February, the month of love as some would call it, has started. Valentine’s day is only two weeks away! While Albert Heijn, Jumbo, and other department stores around the Netherlands have announced discounts on “love” related products, flowers are one of the products that have seen a price hike in recent years.
Royal FloraHolland, the largest flower auctioneer in the world, reported a 10 percent hike in flower prices in 2022. The total number of flowers sold in the Netherlands fell from 535 million to 517 million between 2021 and 2022. The price hike has only escalated due to the energy crisis in Europe.
Higher gas prices force many flower businesses to put their greenhouses in “cold mode” to save up on money. Because of this, not enough is domestically produced to meet the demands for the Dutch market.
This means that flowers need to be imported into the country, to meet present demands, further increasing the price of the end product. “The flowers are being imported from Kenya, Africa”, says Leendert, an employee of flower shop “Bloemen Wim” at the Grote Markt, Groningen. Leendert added that the transportation cost is one of the major factors that is responsible for the high prices of the Kenyan roses.
“With these roses, I have had a steady income so far, but these will also become around 10% more expensive this year. Let’s see if people still want to buy”, says Leendert.
Run-up to Valentine’s 2023 looks promising
The GO got in touch with Michel van Schie, the spokesperson at Royal FloraHolland to find out how the business is coping with the hike in costs. According to the information emailed to the GO, it seems that the flower auction business is focusing on finding the right balance between “supply and purchase”.
“It is and remains a joint responsibility to get all flowers to the (Valentine’s) consumer in a good and high-quality manner, from the growers, transporters, auctioneers, traders and retailers”, says Erik Wassenaar, rose auctioneer at Royal FloraHolland, in his blog post.
While businesses are coming up with their own strategies to mitigate the rising production costs, Kire, a regular at the flower shop is not bothered by the high prices. “I think it’s logical. All prices are going up, everything is expensive but that would not stop me. Romance is romance”.