What’s happening with the global flower market?

As with most lives in spring 2020, the global flower market has come to a standstill due to COVID-19 and its cross-border complications. From tulip growers in the Netherlands to rose growers in Kenya, many growers have had no choice but to kill their produce alive. A year and a half later, the ramifications of the choices made in response to those early days of the pandemic are still restricting the international market. But at the same time, there has hardly been a better time for those looking for something grown a little closer to home.

Globally, an understandably cautious approach to planting in the wake of the pandemic has hampered supply chains. Big growers in flower centers like the Netherlands and Central America usually make decisions about their crops an entire year before they’re actually harvested, not to mention the smaller farms that couldn’t survive the pandemic.

Supply issues, along with the gradual return of non-Zoom weddings and an unexpected increase in plant purchases, have left many florists and suppliers scrambling. “People have turned to flowers in a big way [during COVID]not to mention a more intense focus on beautifying our homes, where we spent so much time, with flowers and plants,” Elizabeth Daly of Society of American Florists Recount Washingtonian Magazine. Simultaneously, Daly cited challenges such as “bad weather on farms, logistical issues and labor shortages” as additional short-term constraints on supply.

All of this may be an unexpected boon for a new generation of small-scale “farmer-florists” helping consumers and designers source once-neglected flowers close to home. As wholesale markets slept around Mother’s Day 2020, many such operations stepped up to fill the void, advancing the idea of ​​a hybrid model that emphasizes farm care. to the consumer rather than mass-produced beauty.

Fueled in equal measure by trends on Instagram (where dahlias and daffodils are among those experiencing a renaissance) and sustainability concerns, there is a ready market of those willing to pay the price for flowers of basis for local organic offerings. Even poppies, despite their vase life of only a few days, sell well for some farmer-florist operations.

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“Buying locally grown organic flowers may seem like a luxury, but I find that I get the most beautiful flowers at a lower cost than importing,” Betsaida Alcantara, subscriber in Hillsdale, New York. Small Hearts Flower Shopexplained to Bloomberg. “It made me feel connected to the farmers who grow them, despite the quarantine.”

While there are reasons to believe the global market will improve over time, the looming threat of climate change could also create more space for America’s “Slow Flower” movement. “There have been big hits on big farms in Central America and other parts of the world because of the climate and COVID,” Meadow Flower Farm’s Stars Marybeth Wehrung relayed to Bloomberg. Despite environmental challenges and supply chain issues, the global flower market will eventually pull through. When it does, however, the world’s largest producers should expect further, tighter competition.

Terisa K. Carn