The last week of December and first week of January is historically the most difficult time of the year to acquire red flowers, particularly roses. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade prior to Monday’s Rose Bowl Game used millions of that most popular red flower in its 45 floats, carving out a significant chunk of the world supply. Meanwhile, global rose production grinds to a halt as growers pinch back blooms in preparation for the Valentine’s Day holiday.
To a lesser degree, red carnations see the same shortages at this time each year.
“It was a challenge, but we were prepared,” said Bing Goei, president and CEO of Eastern Floral & Gifts in
Eastern Floral assisted the Houston firm that was handpicked by the Ford family for funeral decorations — Floral Marketing International Group — in procuring and arranging the flowers for last week’s ceremonies at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids, which used a more somber color scheme, and for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, where Ford was interred at sunset.
Eastern Floral was the pri
And Ford was not the only
“We wanted to provide that family with as much of those red, white and blue flowers, and of the same quality, as we did for President Ford,” said Goei. “There were a significant amount of families last week grieving for the loss of loved ones, and we needed to meet all those needs.”
To do that, Eastern pressed its global supply chain, flying in red roses, carnations and Gerbera daisies, along with other color varieties, from sources in
“The floral industry is significantly different than what it was 15 to 20 years ago,” said Goei, who owned and operated a floral wholesale network before buying Eastern Floral five years ago. “The
Today, imports account for 70 percent of the $19.4 billion
The floral industry is popular among developing nations, serving as one of South America’s largest imports and a growing sector for African and Asian nations, such as
Where Flowers Come From
Imports account for approximately 70 percent of the $19.4 billion
|Top Six Import Sources|
Top Six Growing States
Source: Society of American Florists