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All about money!

March 8, 2010

OK, I admit: I didn’t receive any flower for Saint Valentine’s day (please, don’t ask me why!). And what about you? Did you appreciate the bunch of roses that you gave or that was given to you? (Rethorical question, of course!) But did you know where these roses come from? Almost certainly, they arrived on a “special plane” from Kenya, Africa.

Here how the die works:

KENYA: Although this activity is quite recent, (the first greenhouses date back to the mid 80’s), floriculture is the third industry of the country, after tourism and tea. In the world, before kenya, there are only Holland and Colombia. The numbers:

  • at least 40.000 workers directly employed in the production of roses, mostly women;

  • about 50 € their wages;

  • 2.000 hectares of greenhouses:

  • 80.000 tons of flowers produced;

  • a business 250 million of € for less than 100 firms,

  • 65% of exports in Holland.

  • even 7  flights per day:it depends on the period: the picks are in February, May and Christmas.

HOLLAND: There are four auctions, but the most important is Bloemenveiling Aaslmer (Vba), which controls the 98% of the market with Flora Holland. dutch auctions dominate the global trade and determinate prices, inparticular in europe, where they control 30-40% of the floral market.

The Numbers:

  • area: 250 times a football field;

  • 7.000 producers;

  • 1.400 buyers;

  • 55.000 trading per day, 12 per second;

  • prices  from 8 to 20-25 cents (depending on quality, period, tasties, colours and shapes more fashionable).

There is not a bargaining, but there are special digital “clocks” that sign the final quotation of the flowers (almost as being in Wall Street!). In few hours, our “travellers” not sold leave the auction and take other streets; in most cases, they arrive within a 15.000 km radius, that includes Italy too.

ITALY: Following their trip, we reach San Remo, the most important market of flowers of the Southern Europe and of the Mediterranean basin. It occupies an area of around 120.000 square metre, and the auctions start really early in the morning, but here you can bargain. After one hour and half everything is over, so finally trucks can leave for stocks, shops or supermarkets.

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