Kenyan rose farm Mzurrie Flowers is busy with shipping out their direct orders for Christmas, and Sales and Marketing Manager Irene Njeru was pleased with the pre-sales for this holiday. At the auction, in contrast, the Christmas mood hasn't set in yet. "The demand and prices are still low, while they should have been higher during this time", she says.
Irene Njeru at the IFTF 2018 in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands. Mzurrie grows roses on a total acreage of over 86 ha on four farms at different altitudes, ranging from 1,750 m to 2,160 m above sea level. On each farm, a percentage is sold directly and a percentage is sold through the auction.
Getting a piece of the pie
Even though Christmas is not Mzurrie's most important day, they usually get a piece of the pie. "Our pre-sales on reds and whites were satisfactory and we are currently busy with shipping them out." Besides, they are also preparing for Valentine's Day, their most important holiday together with women’s day, UK and European Mother's Day.
No Christmas mood at auction
However, at the auction, the demand for Christmas colors is still not there. "Usually during this time of the year, the demand and prices should be higher by the end of the week and should show a sign of increase by now. However, so far, the demand, and the prices, are not high yet." The reason? Irene is not sure, but assumes that the weather in Europe plays an important role. "The temperatures have been higher than usual and I think that's why the demand has been low."
The weather in Kenya is strange at the moment, Irene explains. "It is rainy, but also sunny in between." Fortunately, it is not affecting the quality of the crop. "The combination of rain and cold temperatures would be bad for the crop, but we always stay very careful."
Good hopes for V-Day
Valentine's Day is Mzurrie's most important holiday, and Irene has high hopes for this day. "Again next year, 14 February falls on a weekday, and historically speaking, sales during weekdays are higher. And the fact that it is a Thursday might be even better."