No blooms to brighten your day
27 March 2020 | Business
Valentine’s Day may have passed more than a month ago, but Mother’s Day is still approaching. And at this stage it looks like moms around the globe won’t be spoiled with beautiful blooms due to the coronavirus wreaking havoc on every industry.
A quick call to various florists in the capital and at the coast confirmed this.
“Blumen Margot will be closed during lockdown, so we will not be doing any flower deliveries either,” an employee, Frances Orange, confirmed.
Manager of Flowered Earth in the capital Ben Veico, echoed these sentiments, saying that they will not be receiving flowers from their supplier in South Africa, since the company there will also be in lockdown.
The only florist that said she would likely be able to remain open for a few more days, is Lisa Nomberg of Flower Love, while Blumenkorb in Swakopmund said they are not sure if they will be open as they are not sure whether they should be open or closed.
Blossoms Florist in Swakopmund already closed down yesterday with owner Anri Jacobs saying that they won’t be open during the lockdown.
The coronavirus is wreaking havoc in the flower industry, with nurseries across the globe having to get rid of their blooms.
According to a Reuters report from Kenya, roses from the majestic Rift Valley farms are flown to customers all over the world. But with almost 220 000 cases of coronavirus globally, and more than 21 000 deaths, borders and businesses are shut and few people are thinking about flowers.
In the meantime, the roses are going to the rubbish heap. “There is no demand,” Inder Nain of a farm in the valley said. “If this continues for another month, we are looking at a complete shutdown.”
Flower exports are one of the top three foreign exchange earners for Kenya, generating U$1 billion in sales in 2019.
In the Netherlands, spring is usually the busiest time of year at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. Now most of these flowers are being composted.
The coronavirus has grounded deliveries and shipments and the Dutch government has banned public gatherings of any size until June.
Michel van Schie, spokesman of Royal FloraHolland (the country's largest cooperative of growers which sells some 12 billion plants and flowers each year) told news agency NPR that each day, it only gets worse.
The Netherlands accounts for nearly half of the world trade in floriculture products and 77% of flower bulbs sold globally. Dutch exports overall are valued at U$6.7 billion and the sector accounts for about 5% of the country's gross domestic products. Since last month revenue has dropped by 85%.
Van Schie: “You can't order [flowers] to stop growing," he said. “And it's not possible to keep them in storage when they're not sold. So they are lost.”