Where have all the flowers gone?

The photographs of trashed flowers still haunt florists. In 2020, when much of the world went into lockdown because of the pandemic, many flower farms’ crops were discarded. Since no one knew what was going to happen, new crops were not planted as usual. Now, because of pandemic-related supply chain challenges, labor shortages, and poor weather conditions in major growing areas, there is a global shortage of fresh flowers, especially the kinds that are grown for events like weddings.

“It was never a problem before, but now everything is a problem,” said Bob Conti, a partner at Ed Libby Events, a floral design company in Hackensack, N.J. “We’ll find out there are no white flowers, or the specialty rose is just not available. There is no way to get it. People can’t get containers, floral tape, supplies or even colored candles. No one can promise things. It’s been crazy. Just nuts.”

Mr. Conti has worked in the floral industry, with a focus on events, for 30 years, and said he has never seen such a scarcity of materials. Many florists across the country said they were seeing the same thing.

“Floral growers lost so much with all the wasted or unsold product from the worldwide shutdown in 2020, and were apprehensive on how much to plan for 2021 and beyond,” said Rishi Patel, the chief executive and chief creative officer at HMR Designs, an events producer in Chicago. Mr. Patel said that, in the past, if a product wasn’t available, it was typically because of a natural disaster in an isolated area. His team could usually find what they needed elsewhere, just at a higher cost. But that’s not the case now. What we are facing now is an abrupt halt in the entire floral world,” Mr. Patel said.

Read the complete article at www.nytimes.com.

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