The world of flower industry is slowly withering away as Coronavirus takes hold of Europe

With the COVID-19, which has so far infected more than 182,400 people and killed over 8,100 worldwide, according to WHO, rapidly spreading across the globe like wildfire and flower industry is feeling the impact of supply chain disruptions.

NETHERLANDS– The coronavirus is forcing Dutch flower growers to compost millions of blooms at what should be the pre-Mothers’ Day demand peak, their industry association said, warning that many members could go bankrupt within weeks.

“The market situation is dramatic,” Steven van Schilfgaarde, director of Royal FloraHolland, said in a statement, adding that flower prices have nearly halved.

“Last Friday 20% of the supply had to be destroyed because there were no buyers. Forecasts for the next weeks are even worse,” he said.

This period is usually peak season for flower sales because of Mother’s Day celebrations in the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 22.

FloraHolland usually auctions 30 million plants and flowers a day, worth some 8.8 million euros (7.97 million pounds).

The Dutch floricultural industry employs 150,000 people, and around 35% of global flower and plant exports, worth 6.2 billion euros a year, pass through the Netherlands.

KENYA-Flower farmworkers have been sent home while many others are staring at job losses as effects of coronavirus hit Kenya.

Flowers heading to the dumpster

With flight cancellations and the collapse of the Dutch auction, farmers opt to dispose of flowers worth millions of shillings and close down various departments.

According to the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), the sector’s most affected staff are those on contracts. It estimates the sector’s to be at Sh10 million per day.

In Naivasha which is home to over 60 farms, workers embarked on the painful process of dumping ready flowers meant for export as others headed home with their fate unknown.

Kenya is arguably the world’s flower garden and annually exports tonnes of freshly cut flowers to all corners of the world, more so to Europe. More than 500,000 people in the country depend on the trade according to the Kenya Flower Council, with roughly half of the country’s 127 flower farms concentrated around Lake Naivasha, around 90 kilometres northwest of Nairobi.

ECUADOR-Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the demand for flowers down by almost 60 percent. Yesterday, Royal FloraHolland already announced that 50 percent of the flowers had to be thrown away. And as 35% of global export goes via the Netherlands, growers worldwide are affected.”There is no demand from the Netherlands, Italy, China, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and almost all Central European countries right now”, says Alejandro Martinez, CEO of this association. They expect the situation to stay this way for several weeks. “Fortunately, there is still demand from the United States, Canada, and some other European countries.”

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With Europe now becoming the epicenter of COVID-19 after reporting more cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China which has led to lock-down and flight cancellations, World flowers have been left to wither and die as farmers watch and thousands of patients infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe and admitted in solitary wards in hospitals will soon have nothing to cheer them up as the world’s flower garden slowly withers away.

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