What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time Miami was awash with flowers as the crops peaked too early. However, this year it seems that the opposite has happened. The weather in South America is cold and wet and this is holding production back.
A tight supply at this time of year means that the bouquet makers will be looking for product as well since they rely on the same weather pattern as everyone else country per country. This demand sucks any excess product out of the market and creates a strong market depending on your place in the chain.
Word around town (Miami) is that wholesale pre-books are down vs. last year and yet the supermarkets orders are up! The Mass marketers must view a Tuesday holiday as a good omen and ordered more while wholesalers are more cautious and depend on their suppliers to have what they need when they need it. As February 14th draws ever closer the challenge will be to get it there in time without having to resort to FEDEX.
Now with all of this said there are no doubt growers and suppliers, many which are advertisers here on flowers and cents that have nailed this holiday and will exceed the expectations of their customers.
We often have to remind ourselves that we are in a business that needs to grow every stem we sell and nature controls things that grow. Planting flowers and coaxing them out of the ground at just the right moment is an art as much as skill. The right combination of light, water, nutrients and a good dose of luck are the things that can keep an agronomist awake at night, not to mention the owners.
As I type I can hear the sounds of cargo jets landing here in Miami (I have the windows open) and the floral dance the we call Valentine’s Day is in full swing. It should be a good one!