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- April 3, 2020 at 9:16 am #21119WillieeArmelliniKeymaster
I work for a wholesale produce house that supplies about 16 states. I am one of the few in our area that can still cover most grocery store floral needs. Some are in remote areas where they have items delivered from wholesale florist that although open for pick ups are not delivering. Thankfully right now our business is good. The stores I sell to are still selling plants and flowers also. I did have cancelations on 6” Easter Lilies because the majority of those are bought by a demographic that is shut down of being told to confine because of outbreak. I’m still booking for Mother’s Day at a normal rate for now. I’m hopeful that if confined people will want to make there homes and yards pretty to look at. Best of luck to all those out there and stay safe.
Yes sir, production goes on but a lot of farms are operating on 50% of their power, they sacked temporal workers, send people on vacation. Some farms did harvest their flowers and could send them away. But not all transport businesses are sending containers, they say they don’t send containers with a minimum with flowers. They are looking at the food market now. So there is another fail in the chain. This I heard only from one transporter(for now). The bigger ones are continuing to send flowers.
Some farms are sowing new material but the question is if there is a market. It’s gambling off course. The future outlook is pretty dark. We’ll see what happens.
Just to give you an idea of what living in Colombia means:
There is a total lockdown, you can’t leave your home only if you have a free pass from the government. If you want to do groceries or doing bank stuff you have an appointed day in the week which is based on the last number of your ID. Choppers are flying over with speakers to tell the people what to do and what not to. Still, there are always people who aren’t listening and are just doing their thing on the street. This is dangerous because we don’t have sufficient hospital beds, in a few weeks we will have a big increase in contaminated people and dying people.
At this point I feel that we are helping the cause. Everyone is campaigning about how flowers make us feel, How they are tied to emotion’s, How they can brighten up the rooms atmosphere, thou it is a scientific fact flowers do these things, so to me there is a essential need for flowers. That they just so happen to be at your local supermarket chain, well OK. One thing is certain that Supermarkets continue to sell keeping the floral industry above ground. On the Wholesale side, everyone is trying to figure out how to get to the next level of wholesale purchasing. Right now that is unheard of because most of the importers who carried a spot market inventory or open market inventory have either throw away a lot of flowers or just don’t want to take another hit the following week. Internet sales continue to grow, I can tell you Holex USA Miami continues to get Web Shop orders from accounts in the hardest hit areas. New York, Connecticut, Texas, Florida, and so on. Leave it to the ole Brick & Mortar florist that at one time many us including myself did not think they would be around much longer. They are not holding stock or any type of inventory, but what they are doing is going to the local wholesaler and buying the floral necessities for the day, then they come back again the next day to do it all over again. I am optimistic that the floral industry will take a sever hit, you will see the same faces but at different places around the floral industry. This which is being caused by COVID19.
To say that we are riding the biggest roller coaster of our business life is an understatement. Believe me when I tell you great effort is being made to get the attention of the County and City officials to clarify our position. It is embarrassing for me to consider my business “essential” and use the Agriculture exemption to reason with them. I do believe we are VITAL to Human Social Emotional Health and all of our clients can operate efficiently and non-contact business environment.
It is ridiculous that selling drugs today is safer than selling flowers. I’m a gun owner and wonder how can gun shops be essential and not flower shops? This word “essential” is not being used correctly I guess or maybe I am not educated enough to know what it means.
I do believe in all fairness that my business is no more important than any other type of business that’s has been ordered to shut down. If we all fight to be open than social distancing would be impossible to achieve. So, I consider myself lucky and thankful to still be able to come to work and sale something. By the way sales are terrible but people are sending each other flowers like back when we were young.
We are not giving up and running in to the woods here. The penalties are $2000.00 per day and possibility losing our CO if we continue to disobey orders. We only remain open just long enough to get this clarification and will close shop if we are told directly that we are in violation of City, County or State orders.
You are right our industry is transforming and rising to the occasion. It is breaking my spirit to see the devastation it is causing our hard-working Suppliers, Competitors and Clients.
Just a few comments from a Canadian company,
We are a bouquet maker/wholesaler/greenhouse operation in Newfoundland, Canada. We supply the Wal-Marts, Loblaw’s, Sobeys, etc. in our neck of the woods. We run our cut flowers up from Miami to Toronto each week, where we connect with a dual zone truck that picks potted plants from Ontario growers and proceeds to NL.
For the past few weeks our chain store customers have been slashing their orders but still want to stay in the flower business, just on a smaller scale. Unfortunately our business model is centered around a full truck from Ontario each week that costs us $10,000 per week. The volumes we see for post Easter are very low and as a result we have made the difficult decision to shut down after Easter. With the wage subsidy that the federal government we hope to be able to keep our staff on and transition most of them to the greenhouse for a few weeks while we get ready of Mother’s Day.
Our staff as a whole are very nervous about what is to come and some have just decided it’s too risky and have quit all together. We have promised them that no outside staff will be coming in for Mother’s Day and we will base our volumes on the staff we have. There will be mostly farm made bouquets for our customers so we can handle it with our current staff.
After Mother’s Day we could be in a similar situation if this situation persists. If it continues in to Garden Center season, we could all be looking for a new job in the near future.
Retailers, even those in lockdown states are still working and they are still buying flowers. All of them that I have spoken to have a “no contact” delivery service up and running. The wire services are still working too from what I have been told.
I would be interested in a poll about who is laying off people, cutting hours etc. I have heard many different scenario’s in our businesses here in Miami.
It is an incredibly difficult time as you say…but I maintain and constantly think that flowers do have a place.
Just as art has a place.
It is those intangibles
Another intangible – The virus
…as this virus is unseen, but running our lives at this moment.
Emotions and feelings are now being realized…the intangibles…
People at home working
Children and pets under foot
Spouses and family under one roof more now than for a century.
The kind of product that makes us emote…Flowers.
joy, happiness, sadness, comfort, surprise
Beauty and Color have been taken for granted maybe in the past few years.
Now…it is front and center and I truly believe people are craving it.
Do we deserve space on a truck that should be shipping food?
That is a hard one…but I do think that flowers give people jobs…those truckers cargo to carry,
and will heal us in mysterious ways.
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