Fewer home grown flowers in Valentine’s bouquets as gas prices soar
Tulips from Amsterdam have given way to roses from Nairobi in this year’s Valentine’s bouquets as high gas prices forced Dutch flower growers to cut production.
Although the effects have been less severe than feared, Royal Flora Holland says many growers scaled back or suspended their operation during the autumn and winter months.
‘Dutch rose growers have produced one-third less than last year,’ Michel van Schie told NOS. ‘The gap has been partly filled by roses that are being flown in.’
As a result, flower shops and stalls have had to import more cut flowers from countries in Africa and South America to cover the shortfall.
Last October industry lobby organisation Glastuinbouw Nederland said one in eight businesses in the sector were likely to fold because of the spiralling costs, but in the last quarter of 2022 only three bankruptcies were declared, according to official statistics.
Growers have managed to reduce their overheads by converting to more efficient LED lighting or turning down the temperature in their greenhouses. The government has allocated €77 million of subsidies this year to helping the industry reduce energy consumption and introduce more sustainable methods.
Chyrsanthemum specialist Harry Wubben told NOS Radio 1 Journaal: ‘We had to take serious measures. I’ve never seen anything like it in 38 years in this business. The high gas prices were a real risk.’
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