It's Not All Rosy (Part 1): Impact of COVID-19 on the Flower Industry

*Happy Bunch’s Notes: This article is written with the aim of sharing information based on what we—Happy Bunch—know and have experienced till now. As such, it might not apply—or apply to different extents—to other businesses who are in the flower trade.

Kindly note that this article is long read. Make sure to sit comfortably, and get some snacks & drinks ready before you dive in! 🙂 We hope you find it informative and useful.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Cut Flower Trade

When the COVID-19 pandemic first started in late December last year, most of us wouldn’t have imagined that it would escalate to the massive scale it is today. It has greatly impacted the safety, well-being & livelihood of so many people, businesses and industries across the world—flower industry included.

While not making the front-line news as much, the flower industry has taken a major blow from the outbreak. Flowers are perishables, and sadly, unlike vegetables, are not considered an essential item in life. As a result, the industry is more vulnerable to demand fluctuations, and has been in a very tight position since the outbreak intensified. When borders shut and panic arises, it is no surprise that buying flowers doesn’t make it on the shopping list for most people.

It pained our hearts every time we saw photos and videos of mass destruction of fresh flowers around the world – from grown flowers being mass-destroyed at flower farms to cut flowers being disposed of in piles by flower auction markets and florists. The sad news came from as close to home as Cameron Highlands, to further places like the Netherlands, Kenya and the US. In some cities, florists also gave out free flowers that were meant for events (that are now cancelled), and flowers that they weren’t able to sell before the lockdown orders were introduced.

In Cameron Highlands, Malaysia, March 2020:


In Naaldwijk, the Netherlands, March 2020:


In a Maridadi flower farm in Naivasha, Kenya, March 2020:

Post by Farmgirl Flowers, March 2020:

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by farmgirlflowers (@farmgirlflowers) on

Post by Happy Bunch Malaysia, March 2020:

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Happy Bunch (@happybunchmy) on

Financial and non-financial impacts are enormous. While we haven’t managed to consolidate all the data yet, below are the numbers we’ve managed to gather so far:

*As more information is made available, we will continue to update this list.

Click here to continue reading Part 2: The Impact of COVID-19 on Happy Bunch & How You Make It Better.

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