The first weeks of March 2017: Holiday preparations in full swing

Valentine's Day is over and the flower industry is preparing for the next important holidays, like Mother's Day and Women's Day. But more holidays where flowers play an important role are celebrated in March 2017, like St. Patrick's Day in Ireland and the USA and Ohigan in Japan. Next to preparing and celebrating holidays, more happened the first half of this month, see below for an overview.


German wholesaler pioneers sustainable packaging

Schnauze voll! Plastic-free herbs

Storytelling, being environmentally friendly and growing your own product. These are all hot topics and German plant wholesaler Gebrüder Cox highlights them in a single concept called "Schnauze voll!". This plastic-free herb concept was introduced at the Hortivation in June 2016 and won several innovation awards afterwards. Only three weeks ago, they put it on the German market commercially and Cox's Marketing and Sales Manager Tobias Beermann is pleased with the demand.






Danish potted rose grower Michael Larsen of Elvira Rose

Women's Day: "Lower sales due to last minute orders"

"We sold about 20 percent less potted roses to Russia this Women's Day", says Michael Larsen of Elvira Rose, a Danish grower of poinsettias and potted roses. According to him, the Russians did not pre-order that much this year, making Elvira Rose decide to offer more this Valentine's Day. 


Women's Day:

Russians flock to the flower markets

It is International Women's Day, a very important holiday in Russia, where women are usually praised with lots of flowers. Millions of Russians rushed to markets and shops to get fresh flowers. "The flower markets are very crowded and people were even queuing up at the doors of the markets as early as an hour before it opened", reported rt.com this morning. 


James O'Leary of Living Shamrock on St. Patrick's Day:

Ireland: 'Better shamrock production due to mild winter'

St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is approaching, which means busy times for shamrock growers in Ireland. The shamrock is the most common symbol of St. Patrick's Day and is often being worn, used as a gift or promotional item, sold for charities and so on. The demand for this symbol is high, and shamrock growers like James O'Leary of Living Shamrock are working overtime these weeks. He sells and markets shamrocks just for this one day of the year. At the moment, all shamrocks (120,000 items) have been sold and O'Leary and his colleagues are busy harvesting, packing and shipping out the crop. 



Nobuya Kaishita, Flowering Japan Council

Japan: Valentine's Day replacing Buddhist traditions?

Ohigan is around the corner. It is an important flower event in Japan and will be celebrated around March 20, 2017. In total, there are six main flower events and more than half of them, like Ohigan, are traditional Buddhism festivals, which are celebrated with typical bouquets. However, the demand for these bouquets are expected to reduce gradually as only 34% of the population (mainly the older generation) believes in Buddhism nowadays. This is explained by Nobuya Kaishita, former senior director of Japan Floral Marketing Association (JFMA), Adviser of Flowering Japan Council (FJC), and vice-chairman of Chrysal Japan. 



Paul Wekesa, Panocal:

Late UK Mother's Day results in good rose prices

The dates of Women's Day and UK Mother's Day were a bit more spread out in 2017, which seems advantageous for rose growers. "In contrast to 2016, UK Mother's Day was in 2017 being celebrated at the end of March instead of at the beginning. We have had more days in between the two holidays, which helped to maintain high prices", said Paul Wekesa, director of Panocal, a Kenyan rose farm that mainly supplies to the Dutch auction. According to his estimation, the auction prices were about 15 percent higher in 2017 compared to 2016.


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