Sachin Appachu of Bliss Flora:

Kenya: "Valentine's Day production and prices lower than usual"

"Valentine's Day sales are low profile this year, both production and market wise", says Sachin Appachu of Bliss Flora, who grows roses in Njoro, Kenya, at an altitude of 2,400 meters above sea level. "At many farms, production is delayed, and prices on the auction clock are not as high as expected. And we all so hoped for a better season as the industry came out of one of the worst years, which 2022 was."

Sachin Appachu in the Greenhouse. 

Lower production
Usually, the supply of Kenyan rose growers is in full force by the 25th or 26th of January, but this year it is later, due to the unpredictable weather, Appachu explains. "The weather is not as it used to be during this time of the year. Nights are cold and very dry, and this is delaying production. This year, already one flight for Valentine's Day was cancelled due to short supply. Also, at our farm, we see a decrease in production, and I think it is down by approximately 30 percent compared to usual during this time of the year. Unfortunately, not much can be done with nature. If the difference is small, as in a few days, a few things can work, but if the delay is more, we just can't change it. It is difficult to predict, how the coming days and week will develop, but in general, we see that most farms are late, and at some farms, production may even be too late."

Lower prices
Bliss Flora mainly supplies the auction in the Netherlands, and even though supply is not at its normal level, prices on the clock are lower, either. "We see a decrease of 15% on average for reds and colors. I don't know why the prices are lower, and it seems that the demand is lower than usual."

Freight rates still high
"Since the pandemic, space on planes is limited, and freight rates are high. Unfortunately, even though they are not as high as last year, they are still way too high, almost double compared to pre-covid times."

Hopes for better prices
Times are challenging, and as supply is low and expected to be lower then usual. Appachu therefore hopes that prices will increase soon as the demand for Valentine's Day will start to increase.  

For more information:
Bliss Flora Ltd
Sachin Appachu

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