Why are flowers are expensive?

A lot of things happen in the flower industry that directly impact consumers’ budget. The logic behind the price of cut flowers include: flowers are fragile, difficult to grow, and are often imported from as far as from one continent to another.

Complains about how expensive a bouquet can be is inevitable yet understandable. This is because the price has to accommodate all expenses spent to nurture the product– inclusive of farmers’ finances to reach holiday deadlines and the pressure on florists in order to break even with the number of demands and supplies.

According to the book Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart, flowers are pricey because they are perishable, so they have to be refrigerated as they travel across continents. In a peak holiday like Mother’s Day, a florist may order 10,000 tulips in hopes of selling them. However, if they don’t sell everything, excess flowers may quickly wilt and become unprofitable; that risk is a part of what consumers are paying for.

Higher labor cost and financial risk are on the line for both farmers and florists when it comes to flowers grown for peak holidays such as Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. This is because many countries import their flowers.

According to the research of the United Nations’ international trade database known as Comtrade, in 2017, the worth of worldwide exports of cut flowers – flowers presented in bouquets, reached $8.48 billion, a 46 percent increase from 1995.

The top exporter is the Netherlands, followed by some developing countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia and Kenya. The highest number of roses and carnations imported in 2018 came from Ecuador and Columbia. Meanwhile, the orchid trade is dominated by Thailand, while Colombia is the top exporter of lilies and carnations.

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