Global flower industry suffers $1.5b loss, but Australian industry may bloom as a result

Countries around the world are suffering as pandemic restrictions affect the trade of flowers, causing leading export countries like Kenya to lose millions of dollars while tonnes of flowers wilt and rot.

But the drop in international flower trade may offer a windfall for Australian farmers.

Almost half of the flowers sold in Australia are brought in from Kenya, Ecuador, Colombia, Vietnam, Malaysia and China.

According to Flowers Victoria chairman Michael van der Zwet, Australia imports $75 million worth of flowers each year.

He said imports had "squashed a lot of local growers in Australia", forcing many to leave the industry.

But COVID-19 restrictions — and the halt of passenger jets carrying floral produce — had seen "a scarcity of [overseas] flowers" down under, he said.

Read more at ABC Rural (Samantha Dawes and Jessica Schremmer)

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