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The world is in a wedding flowers crises

The world is in wedding flowers crises

If you don’t live next door to a flower farm or have a beautiful garden, this is what you should know about the current commercial cut flower world situation: we are in a shortage! This is just the short version of the message yet has many consequences on the flower availability reflecting in what’s on display in your local flower shops and for events.


Why a shortage?

With the COVID restrictions easing at the same time around the globe, the world demand has increased almost simultaneously for sunny autumn events in the Northern hemisphere and spring events in the Southern hemisphere; everybody wants to celebrate and make memories! On the other side, existing flower farms have changed their crops, some went bankrupt, others have reduced production due to the low demand in 2020 as they did not prepare to full capacity for this season. After all, many things are uncertain in this time and farming costs a lot of money. A shoutout to all farmers at this point who are putting their heart and energy into bringing us one of nature’s most precious gifts from all corners of the world.


Trust your service provider

You, as a couple, can be rest assured that when you are contacting your florist or trader of choice, that they will do everything in their power to make your floral dreams come true. It is in the interest of every service-based business to please their clients, get referrals and grow the business with that; especially when you require flowers for one of your most special days in your lives.

That put aside, being a florist and flower trader is a profession and many work in that field for several years if not decades. When a couple has decided for a style and personality of a florist or even when you want to do your own flowers as a DIY bride and are contacting a trader directly, rest assured that you are paying for the expertise of your selected service provider and that they have your best interest in mind. This means also that you must trust and, within reason, let go of micromanaging and have confidence in your florist/trader. They are professionals.


Logistics of trading flowers

“We love our job, but there are good reasons why there are not many international flower trading companies in Southern Africa; trading commercial cut flowers is stressful on many levels. We are working with perishable goods, with international cargo restrictions, as there are not nearly as many cargo flights operating as in pre-COVID times. But even before COVID, offloading of cargo is something that we had to get used to. Furthermore, we must adhere to South African agricultural import requirements, which are different for every single flower we are importing. Furthermore, the clearing of cargo requires various sets of documents that need to follow certain guidelines. This means that from the time flowers are cut, graded and packed at farms to the moment cargo arrives in South Africa; usually 3-7 days can pass. This is standard, and that is excluding the time it takes to source and secure flowers.” – Elfi & Sylvia Bösinger


Flower prices

Currently, prices are extremely high, due to high demand – securing big quantities of typical wedding colour flowers is a mission and requires extremely good relationships to supplying farms and personal connections. Please note that the international shortage on flowers has influence on the local market. “There are amazing local farms that keep consistent control of their quality and that is what we appreciate. Yet, we have experienced steep price hikes for several local flowers and with the sudden high demand, the quality of flowers seem to drop as good money can be made even of low-quality products, that are put on the market. You will mainly find those products when you are late in the purchasing circle.”


The way forward

Especially as a wedding couple in this time we are now, it is more important than ever to commit to a style, theme and colour range; but not specific flowers. Your trader and florist will do their best to get you your wish list flowers, but please be reminded that we are facing a worldwide flower shortage, which will well go into early 2022. This is what we predict when taking feedback of farms from different parts of the world into consideration. It is not an easy time for people in the industry, however there are things that will make the sourcing and planning for your event easier and will give everyone involved more peace of mind.


1) Have A Contract In Place To Secure The Florists And Customers Responsibilities

This way there are no surprises on either side and florists don’t end up running after their money days before the wedding and thus can’t order flowers in time. In the current flower climate, this may result in couples even ending up with close to no flowers in their agreed colour theme (very problematic currently are all typical wedding colours in white and blush).


2) Pay Your Deposits In Time

Pay your deposits in time for your flowers, so florists can place orders early at their traders, respectively traders can secure flowers at farms – a florist should be paid 100% of their invoice up to 4 weeks before the event date.


3) Book Your Flowers On Time

We suggest booking flowers latest 2 weeks prior to the event week (we used to work with one week’s notice pre COVID). This gives enough time for traders to secure flowers, offer substitutes, where required, and florists can get back to their customers to adjust the briefs and discuss the options.


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