British Columbia Sun

As businesses struggle during the pandemic, Canadian rose farms are thriving

BC

Key takeaways: 

  • Fewer and more expensive rose imports make space for Canadian farmers to contend.
  • Canada’s few rose farmers tell the pandemic has prompted higher demand and backing for their flowers.

Rose farms are thriving during the pandemic: 

While the pandemic has been brutal on many businesses, others are growing — just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Roses blanket Ryan Worsfold’s household farm on Vancouver Island, where the family business has been developing them for almost 40 years, with February one of its most active months.

“We produce about 70,000 stems for the week of Valentine’s Day on our little farm,” stated Worsfold. Source – cbc.ca

Eurosa Farms is one of only a handful of commercial rose farms in the nation, according to Cary Gates, pest management director at Flowers Canada Growers — the national trade organization of the Canadian floral industry.

Canada has depended mainly on imported roses from South America and Africa, and last years have been contesting for regional growers due to intense foreign competition.

Also read: Vancouver businesses eased to receive cruise ship passengers back this spring

Rose farms in Canada thrive

But now, for rose farmers like Worsfold, things are looking up, with local interest for his flowers on the rise as pandemic-related challenges abroad have meant fewer and costlier imported roses.

“A lot of these new clients that came to us because of the problem with the supply chain have attached with us,” said Worsfold, who thinks the increase in business could last. Source – cbc.ca

Pandemic challenges push up costs.

Due to transportation issues and fewer available international suppliers, there has been a cost increase of about 25 percent on a stem of imported roses over the last two years, states Vince Van Randen, the cut flower account manager at West Coast Growers Surrey, B.C.

For the wholesaler, he states, the cost of flying out flowers from Ecuador has risen to around $5 a kilo, where it’s usually been about $2.

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