Supply chain issues driving up the price of flowers for Valentine’s Day
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A bouquet for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day might cost you extra this year.
The flower industry is facing the same supply chain issues essentially every other industry is facing right now.
Many cut flowers you see in flower shops actually come from places all over the world, like South America or Holland. Not only is it difficult to get those flowers imported given the supply chain shortage, but it’s also a challenge getting them distributed across the country once they arrive because of the truck driver shortage. All of these factors drive up prices.
“Most flowers that are sold in this industry here in the United States are imported from South America and, you know, takes time to get them here — sometimes over a week and, you know, that cuts down on their phase life,” said Mark Hommes, co-owner of Castle Hayne Farms.
Castle Hayne Farms grows and ships fresh-cut, Carolina-grown flowers. Because Castle Hayne Farms produces locally-grown flowers, its business is not as affected by the import struggles that some are experiencing. However, they still need to get those flowers from farm to retailer, which has been a challenge due to the lack of truck drivers and the logistics bottleneck.
“We have to cut, package, ship immediately, so we depend on trucks, refrigerator trucks to move them from farm to the distribution centers to the grocery chains and there’s a lack of trucks and drivers at the moment,” Hommes said. “We have to hire third parties to ship our product and cost is considerably high this year because if anything is scarce it gets more expensive.”
Hommes said that fuel is also more expensive right now, and that shipping as a whole is 30% - 40% more expensive for them this year compared to this time last year. Inevitably, some of those added costs get passed along to consumers.
Hommes said that growing fresh-cut flowers is a labor of love, and that you might get more bang for your buck with their bouquets.
“Our bouquets have become very popular because we cut back shipping to just a couple of days and what you see is what you get — it’s very fresh and lasts a long time,” he said.
While Mother’s Day is their busiest holiday, Valentine’s Day is their second-busiest time of year. The farm will pump out around 12,000 bouquets to grocery store chains and wholesalers in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Castle Hayne Farms has been around since the 1930s. Mark Hommes and his business partner bought it from Hommes’ uncle in the early 2000s.
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