Good luck to all

  • Definitely nothing to do with produce, if something in Ecuador there is more production of roses every year. About the large groups buying small farms to sell bouquets to mass market, not so much the case in Ecuador at a large scale yet. Some big groups (Ecuanros, Rosa Prima, Valle Verde, Royal Flowers, etc.) growing or buying out smaller farms but aiming to expand their Wholesale Market in the US, Europe, Russia, expand to other markets, sell CIF in Miami to retailers, and even trying to go directly to consumers online. A few big groups like “Color Republic” have indeed bought farms to export bouquets to mass market.

  • This came from an Ecuadorean grower:

    Shortage of flowers (I can speak about roses in Ecuador) in my opinion and experience has to do with the bad weather we had in March, which brought a lot of powdery mildew and other problems to many farms, as well as messing up the cycles and timing, lowering available production for M-day. I would also add that many farms pinch less colors for V-day which obviously gives us less flowers for M-day in return. The latter has to do with something you point out in your article which is very important, and is the lack of pre-books and growing speculation with prices during holidays. More and more, it becomes more of a gamble for producers, so we are less likely to pinch more for holidays without the secured sales ahead of time.

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