The COVID-19 outbreak affected the global industries, and that include the horticultural industry. No one ever imagined that everything will suddenly change when the virus infection spread throughout the world. Although there is no news about the challenges faced by the floristry in the world during this pandemic, there is no denial that the global cut flower trade is facing major blow. As weddings, debuts, festivals, and grand celebrations are cancelled in almost all parts of the world, the demand for fresh, cut flowers also fluctuated. Indeed, there is a great impact on the cut flower trade around the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
United States of America
In USA, the floristry has been hardly hit by the pandemic. The last five or six months have been tough for each florist and flower farmers in the country. Almost 70% of the total flower produces were totally wasted, or around $150,000 because most of the events and festivals were cancelled. Even the most intimate celebrations and gatherings were made simpler and the flower deliveries were considered not an essential item. Since borders were closed, flights were cancelled, and unessential travel and transportations were prohibited, it was impossible to process any flower orders and flower delivery locally and internationally.
In Canada, cut flower trade was impacted severely, and it was hit hard because of the global pandemic. Flower farmers cried out against cancelled weddings, postponed events, and cancelled flower orders. Some of them were forced to throw tons of freshly cut flowers. For the local farmers who used to pack bulk orders of fresh flowers during the spring season, throwing these flowers was such an unimaginable experience. In fact, one farmer would be totally joyful if he can only sell 20% to 30% of his produce. After non-essential shops and stores were closed all across Canada for a couple of months now, the flower industry suffered that much.
In Netherlands, the flower industry suffered an estimated loss of around 5 billion Euros. The worst thing is that, aside from the fluctuations of the flower trade, all the employees under the floristry business were affected. Thousands of the famous Dutch Tulips, which usually sell high in spring season to summer season, were wilted. Because of the pandemic, spring season this year, which is the busiest season in the floristry business, is the saddest time for the Dutch not only because the sale of flowers is too low, but also because local farmers witnessed how the beautiful Tulips wilted and wasted.
In China, it was recorded that the sales of flowers dropped low since December of 2019 until the first quarter of 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic started in China and a large number of Chinese nationals and foreigners were infected with the virus. Because of this, the demands for fresh, cut flowers fell at only 4% from the usual annual sales, especially on Valentine’s Day. Most local florists and flower growers sell their flowers at 70% discount to recover half of the capital, yet the sales remained low, forcing them to close their shops and throw the wilted blooms.
In Europe, the flower trade dropped down to 30% to 50% of sales during the months the countries were under stricter lockdown. Fresh cut flowers are perishable and they can only keep them frozen or inside a cold room for a couple of weeks. Some local growers also had no choice but to close and shut down the production, while most of the florists also stopped their operations. Some flower farms were left unvisited because farmers were not allowed to go out and harvest any blooms that they can harvest to sell.
In Japan, the government reported a major decline in flower demands, as well as in prices. Almost all businesses in Japan were hit by the global pandemic, leaving thousands of business owners and employees struggling, and it includes the flower industry. Aside from the flower growers and local florists, the entire Japanese government was sad to chop down thousands of Tulips and flower blooms not because the sale is low but because the government wants to stop tourists from visiting the farms and fields. Flower festivals in Japan were cancelled to prevent people from being infected of the virus.
In Italy, the downturn of flower sales put the floristry business at major financial collapse. For Italy, one of the countries that suffered the most and was devastated, the fresh cut flower trade is also hurting. Because of the fear of virus infection, people who usually get the best flower delivery for their mom on Mother’s Day were forced to think of another option to celebrate the occasion. More celebrations, events, and festivals were cancelled due to the stricter lockdown measures. The virus has been wreaking havoc not only in the lives of many people, but also in the economy of the world.
For several months now, the global flower trade experienced the worst as billions of flowers and blooms around the world were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flower farms were left alone because the pandemic restrictions prevent farmers from keeping them. As a result, tons of flowers were wasted and billions of money was lost. Borders were also shut down and all international flights were cancelled, and all these prevented the flower trade to continue. No one knows until when this pandemic will continue to hurt the floristry, but everyone is hopeful that all these things shall pass away.