China: Tens of millions of flowers for Spring Festival are unsold in Foshan due to the epidemic

The reporter visited the Orchid Street of Guabu Village, Nanhai District, and found that this year's phalaenopsis blooms very beautifully. Not only are the colors colorful and the buds are full of branches, but the price is more favorable than in previous years. The cost and performance ratio is super high.

Well-growth and low price, "Hometown of Phalaenopsis" deserves its reputation
The phalaenopsis in Pingsheng is rich in varieties and high in quality. It has long been well-known throughout China and is known as the "Hometown of Phalaenopsis" in Guangdong Province. It is reported that Pingsheng planting phalaenopsis began in 2000. There are currently about 30 phalaenopsis farms with a planting area of around 10 hectares and an annual output of over 1.5 million phalaenopsis, which are mainly sold to Southeast Asia, the Pearl River Delta, and other places.

The reporter came to Orchid Street. A few hundred meters of the road are lined with phalaenopsis gardens. In one of the gardens, named Akai Orchid Garden, the whole greenhouse is full of spring. There is countless phalaenopsis in the garden, and its petals are like the wings of a butterfly dancing. The sword-like leaves at the bottom of the flowering plant are bright green and bright, which sets off the delicate beauty of the flowers when they bloom.

"This year due to various reasons such as suitable weather and temperature, the quality of phalaenopsis can generally reach A-level, with more than 8 buds, thick stems, and beautiful shapes. After purchase, it will not be a problem to last  for half a year." The owner of the garden, Mrs. Pan Liankai, pointed to a phalaenopsis in the greenhouse and explained. A beautiful phalaenopsis has condensed the grower’s two years of effort. Originally, she was looking forward to earning a good price from this kind of amazing batch of phalaenopsis this year, but now she only wants to cover the cost and sell it all successfully. The price has been reduced a lot.

Millions of flowers are unsalable under the epidemic
In the Akai Orchid Garden, there were only a small number of employees in the assembling and packaging pots, and most of the phalaenopsis were still placed "still" on the planting racks. “Our Garden has planted about 120,000 phalaenopsis this year. This time in the past years was exactly when the orchid market was the most prosperous, and the output volume had reached more than 80%, but this year was affected by factors such as epidemic prevention and control and blocked exports. Most orchid gardens have less than 10% output volume, and some have almost never sold.” Mrs. Pan said that this is a very bad signal, which means that there will be a large number of unsalable orchids at the end, and this will make flower farmers lose all the investment "Like us, the experienced orchid owners who have planted phalaenopsis for more than ten years can barely survive. But some of the newly opened orchid farms still owe large loans to the bank. Their situation is very difficult." She told the reporter. They are hoping that if any groups, units, and individuals are interested can go directly to the Street to buy phalaenopsis.

At another phalaenopsis garden, named Sanying Gardening Farm, the boss and employees are also worried. "We invested nearly 3 million to plant 150,000 phalaenopsis this year. Not only cannot these plants be sold at a good price, but nearly 90% of the flowers were unsold. If it is a positive estimation that even if we can sell 50%, we will lose millions." Mr. Deng Shiwei, the owner of the Farm, pointed to the water curtains, air conditioners, blowers, and other equipment in the corners of the garden and told the reporter that the phalaenopsis is very "delicate". The planting process requires 24 hours of manual care. The temperature of the greenhouse must be controlled at 25℃~28℃ during the day and at 18°C ​​to 20°C during the night. Only considering that these heat preservation and moisturizing equipment have been in operation for two years, it has been a huge expenditure. Everyone is looking forward to selling them for the basic costs at the end of the year. Facing the dilemma of slow sales, he hopes that people can help these growers.

Expect more people to purchase phalaenopsis
"We have come to Orchid Street to directly buy phalaenopsis for 3 or 4 years because the varieties here are rich and concentrated. Many varieties or shapes are rare in the market, and the price is similar to other places, or even cheaper. So it’s a wise choice to come and directly buy here.” Miss Lin who came to buy flowers from another city said that when she heard about the situation of these orchard owners, she also asked her friends to come to the store to buy flowers.

"Due to the impact of epidemic prevention and control, the official flower markets in various places have been closed. We hope that citizens who like phalaenopsis can come directly to Orchid Street to buy flowers on the spot, and we will sell them at the most favorable wholesale prices." Mrs. Pan said. The most popular flowers are red and purple. The Treasure Map, Big Chili, and other phalaenopsis varieties are hot-selling varieties, with favorable prices and high quality.

"The weather is very cold during this period, and the flower market is even ‘colder’!" On the morning of January 12, in the Phalaenopsis Greenhouse of Xingying Orchid, Nanhai Flower Expo Garden, Mr. Li Wenxing sighed while looking at the large scale of unsold orchids.

Mr. Li is the representative of more than 300 professional orchid growers in Lishui Town. This period of past years was his busiest time, but this year he is idle and worried. Recently, affected by the epidemic, various places have successively announced the cancellation of flower markets. This will be the most difficult for the majority of growers who are growing Spring Festival flowers.

The local agricultural land covers more than 5,000 hectares, of which 2,000 hectares are planted with flowers, accounting for more than 50% of the entire Nanhai District. As the largest phalaenopsis production and sales base in South China, there are currently tens of millions of phalaenopsis waiting for a sale. Under the influence of the epidemic, how exactly can the local floral growers survive?

The blooming flowers are waiting for the customers
At this time last year, there were vehicles parked on both sides of Orchid Street every day, and the front doors of each flower field were also full of beautiful potted phalaenopsis. Customers from all over the flower field were in an endless stream. The cars were fully loaded, and orders would continue to each flower field.

This year, affected by the epidemic, the orchid sales of growers have been greatly affected. In these planting greenhouses, there were 30 or 40 varieties of orchids, brightly colored, delicate, and lovely.

The owner Mr. Li hopelessly said that orders for the same period in previous years could reach 50% of the volume, but now, whether it is the flower growing field or the orchid store he opened in Guangzhou, the output volume and orders are less than 10%, and there are still 120,000 plants unsold.

And in the Jiujiulanye greenhouse of Wanqing Gardening World in the northern part of Lishui Town, Nanhai District, five or six workers were putting orchids in the pots. There are about 350,000 flowers for the Spring Festival sale here, waiting for customers to place orders. As the most representative grower in Wanqing Gardening World on Orchid Street, Mrs. Zhang Yuehua, the head of the flower farm, believes that even if no one is here to buy it, growers must do it well, hoping for a better way out.

In addition to phalaenopsis, there are also well-known perfume lilies. In the lily planting greenhouse of Mr. Li, a farmer in the Lishui Lily Flower Cooperative, the annual supply of flowers reached 300,000 this year. A large scale of ​​lilies in different blooming periods grows just perfectly and stems stand straight, and a batch of budding perfume lilies have passed the harvesting period for more than 10 days, but they are still planted in the field.

Mr. Li told that this period in previous years was the peak sales season, and there would be a lot of customers looking at flowers, and orders continued. However, due to the severe decline in export sales, many domestic brokers have lost money at the beginning of last year due to the impact of the epidemic. So now these customers are not positive to place orders. In addition, the cancellation of the flower market has an even greater impact.

Flower sales are blocked, flower farmers are still trying
The efforts of flower farmers are devoted to every flower. They have worked hard for a year, and what they hope is that flowers during the sales season can sell for a good price. As consumers demand higher and higher flower quality, and the costs of labor, logistics, and bulbs continue to rise, the profits of phalaenopsis and lilies are becoming less and less. Many growers of a certain scale invest millions of RMB every year, which indicates the flowers have to be sold at more than 80% to 90% to return to the cost. Mr. Huang Xifeng, the head of Huazhimei Orchid Company, said that he invested 6 million RMB this year, and the 180,000 phalaenopsis supplied by the end of the year have sold less than 10,000. As a grower mainly engaged in export and wholesale, the market will be passive once it is affected. "There is no way."

Affected by the epidemic at the beginning of this year, Mr. Huang has similar ideas to many growers. After realizing that professional channels are blocked, he can only directly face the end consumers. At the beginning of this year, he began to try to sell flowers through e-commerce. "We are groping to do e-commerce sales, but we don't have enough experience. On average, we can only sell one or two hundred plants per day, which is way too far from enough."

The reporter visited a number of local growers and found that in the face of unfavorable effects such as blocked exports and cancellation of flower markets, growers basically have limited spontaneous measures. They hope that the epidemic will stabilize and reduce the affected area, or look forward to more support and help from the government and the media to encourage more customers to buy Spring Festival flowers at the flower market.

"We have never encountered an overstocking situation like this year. We have been trying to find a way recently." Mr. Zhao Haiping, executive vice president of Nanhai Flower Expo, said that there are more than 100 phalaenopsis merchants in the Expo, and there are more than 100 varieties. Nearly 5 million phalaenopsis will enter the market soon. The Park is currently negotiating with an online store on Tmall, hoping to use a professional sales platform to help growers in the park to survive this difficult time. The relevant person in charge of sales also stated that after communicating with more than 100 growers, they are currently preparing for sales promotion, and planning to attract customers through the issuance of coupons and strengthening of marketing and promotion.

The government helps flower farmers build a platform to help sell flowers
As the largest phalaenopsis production and sales base in South China, Lishui Town has a planting area of ​​more than 100 hectares. It is mainly concentrated in the two modern agricultural parks of Wanqing Horticulture World and Nanhai Flower Expo. There are more than 300 companies engaged in the production of phalaenopsis. Over 40 million phalaenopsis are annually sold, with an annual output value of over 500 million RMB, accounting for a quarter of Lishui's agricultural output value. In this light, one in every four phalaenopsis in China is produced here.

In fact, in addition to professional flower planting parks, there are many growers in many villages in Lishui who supply annual flowers for the Spring Festival season. The reporter learned that those farmers mainly plant gladiolus, roses, lilies, chrysanthemums, scindapsus, and other varieties. Many farmers have been hit hard last year, thinking that the market situation will return to normal this year, so they took risk of taking loans to grow flowers, but now many large flower markets have been canceled, resulting in slow sales of flowers and funds cannot be returned, and land rent cannot be paid.

In the past few days, the Lishui government took action quickly. Lishui Town specially organized some flower farmers in Nanhai Flower Expo Garden and Wanqing Horticulture World to carry out e-commerce training on Spring Festival’s E-commerce and linked the resources of the digital platform for ensuring the supply of agricultural products in Guangdong, in order to encourage these flower farmers to enter the platform for free and begin the flower sales for Spring Festival.

At the training site, professional instructors taught growers to use their mobile phones to register and operate their stores on the platform. Growers can upload flower product information to the Internet, and consumers can purchase flowers for Spring Festival by placing an order directly on the platform. It is reported that Lishui flowers for Spring Festival will be launched on the platform in the next few days. The growers who participated in the training indicated that the training was just right on time and hoped that there would be more channels to sell the Spring Festival flowers.

In addition to expanding sales channels through e-commerce, Lishui Town also plans to further promote Spring Festival flowers and integrate more resources to help flower farmers. At the meeting with the two parks, Mr. Mai Manliang, Mayor of Lishui Town, and other relevant persons in charge of various functional departments listened to the introduction from representatives of various parks and flower growers of the current production and planting situation of the enterprises and the difficulties faced. A solution was proposed to solve the current dilemma of these flower growers. The first is to broaden the sales channels of the Spring Festival flowers and strengthen online publicity through the combination of “online + offline” mode. Online promotion and sales will be carried out through various online channels such as the "Lianshui Town Spring Festival Flower Map" and the "Yimutian" Spring Festival Flower online sales platform, and for example, connecting to local villages and different communities to conduct promotions and sales activities can be done offline; the second is to break the difficulties up into several parts, and make full use of the local advantageous resources, such as villages (communities), small-scale flower markets to open up the intermediate sales link and promote the wholesale and retail of Spring Festival flowers; the third is to study the distribution of vouchers for consumers to further stimulate the public to purchase these Spring Festival flowers and help local growers to overcome the current obstacles.


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