Picking flowers, filling in boxes... At the Kunming International Flower Auction Exchange Center, quality inspectors classify flowers. After grading, flowers of various colors are loaded onto a trolley and sent to a designated location by an electric tractor. At this time, the real-time grade and price of the flowers are displayed on the large screen of the digital auction center. Buyers in the lobby only need to press the buttons on the table to make snap purchases.
"9.31 million branches. This is our transaction volume on August 10, setting the highest record for a single day in Yunnan flower auctions." Ni Wentao, who has been working for many days, is the deputy director of the auction department of the Flower Auction Center. Although he seems a little bit tired, he still could not restrain his inner excitement.
"Behind the rising auction data is the continuous purchasing power of consumers across the country." Ni Wentao said that since August 3 when started to prepare for Chinese Valentine's Day, the daily transaction volume of the auction center has shown an upward trend. Among them, the transaction volume on August 6 exceeded 7 million branches, and the peak was reached on August 10.
"Whether it is the delivery speed of flowers or the total volume of transactions, this year's Chinese Valentine's Day has been greatly improved compared to previous years." Kui Lihua, who has been engaged in flower quality inspection for 20 years, is the person in charge of the Quality Control Service Center of the Flower Auction Center. She told the reporters, quality control is very important for flower auctions. The staff needs to inspect the leaves, flower heads, stems, etc., and comprehensively classify the flowers. Then the quality control information is transmitted to the production end in time to guide the production of flowers and improve the quality of flowers.
Yunnan is an important fresh-cut flower-producing area in the world. Last year, the province’s flower planting area was over 126 thousand hectares, with an annual output of 14.7 billion fresh-cut flowers. Some experts said that although the epidemic and extreme weather have affected the price of flowers to a certain extent, the upstream and downstream of the domestic flower industry chain continue to improve.
Kunming Dounan Flower Market is a sea of flowers, and many consumers are buying flower products. "The Chinese Valentine's Day is coming, and I am going to buy some roses for my wife." Mr. Duan from Yuxi City is buying red roses.
"There were some COVID-19 cases in some areas in July, and summer is the off-season for flower consumption. Everyone is cautious in getting the goods, but the consumer demand is very strong recently," said He Wei, general manager of Yunnan Cinderella Flower Co., Ltd., the company usually delivers daily shipments at around 3,000 pieces, when it is close to the Chinese Valentine's Day, the daily shipment volume is over 10,000 pieces. Not only that, in order to get good-quality flowers, some customers even drove directly to the producing location to pick up flowers.
With the upgrading of domestic consumption and the expansion of market demand, the entire flower industry has also "stride fast". The upstream planting area of flowers has increased, and the expansion of production capacity has matched the market demand. The overall market is still on the rise.
"The large supply of flowers, concentrated delivery time, the short stocking period, and stable price fluctuations are the main performances of the market for Chinese Valentine's Day this year." According to Zhang Tao, Director of the Logistics Department of the Flower Auction Center, they prepared on-site materials two months in advance to ensure the supply of fresh flowers in the Chinese Valentine's Day market, and at the same time to improve the efficiency of the logistics link. Each person handles 15,000 flowers per day.
In order to ensure the quality of flowers and the timeliness of logistics, the Flower Auction Center has established an information tracking mechanism to track relevant logistics information throughout the chain, so that the time for flowers from the place of origin to the hands of customers does not exceed 48 hours.
According to industry insiders, good flowers and good prices are still the mainstream of the market. A-level and B-level high-quality goods are still the market’s first choice, and prices tend to be stable. The "quality first" principle will allow everyone to pay more attention to improving quality and enhancing product competitiveness.
The relevant person in charge of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Yunnan Province stated that Yunnan will enhance the development level of the entire flower industry chain through the creation of a world-class "green food brand" plan, and promote the quality and efficiency of the industry to meet consumers' diversified flower needs.