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Before Mother’s Day: High prices: Flowers go "luxury item" ZDF today

Aside from Valentine’s Day, no other day of the year is as important to the flower industry as Mother’s Day this Sunday. In the week before Mother’s Day, twice as many bouquets are sold as in a normal week. But in view of high inflation, people are looking even more closely at cash – flowers are likely to be expendable.

In Germany, sales of cut flowers fell by 500 million euros or about 14% to 3.1 billion euros last year, according to calculations by Agrarmarkt-Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI).

Rising energy costs and reluctance to buy had a noticeable effect. The trend continues this year. Also regarding Fairtrade flowers: The Fairtrade association reports a drop in sales of 23% for cut flowers. Flowers are currently the problem child in the Fairtrade variety, says Claudia Brück, member of the Fairtrade Council.

In view of the current problems, flowers are apparently seen by many people in Germany as a luxury product that you can do without in difficult times.

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The crisis has also been felt in recent months in the Netherlands, the main supplier of flowers to Germany. During the cold months, many flower growers reduced production because they could not afford the exorbitant energy costs.

Dutch rose growers produced a third less than last year, Michel van Schie, spokesman for Royal Flora Holland, one of the world’s biggest flower auctions, told Dutch public broadcaster NOS. This gap is partially filled by flying roses.

The flower industry in Kenya, for example, has benefited from this. For years, Kenya has been one of the most important suppliers of flowers to Germany – according to the Federal Statistical Office, it is even the second largest supplier of roses after the Netherlands.

Kenya advantage: The flowers can be grown all year round in the warm, tropical climate around Lake Naivasha, 120 kilometers north of the capital Nairobi. The flower industry is now one of the most important economic sectors in the East African country.

But the permanent crises of recent years have left their mark. Exports dropped last year from 210,000 to 195,000 tonnes from 2021, according to Kenya Flower Growers Association KFC.

As a result of the war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU has included flowers in the list of goods that cannot be exported to Russia. Flower producers in Kenya have sold most of their products to Russia through the Dutch Flower Exchanges. On the other hand, Kenya’s flower growers got through the corona pandemic surprisingly quickly after an initial shock. While many in Germany have also discovered their green thumbs during the pandemic, Kenya’s flower growers could have significantly increased their sales at times.

However, those times are long gone. Rising transport costs and rising domestic taxes have increased costs for Kenya’s flower growers. At the same time, they have to deal with price pressure in Europe. Because if flower prices continue to rise, even more customers will be left without the “luxury good” of flowers.