The Flower Industry in Early 2020
At the beginning of 2020, we were full of hope for the flower industry. It looked like a very promising and special year for the wedding industry, 2020 was the year! Growers expected to grow this year and the export companies were ready to develop new webshops, e-commerce channels, and a lot more.
Friday the 13th
I am not superstitious at all, but Friday the 13th of March 2020, the chaos of the Coronavirus started to hit the flower industry. There was an almost complete shut-down of the auction, and many, many flowers and plants had to be destroyed, because of the lack of demand. We can all remember the pictures and videos of flowers being destroyed. Maybe this one was the most mind-blowing and is still remembered by a lot of people very vividly.
After two weeks the flower industry showed its flexibility, and numerous initiatives started to push the flower sales up.
There were a few remarkable things happening.
As a breeder of Statice, it was good to see that growers and traders saw the benefit of drying Statice. In that way, the Statice flowers did not have to be destroyed. A circular flower industry began to develop. In many different areas at the same time.
Many flower shops went online and started selling flowers in online webshops.
Life Went On
Besides that more people stayed at home, and perhaps, because of that, bought more flowers, I am convinced that the numerous initiatives are the main reason why flowers sold pretty good during the COVID time. Also, the supermarkets did their part as well. Most supermarkets were allowed to stay open in most countries and had the possibility to sell flowers as well.
Local for Local
Also, the local initiatives were developing really quickly. Not only in Holland but in all countries there were growers who initiated local programs. The local for local movement began to develop. Below you see an example of such an initiative in Italy: Stivale Verde
, a webshop from Italian growers for Italian florists.
The main feeling on the Dutch flower market around Friday the 13th of March was one of hopelessness. The images of destroyed flowers are still in our minds. But now, the growers and traders do seem to be more optimistic!
So, is the flower industry-changing after all this? Are we going to be more sustainable and circular? Are we going to sell more through e-commerce channels? Is the local for locals getting a boost? I hope we will find out in a ‘quiet’ 2021!
All the best,
Wouter Jongkind - Royal Van Zanten.