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Russia: Will September 1 disappear from the floral calendar?

September 1 this year has shown that Russians started buying less flowers for teachers on the first school day. Moreover, the number of flowers in a bouquet has decreased; also customers are purchasing fewer exotic flowers. Flower sales for September 1 have been annually decreasing approximately by 10-15%, report experts of the association Greenhouses of Russia.

The association has come to this conclusion after an analysis of the market before the traditional Day of Knowledge.

Holiday mark-up
Association member and director of the greenhouse complex Podosinki, Ms. Yulia Charyshina, said the reason for this tendency lies within the decreasing purchasing power of the population, higher prices for stationary and school uniforms that also need to be purchased before the school year, as well as increasing cost of education itself.

“Presenting flowers for September 1 is losing its original purpose and is becoming a symbol of the holiday rather than an actual present for the teacher. About 3-5 years ago growth of sales in this period comprised 50-60% and now it barely reaches 30% compared to the sales of the first half of August”, mentioned Ms. Yulia Charyshina.

According to her, the prices on flowers this year are rising due to a high foreign currency rate, and growing tariffs on energy and gas, which “the customer is not always ready to pay for”. The share of costs for gas and electricity reaches 40% of the product's own costs. These are the biggest expenditures for every flower grower.

The analysts claim that the prices on flowers around September 1 have increased by 15-20% depending on the region and popularity of a certain variety. Thus, prices on exotic and tropical plants as well as long stem flowers grow faster, but those plants are sold in smaller quantities. The flowers that are in highest demand, - roses, alstroemeria, eustoma, gladioli, chrysanthemums, and lilies - become less dramatically expensive.

"State support is needed"
According to another member of the association Greenhouses of Russia, Mr. Aleksey Sotnikov, the Russian flower growing business, which is only 15 years old, requires state support. “Without certain state involvement in taxation and customs spheres, and without accessible loans, local flower growers are likely to become bankrupt”, said Mr. Aleksey Sotnikov.

The above association has valued the relevant market of the Russian Federation at 3.5 billion USD a year, with the share of imported produce reaching 85-90%.

Ms. Charyshina forecasts that should relevant support from the authorities be received, the share of locally produced flowers in the market can be increased up to 30-40% and up to even 60%.

The overall acreage of flower growing greenhouses in the Russian Federation comprises 150 ha, 90% of it being occupied with roses.


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