Blossoming Cut-Flower Industry

▪ 1998

      In 1997 less-developed countries (LDCs) profited from the lucrative annual $5 billion global cut-flower industry, but importers in Western Europe were scrutinizing their activities and considering boycotting shipments from what they considered "dirty" flower farms—particularly those that used pesticides and inefficiently used water but also those that employed nonunionized workers at low wages. Although a 1995 report on world trade, "The Game of the Rose," concluded that three-fifths of all cut flowers that crossed international borders originated in The Netherlands, by 1997 countries in South America and Africa were entering the market at a rapid pace. An ideal climate, low labour costs, and the availability of direct air flights to markets in industrialized nations contributed to the boom in cut-flower production in such countries as Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, where much of U.S. production had moved. Air-freight costs were more than offset by lower production costs, and skilled management was readily available in those countries.

      European production moved primarily to the African countries of Kenya and Zimbabwe; in the latter country two-thirds of all horticultural export earnings were attributed to cut flowers. South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, and Côte d'Ivoire also supplied significant amounts for export. In Kenya larger operations were funded by external corporations with direct links to markets, whereas in Zimbabwe producers tended to be farmers who would grow a few hectares of flowers as an additional cash crop and market them through cooperatives. As production rose, consumers in developed countries became more discerning, and producer cooperatives, first in Kenya and then in the rest of Africa, responded by instituting environmentally friendly production methods and hiring independent inspectors to certify and document their practices.

      Other countries that were expected to become a major force in both flower production and export included China, which looked to quadruple its current production and revenues from $250 million to $1 billion over the next 10-15 years, and New Zealand, where export business for one company, New Zealand Bloom, had increased eightfold and was expected to continue growing.

      In some LDCs major impediments to continued growth included the availability of credit and the development of skilled indigenous management. Most cut-flower operations were dependent on imported management that was hired on relatively short-term contracts. As a result, the quality and yield of flower crops were variable, a situation that could both unsettle bankers and buyers and lead to high volatility in markets. Another obstacle was the reluctance of major flower-breeding companies to release their best new material to LDCs due to what they perceived as insufficient respect for intellectual property rights. Nonetheless, production in LDCs of fresh-cut flowers was expected to increase for the foreseeable future as worldwide consumption grew (mourners purchased some 60 million flowers to honour Diana, princess of Wales, after her death in August), whereas production in developed countries would likely stabilize or decrease.

SHEPHERD OGDEN

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • History of Richmond Hill, Ontario — The history of Richmond Hill began when the First Nations came and settle in the area. With the Toronto purchase, the town gradually expanded with new greenhouse industries and improved transportation infrastructure. First Nations The first… …   Wikipedia

  • arts, East Asian — Introduction       music and visual and performing arts of China, Korea, and Japan. The literatures of these countries are covered in the articles Chinese literature, Korean literature, and Japanese literature.       Some studies of East Asia… …   Universalium

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • France — /frans, frahns/; Fr. /frddahonns/, n. 1. Anatole /ann nann tawl /, (Jacques Anatole Thibault), 1844 1924, French novelist and essayist: Nobel prize 1921. 2. a republic in W Europe. 58,470,421; 212,736 sq. mi. (550,985 sq. km). Cap.: Paris. 3.… …   Universalium

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • education — /ej oo kay sheuhn/, n. 1. the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. 2. the act or process of… …   Universalium

  • Bamboo — For other uses, see Bamboo (disambiguation). Bamboo plant Bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • fruit farming — Introduction       growing of fruit crops, including nuts, primarily for use as human food.       The subject of fruit and nut production deals with intensive culture of perennial plants, the fruits of which have economic significance (a nut is a …   Universalium

  • List of Middle-earth plants — Contents 1 Species 1.1 Aeglos 1.2 Alfirin 1.3 Athelas …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of the Song Dynasty — A Song Dynasty Chinese inkstone with gold and silver markings, from the Nantoyōsō Collection, Japan The Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) was a culturally rich and sophisticated age for China. There was blossomi …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.