The orders of the cut flower sector have increased by 50% due to Mother's Day celebrated on 14 March in the United Kingdom and due to the International Women's Day on March 8th, celebrated all over the world. The Turkish growers had trouble keeping up with the sudden rise in demand.
Being the capital of tourism as well as greenhouse production, Antalya is also the foremost production city in the cut flower sector. Every year, millions of flowers are sent from Antalya to countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ukraine, and Romania, both by trucks and air cargo. Cut flower producers, who used to export flowers to Russia in previous years, continue to be the flower supplier of 27 European and Balkan countries, although they have lost their position in the Russian market since 2015.
While especially carnation and gerbera flowers were exported from Antalya, the coronavirus pandemic, which affected the whole world, also negatively affected florists. The sector, which generated 107 million USD of export revenue in 2019, closed the year 2020 with 90 million USD. The sector, which started 2021 with great goals, made a good start by earning 7 million USD with 70 million stems of exported flowers on Valentine's Day on February 14th. Exporting 60 million stems of flowers on March 8, International Women's Day, which is one of the important days for the sector in 2021, the sector earned an income of 8 million USD.
Ornamental Plants, Products and Exporters Association President Ismail Yilmaz: “A different energy came to the sector with the coinciding with the 8th of March, International Women's Day and the Mother's day in the United Kingdom. March 8 International Women's Day did not attract much attention before, now it is one of the most important days. We send products to many countries of the world. We had good momentum on Valentine's Day, February 14th, and quickly entered March 8th, International Women's Day, before prices went down. Mother's Day is celebrated in England on March 14th. We have trouble keeping up with the orders at the moment. There is a lot of intensity and shipments continue by planes and trucks. Our business has increased at least by 50%. We believe that we will be able to achieve the 125 million USD we target by the end of 2021."
In addition to the cut flower exports, domestic sales of flowers and plants also enjoyed a boost thanks to International Women’s Day. Phalaenopsis remains the most popular ornamental plant in the domestic market and its sales have skyrocketed in recent weeks. Considered as the symbol of elegance, elegance, love, and loyalty, phalaenopsis hit the road from production facilities for March 8th, International Women's Day.
The Turkish city of Yalova, located in the northwestern part of the country, in close proximity to Istanbul, remains an important area for ornamental plant production in the country. The city is also home to the biggest phalaenopsis producer in the country where the grower has 1.8 hectares of phalaenopsis greenhouse.
Speaking to the press, Tugtekin Cicekcilik company representative Hulya Geren: “The production of phalaenopsis is difficult and that one root can only be harvested once a year. You care for it all year. Production starts at the end of November, the first week of December. We string each stem of our flowers one by one when they grow. Very intensive care is applied to prevent distortion and to ensure that the plants are healthy and spotless. We begin to cut the phalaenopsis slowly like the first week of December. Although we are producing quite a lot, we can only respond to the demand in the domestic market. The activity that started with Valentine's Day and continued with Women's Day will finish at the end of May, we produce an average of 140,000 phalaenopsis annually in the greenhouse. The production is made entirely for flower auctions and the interest is high. We receive thanks for every plant we sell. These flowers are expensive and we made most of our sales on special days. In addition, special gifts are made from orchids and sent to auction. We hope that our orchids, which we produce with love, will bring happiness to women."
International Women's Day was not popularly celebrated across Turkey until recent years however, in the last 5 years, the interest in this special day has increased significantly and more people started to send flowers and plants to women in their lives to celebrate this special day.
The increased activity due to International Women’s Day was best to be observed on flower auctions across the country. The flower and plant auction halls owned and operated by the SS Flora Growers’ Cooperative, were extremely busy in the days leading up to March 8th. The cooperative has a total of 18 auction halls across the country. The busiest auction place in the weeks leading up the March 8th was located in Antalya, where 50% of Turkey’s cut flowers are produced.
Sales are mainly made for the domestic market during the auctions and that the export companies also supplied the auctions with products on special days.
50 % of the flowers were sent to the rest of the country from the Antalya auction and the domestic market price is set in these auctions where the local supply meets the local demand. If multiple buyers show interest in the auctioned flower, the price of that flower increases accordingly. If there is no interest, the price goes down.
The flower auction draws great interest in the city, where mainly carnations are sent. Flowers from different parts of Turkey are displayed for close to 100 buyers in the auction. The flowers are put on a moving belt where flower bunches are showcased and sold individually. While the flowers are priced by auction, sometimes the flower prices can vary greatly depending on the interest shown.