Challenging the status quo: Part II
The entire international distribution chain for the floral industry (traditionally) is something like this:
The breeder develops the genetic variations shown across the world for multiple flowers.
Every grower, or flower farmer, pays the breeder a periodical royalty for each stem of their breeds that they have decided to plant.
Farmers that don’t do this are illegal farmers.
How can you tell if the flowers you are buying are legal? One way is that you know where your flowers come from. The provider you are buying from is proud to announce the name of the farm that they are sourcing their flowers from.
We buy from El Boliche Farm by Quito Inor Flowers, a member of Flowers House Group.
The farmer then grows the flowers. They assume the brunt of the risk and the cost for them.
Roses, for example, are one of the most labor-intensive agricultural crops to produce. In the Southern Hemisphere, the floral industry provides countless jobs to people who really need them.
Treasure your roses. Did you know it takes 180 days for roses grown in the Andes to be ready for harvesting?
So, the farm harvests the flowers, classifies them, and packs them to be sold across the world.
Once they have been packed, they remain hydrating in strict cold storage, with temperatures not higher than 2° Celsius. This ensures their quality and durability.
Each stem must be sold within four days of being packed or they go to waste. So, sometimes flower farms are forced to lower their prices per stem to ensure that they don’t have wasted product.
Buyers may take advantage of this situation, which has led to an overall decrease of the price per stem sold worldwide. Even though the production cost has increased during the past decade.
Not that you would notice, because no one, further down the distribution chain, will decrease their prices. Instead, they increase their margins.
We pride ourselves in always paying the farm a fair price year-round. We understand that without them we wouldn’t be in business.
Local Broker near Farm
This step actually depends on the type of farm.
Farms that don’t have a polyglot sales team, or the manpower to focus on logistics and selling, will have to depend on local brokers to place their flowers with buyers across the world.
Of course, the broker takes a cut on each stem sold.
Once sold, refrigerated trucks take the flowers from the farm to the cargo agencies at the airport.
Cargo agencies are like booking agencies. They consolidate cargo in the airport and get the spaces for different shipments in the planes. They coordinate arrivals at destinations.
Airplane company (KLM, American Airlines, United, etc.)
These are your traditional passenger airlines and their cargo divisions. They move product from point A to B. Their pricing can complicate the traditional supply chains by increasing costs way too early before a holiday.
This system often has delays because of an efficient supply chain.
They are the companies that deal with the producers or brokers directly. They also coordinate with cargo agencies.
They take the product from the importer to the regional/local wholesaler. Often doing cross-country trips and long circuits.
These players are essential as they do the local distribution to your florists and event planners. Some of them have become importers themselves cutting Miami out.
They are designers of incredible things, fancy and exclusive arrangements. They are the place to go for intricate things.
They are often small family-owned businesses with one location in your local town or city.
Bouquet delivery could be done by your local florist, by UPS, FedEx, or USPS.