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Archive for April, 2011

The Floriculture Industry

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

When it comes to consumer floral transactions, they usually take place at retail florist shops, supermarkets, and garden centers. In addition, floral sales via the Internet have also increased in the past few years. However, just as the industry continues to grow, it must also confront challenges affecting how the industry conducts business on a global scale.

According to statistics, the floral industry grows at a rate of almost $2 billion dollars per year, with the per capita spending at the retail level averaging about $55 per person. Even with the economic challenges of fluctuating values in foreign currencies, the current retail estimate of the floriculture industry is said to be over $20 billion, with Central and South American countries as the top suppliers to the United States market. Exports of cut flowers to the United States are dominated by Columbia and Ecuador, who together account for approximately 77% of the total U.S. imports. These two countries supply 95% of the roses that are imported into the U.S., as well as 94% of chrysanthemums, and 99% of carnations. The reasons Columbia and Ecuador far surpass other countries include almost year-round growing seasons, and relatively low investment costs. The third-largest grower, the Netherlands, also has extended growing seasons due to its attention to production of cut flowers under glass.

One challenge facing the industry, as well as the rest of the country, is the green movement and conflicting definitions of “organic” and “green-friendly” products. The declining use of pesticides is seen as an asset to the industry; however, immigration issues are seen as a liability to the industry as it affects the labor force needed for harvest. Ultimately, for success in the industry, changes and challenges must be faced head-on in order for floral businesses to continue to prosper and grow.