Academy of Flowers

Supply Chain Problems

The Rose remains one of the most popular flower varieties due to its elegance, style and often fragrance. Its romantic associations make it a favoured choice for a bouquet: whether a gift or a bridal design. Often seen as quintessentially English, the rose is almost everyone's “go to” flower, evoking romantic memories of special occasions, and a promise of those to come!

So when they are difficult to obtain, what do you do? Why are they currently so expensive in comparison to previous years, and why are they in short supply?

We will try to illustrate some of the factors affecting the supply of this beautiful flower that we have come to rely upon so heavily.

Factors affecting supply

  • Weather - Countries such as Ecuador (the biggest producer of roses worldwide) and Colombia (the second biggest producer) are experiencing unusual and unseasonal weather conditions affecting their production timetable.
  • Lack of Labour - Every stage of production is affected by labour shortages: at farm level through to transportation until the Rose reaches its end user.
  • Lack of supplies - There are shortages and lack of supplies at every part of the supply chain including plastics and cardboard for packaging, fertiliser, Mother plants, steel to build greenhouses, compost and so on.
  • Farms are being sold - Creating less product available to source for wholesalers.
  • Expensive transport - Container shipping (some container costs have trebled in the last year!) and road hauliers are experiencing a lack of HGV drivers, meaning less lorries on the road.
  • No excess stock held - Due to an increase in demand during lockdown, excess stock has been used and productivity is unable to replace diminished stock due to the factors previously mentioned.

So, what next?

Moving forward, it is important to plan ahead and put a reliable back up plan in place. Below, we have some suggestions to help you to handle the changes.

  • Choose colour palette over variety. It is important to give yourself as much freedom or variation as possible if you are planning for an event for your clients. If the client is specific, it would be a good idea to share multiple varieties that would suit the event.
  • Be transparent with your clients, use your artistic skills and imagination to create a wow factor design employing the wealth of alternative varieties available to you.
  • The calibre of a business becomes apparent by how they handle “hic-cups."
  • Pre-order in advance or as early as possible if you require specific varieties for the design.
  • Don't base your costs on historical information 
  • Communicate with your suppliers
  • Communicate with your customers. Explain the current situation and work with them on achieving a mutually acceptable alternative. They will appreciate your honesty in working to create the best possible design for their special event

It may be months or even years before our industry resembles the normality we have enjoyed in the past, so by taking these steps now, we can be better prepared for those big event days that are fast approaching. 

Let's continue to sell smiles, regardless of the blooms we work with “Let the beauty we love, be what we do”

Sign up to Newsletter

Sign up to our mailing list to get updates from our experts. We promise we will not pass your details on to anyone else.

Leave a Comment