The holiday season is over and the demand for flowers is increasing. However, the supply of roses out of Kenya and Ethiopia is lagging behind. "Due to the rainy days, volumes are lower than usual", says Jan Renting of Optimal Connection, a Dutch unpacking company that is based near the Royal FloraHolland auction in Aalsmeer. Fortunately, the weather in Ethiopia seems to be improving and in Kenya, it is expected that it will get better in about 2 weeks.
Unusual long days of rain in Kenya and Ethiopia are resulting in lower-than usual volumes at the clock. "Today, for example, we did not even have 1,000 carts to unpack and usually it is way above that." For Optimal Connection this result means less work, but for growers it often means more work as many had to deal with an increased occurrence of botrytis in their crop.
The holiday season is over and as a result, the demand for flowers is picking up. However, as the supply is still lower than usual, prices are higher than usual for this time of the year, Renting explains. And according to him, they have been higher for a couple of weeks now.
Better weather ahead
Fortunately, the weather is expected to improve. "In Ethiopia, where the days have been cold, cloudy and rainy, we already see it improving. In Kenya, where particularly the rain is the bottleneck, the weather is expected to improve in about 2 weeks."
Optimal connection unpacks flowers for, mainly Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Israeli growers, providing the bridge between these growers and the market in the Netherlands and Germany. They create direct deals between our growers and customers throughout Europe. The company is located at the heart of the Dutch flower industry in Aalsmeer, with representation at the main auctions and distribution to all 7 auctions.