Christine Boldt, Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF):

US: Supermarkets back in the market for flowers

A couple of weeks ago, a few US supermarkets stopped ordering flowers due to them needing to use their labor and resources to restock items that the US consumers needed in response to the COVID-19 concern, but fortunately, they started to buy again, Christine Boldt, executive vice president of the Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF) tells us. "It is a huge opportunity for the floral industry because supermarkets will never close. On top of that, in a period where many people are at home and when health benefits are hot topics there is no better time to be surrounded by flowers or to give someone flowers to brighten their day."

Flowers still coming inChristine Boldt
In Miami, flowers are still coming in and will continue to come in, explains Boldt. "The numbers aren't as high as usual, because the demand is lower, but there are still products coming in." The majority of the flowers are supplied by Colombia and Ecuador and even though these countries declared a state of emergency and started a nationwide quarantine with travel restrictions, flower growers are still allowed to work at the farms and move their products to the airport." 

In turn, AFIF members are doing their utmost best to continuously have flowers available and in stock to supply all channels who demand them. "Fortunately, inspections at the airport are still ongoing and as far as we know, they will continue and we can continue bringing in the product."

Online opportunities
Not only at supermarkets one can pick up flowers, they are also still being delivered online, Boldt explains. "Many wholesalers and florists decided to temporarily close their shops, but, particularly retail florists, continue supplying online. Online services never stop, Fedex and UPS for example, are still delivering. Online ordering is an opportunity and it is not going away either."

No better time for flowers
"In these challenging times where many people are advised to stay home, flowers can add more value to life than ever. Besides bringing color in people's homes, they also bring health benefits, like relieving stress. Actually, people should - and I think they will - realize that there is no better time for flowers", says Boldt. 


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