CHANGES IN THE FLORISTRY INDUSTRY
Like many industries around the world, floristry has taken a large financial hit over the past couple of years. In this blog post we would like to outline some of the struggles our industry has faced, so that our customers can be well informed and understand how this may impact the products bought from us.
There are so many factors as to why flower prices have dramatically increased over the past couple of years, the Coronavirus pandemic being the most obvious. The 1.6 billion dollar Australian flower industry was first hit by the restrictions imposed by the governments lockdowns and capacity regulations. Many florists lost thousands of dollar’s worth of stock and clientele with weddings and events being cancelled at short notice. Some of this impact was absorbed by the 40- 50 percent demand increase for Australian cut flowers commercially, and businesses pivoting to online sales.
However, this caused a huge surge in demand with a very limited supply chain. Although most florists try to buy local wherever possible, the flower industry would not survive without imported flowers. To rely solely on locally grown flowers would be impossible due to Australia’s climate. Due to the decrease in travel, flights, and freight caused by the pandemic, prices of flowers have skyrocketed. This puts pressure on local growers to meet huge demands, and their prices increased. Although the world is starting to open back up, the prices of flowers have not bounced back to pre- covid times, and the fuel crisis is now putting additional pressure on supply chains. Moreover, the Industries staff are now affected by COVID due to quarantine restrictions, meaning that there are less people to transport and pick flowers.
COVID aside, the global flower shortage has become a significant issue facing the industry. Increasing natural disasters such as floods, bushfires and storms have destroyed crops the world over, creating less flowers for imports and local growers. An example of this in Adelaide, is ST flowers in Lobethal recently had an entire poppy crop wiped out due to a hail storm or the fire at Gooseberry Hill Farm.
So, what does this mean for you as an EEFM customer? Well here at EEFM we have certainty seen the effects of these factors firsthand. We have tried our best to absorb the increasing costs and keep our pricing structures as reasonable as possible. However, our bunches may seem smaller than they were in previous times. When EEFM first opened 6 years ago, the much-loved king protea cost 2 dollars wholesale. They now cost 16.50 wholesale. This presents a huge challenge for us to still provide the same quality and quantity of flowers that our customers know us for. Despite our best efforts, you may notice the size of our bunches are not the same as they used to be 6 years ago, and this is reflective of the industries challenges.
With EEFM now opening an events division (HOW EXCITING!), these challenges are important for our clients to understand when picking their wedding flowers. With full transparency, our client’s vision may cost significantly more than it would have a few years ago due to the industries challenges. Furthermore, the varieties of flowers typically used in weddings, (such as roses) rely heavily on imports and are hard to acquire due to demand issues. Suppliers are also finding it hard to guarantee specific flowers at specific times. Because of this, EEFM has decided to focus less on specific varieties and more on what we are known for, our colour tones. Working in colour tones allows us to pick the best flowers that are in season and to also be mindful of the client’s budget.
The Floristry industry is also moving towards more sustainable practices. The methods florists employ to keep their industry as sustainable as possible can also drive up the price per stem. At EEFM we try to work with local growers who do not use pesticides, while this can create an imperfect and organic look, we believe that doing what we can to help the environment in the industry is extremely important. We are currently in the process of trailing different methods to move away from the floral foam that we use presently. We have already changed to bio foam, and our next step will be to reduce the amount we use altogether.
In conclusion, the industry is changing; and we believe it is important for our customers to be aware of this with full transparency from us. At EEFM we have an amazing team that will always consider quality, value and design no matter the hardships we face. Yet again, thank you for supporting us!