Why are flower prices so unpredictable right now?

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Why are flower prices so unpredictable right now?

Why are flower prices so unstable right now?

Flower prices are starting to return to normal. Growers have increased production, and the weather has been better since last year's “El Nino” phenomenon. What is affecting flower prices right now are mainly freight, staffing and packing materials.

We all know flowers ship mainly by air. There are dedicated charter flights from Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia and Europe to name a few. Here is where some of the issues lay. Due to covid, flight crews, ground crews and supporting crews are experiencing shortage of staff. When covid strikes it’s a global issue. We have seen the news about 1,000s of passenger flights cancelled over the past year, our flower flights are no different.

Also if you watch the news you’ll see 100’s of cargo ships off the coasts of our ports waiting to get in and 10,000’s of containers waiting on trucks to deliver them. Shortages are all around in every aspect of business. While flowers don’t typically ship by sea container, let me tell you how it affects flowers. There is a global demand to overcome these challenges by every industry, not just ours. We are now competing with textiles, seafood, consumer product goods and pharmaceuticals just to name a few. Everyone is bidding to get access to these airplanes. We are faced with industries that are outbidding price wise the space on these flights and stealing our place on these flights.

To meet the demand of flowers needing to fly to Miami, cargo agents are chartering extra flights and paying what it takes to get the plane. We don’t know if our flowers will fly on a flight at $1.60/kilo or a flight at $2.85/kilo. It makes a huge difference often making or losing money on a product you have quoted a customer. The solution? Quote high and this is one of several reasons you are seeing higher prices from everyone.

Other reasons are increased fuel, inflation, having to pay higher wages to get people to work, shortages of cardboard, packing supplies and all the other things you’ve heard on the news. We are in this globally. Sometimes we feel like a small mom and pop or a regional small business but what happens globally is hitting us all hard at home.

We anticipate many of these things improving greatly this year and look forward to 2022 and meeting all the demands from consumers for flowers. While its challenging, this is a good time for the floral industry. Sales have never been higher and profits if you are careful can be great.

Now is the time to know your supplier, improve your relationships, watch your expenses and charge your customer what the market is dictating. Yes the prices are high, but consumers have money to spend and the floral industry has products that brighten peoples day.

Happy 2022 - Together we can sell more floral.

Manatee Fresh

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  • Robert Mclaughlin