U.S. Flower Industry Facing ‘Complete Ruin’
Acknowledging that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has American consumers more concerned with procuring such staple items as toilet paper, hand soap and food, the flower industry nonetheless has sounded the alarm that the current situation is wreaking havoc on sales of fresh blooms.
Since the outbreak began, American flower farmers have experienced plummeting demand from consumers, canceled orders from retailers, transportation line shutdowns, as well as difficulty with getting blooms and greens because of confusion in regard to agricultural products and their exemption from transportation restrictions.
In fact, during a March 20 conference call of more than 50 California flower farmers, several said that they "were less than a week away from complete ruin," as an industry press release put it.
To try to avert that fate, flower farmers are requesting that consumers buy flowers when they're in stores to purchase essentials.
“America’s flower farmers, the floral industry and all of their employees are teetering on economic devastation,” asserted Dave Pruitt, CEO of the Santa Barbara-based California Cut Flower Commission and administrator of Certified American Grown Flowers, a coalition of U.S. flower farms.“These people literally cannot hold on without support from consumers. We urge our fellow Americans to please consider purchasing fresh American-grown flowers and greens the next time you're in the store, and ask for our flowers to be added back into the distribution pipeline as a valued agricultural commodity.”
“A Rutger’s University study indicated that flowers bring happiness. In the home, they support self-care, provide joy, hope and healing,” noted Rita Jo Shoultz, owner of Alaska Perfect Peony and chair of the Certified American Grown Council. “Flowers help counteract negative messages and darkness prevalent at this very moment. Flowers will assuage troubled minds and bring peace to hearts and souls in this time of anxiety and fear.”