Lack of Air Freight Hampers Big Flower Days Such as Valentine's and Women's Day

As is widely known, problems with logistics and prices for air freight and supplies both skyrocketed, making prospects uncertain at the least. 

By: THURSD. | 10-02-2022 | 4 min read
Roses Valentine
Lack of freight Valentines and Womens Day header on Thursd

Were you be able to get your red roses on time for Valentine's Day? Lack of air freight and expensive supplies made it a lot harder to get your hands on the varieties that you want. As is widely known, problems with logistics and prices for air freight and supplies both skyrocketed, making prospects uncertain at the least.

Will You Still Be Able to Get Your Hands on the Roses You Want? 

If you are buying a bouquet of roses for your loved one on Valentine's Day or looking for roses on other busy days, such as Women's Day, or Mothers Day, you cannot be greedy. Generally, prices double - if not triple - when important flower days are near. In 2022, don't be surprised to see prices go through the roof or flowers not being available at all. With postponed weddings during the pandemic, issues with transport like air freight or the shortage of truckers, but also the impact of fewer planting in the last two years, many factors contribute to this shortage. 


Born Free roses De Ruiter Innovations Ecuador - on Thursd

Image via @deruiterinnovations


There Are Several Good Other Options

But according to De Ruiter Innovations, an international rose breeding company supplying many rose growers worldwide, there are several good options left. You might still get your flowers. Despite all the problems, this company sees sales going up, as well as an increase in diversifying the assortment. One of the most auspicious here is the Rose Born Free because its availability stretches to both Africa AND South America. This means there will always be a great red rose available for you, despite all the logistic challenges growers, traders, and florists face these days.

Rose Born Free

Born Free is one of De Ruiter's latest winners within reds from South America. And it is part of - so called - The Red Big Five from Africa. It's a stunningly big, full-blooded red variety. Born Free is one of those roses that always performs and always becomes more beautiful as it blooms, even after a long journey. Not even sea freight is a problem for this rose. With a bud size of +5 cms and a bright red color, Born Free roses are promising.


Rose Born Free


Roses From South America

In Colombia and Ecuador, different varieties make up the lion’s share than in, say, Africa. Over the last years, in particular varieties in the X-pression line like Piacere, Pomarosa, Super Sun, Opala, Orange Crush, Nena, and Sweet Unique were popular. Recently the new variety Born Free is breaking ground.

Like their counterparts in Africa, roughly the same worries apply. A lack of expensive available air freight space is often mentioned, allegedly also caused by a lack of crew, which again might be an issue caused by covid hampering availability. Especially air space towards Europa and Asia is difficult to find, flights towards Miami and other North American destinations supposedly are more reasonably available. But also the cost of production has increased tremendously. The prices of some fertilizers have gone up (sometimes by 300%) and packing material costs nearly half as much more than they used to be. 


Born Free roses from De Ruiter at the farm in Ecuador - on Thursd

Born Free roses in production


Shortage of Supplies

"As to supplies, we in particular notice a shortage of paper," Alfredo Pallares with La Rosaleda says. "Therefore farms are struggling with box availability. Luckily in my case, this has not been a major problem since I ordered enough product in advance."

Concerning demand Pallares does not see anything too exciting. "Demand has been good, but temperatures in Ecuador have been high for at least a month so there are lots of roses too early. That may not be a good thing. It may be too early to compare, but I see an average Valentine and Women's Day in the final result."


Born Free Rose De Ruiter Innovations - on Thursd


Increased Production

"Supply will probably outweigh demand," Roger Wright from Farm Direct, a Miami-based company importing flowers from Ecuador, estimates. "2021 was a very good year for flowers and many growers increased production for 2022."

For the second half of 2022, this might be a problem. At the same time, Roger notices, supermarkets are having a hard time finding labor to work the product in their outlets. "This will affect demand as the presentation of the bouquets will not be the best."

This situation is a complex one with no simple solution since so many different aspects factor into the production and distribution of Born Free roses and all the other flowers we love so much. On the positive side, however, there is no doubt that those roses that do hit the market will cash in.



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