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Europeans don't want to pay more for bigger roses

"There was a limited market for roses with a 5cm head size in Europe about 4 to 5 years ago. And now, the demand is increasing, but the prices are not", says Erik Bruine de Bruin of Rosalink, a large Dutch importer of African Roses. "The market is under pressure, so European consumers want 'more rose' at prices similar to those of roses they are used to; the ones with a smaller 3 to 4cm head size."

Erik Bruine de Bruin at the IFTF in the Netherlands.

Russia main reason
According to Bruine de Bruin, the decrease in flower imports of Russian companies is the main reason for the increasing availability for roses with a large head size. "About 4 to 5 years ago, we could only sell roses with a 3-4cm head size in Europe. Most of the larger head sizes went to Russia and other markets like the Middle East and Japan. But due to the decreasing demand from Russia, the roses with larger head sizes came on the European market. This resulted in an oversupply of roses and, in turn, a decrease in prices. The 4cm dropped about 10% in price and 5cm roses about 20-25%. So, the European market is now also supplied with roses with a larger head size for a lower price. As a consequence, the market knows these flowers are available for lower prices, so they expect more flower for not that much more money than the roses they are used to. Unfortunately, now it is difficult to turn it back and increase the prices of these larger roses again", says Bruine de Bruin.

Challenging for African growers
This development puts the African growers in a challenging position: they are expected to grow roses with a larger head size, at prices similar to those of roses with a smaller head size. "Growing these larger roses is more expensive as a grower can produce less stems on a m2, but the costs remain the same per m2", explains Bruine de Bruin. On top of that, the African growers have to deal with extra costs due to the increase in value of the US dollar. "Their yields are in euros, but their costs are in US dollars. And the value of the US dollar increased by 20 percent against the euro, which means a 20 percent increase in airfreight costs."

Rosalink began importing roses in 1999 and is today among the largest supplier of African roses importing well over one million stems daily from (amongst others) Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zambia.

For more information
Rosalink B.V.
Erik Bruine de Bruin
Email: [email protected]