Floral industry: trends and international fairs

The floral industry has developed into one of the major industries in the world, it is important from the economic, aesthetic and social point of view. People use flowers in most events like: birthday, marriage, funeral, religious and social events, etc. It’s a symbol of love which has a special presence during St Valentine’s Day. But […]
floral industry

The floral industry has developed into one of the major industries in the world, it is important from the economic, aesthetic and social point of view. People use flowers in most events like: birthday, marriage, funeral, religious and social events, etc. It’s a symbol of love which has a special presence during St Valentine’s Day. But what do you know about this industry? In this post we will be talking about some of their numbers, trends and international fairs that you cannot miss if you are working in this industry.

Consumption of cut flower. An industry marked by special days 

Most flowers are purchased as gifts (around 50-60%) for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas or any of the other festive days. Many consumers buy flowers and plants for their own use, often with the intention of brightening up their home and creating a pleasant and delightful environment. The same reason applies to businesses purchasing flowers and plants to decorate and dress up offices, receptions or restaurants. Essentially, consumption for personal use of flowers is higher in countries with higher income per capita. The uses of flowers on different occasions have gained a huge thrust among the people of all the countries all over the world.  92% of women say that the best reason to receive flowers as a gift is because someone just wants to offer them without any specific meaning. Flowers play a fundamental function in our culture. And let’s not forget the importance of flowers used for essential oils, flower perfumes (rose, jasmine, tuberose etc), for seed and bulbs, or landscape gardening.

The biggest markets of cut flowers are the USA, globally spending 1,83 billion annually. The next is Germany 1,28 billion, United Kingdom 921 million and then Russia 554 million. 60% of all flowers and plants sold globally are purchased as a gift for someone else.  The Rose is far and away the most popular flower. It serves as a timeless symbol of love and romance throughout the year in addition to serving as a filler or compliment in mixed-stem arrangements for numerous gifting occasions.

Main producers in the floral industry

The Netherland auctions play a central role in the European flower and plant trade, both as a market place and as a distribution. The diversity of cut flower products and varieties on the market is enormous. Just to give an impression of the assortment: there are about 15,000 different product codes used for flowers traded at the Netherland auctions

The world floriculture trade is characterized by a high degree of concentration by product and sources. Developed countries in Europe, America, and Asia account for more than 90% of demand. International trade in floriculture, to a large extent, is organized along the regional lines:

  • Asia-Pacific countries are the main suppliers to Japan and Hong Kong.
  • Africa, Middle Eastern, and other European countries are the principal suppliers to Europe’s main markets
  • Colombia and Ecuador dominate the market in the USA

And which are the biggest producers of specific flower varieties? Here some examples

  • Roses – Ecuador is the largest producer of roses in the world
  • Tulips – Holland produces 80% of the world tulips.
  • Carnations – Colombia produces the most Carnations annually.
  • Orchids – Thailand is the biggest producer of Orchids globally
  • Peonies – Holland is the world’s largest producer of peonies.

The global value chain of the floral industry and its auction system

floral industry

The global floral industry generates more than US$100.000 millions each year. The flower trade is a miracle of modern life. First, the value chain of cold storage starts with stems being picked in places as far-flung as Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Then, flowers are packed into refrigerated trucks, driven to refrigerated planes, and flown to Amsterdam. Finally, once in Amsterdam they are auctioned off. The final part of the journey occurs when they’re repacked into more cold trucks and planes and delivered to supermarkets, florists across Asia, Europe, and the U.S. The auctions are run by a cooperative, Royal FloraHolland, formed a century ago.

Royal FloraHolland runs four auction sites that handle the bulk of the global trade. The blooms are available under the traditional Dutch auction system, in which prices start high then tick lower as a clock counts down. The first buyer to pounce wins. As the lots are bought, electric tractors pull long trains of wagons loaded with blooms from one side of the warehouse to the other. The average day sees more than 100,000 transactions. Most of the flowers end up elsewhere in Europe, in under 12 hours.

The TOP 10 international fairs in the floral industry

This is a TOP 10 of the biggest and most important flower fairs in the world you cannot miss if you are working for the floral industry.

  1. IFTF, International Floriculture Trade Fair is the world´s largest flower trade fair and the biggest trade event for the floricultural industry. The world floriculture industry gets together every year (3-5 November 2021) in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands. With almost 300 exhibitors from over 30 countries and more than 25.000 trade visitors from over 100 countries, a trade show where you will find the best and newest available products, latest developments and trends. Uniting buyers and suppliers from each stage of the floriculture production cycle, the exhibition showcases live products, related dry floral products, trading, transportation. It is the great opportunity to make your business flourish!
  2. China International Floriculture & Horticulture Trade Fair is the world’s  most professional, profound, overall and biggest international trade show of the flower industry in Asian floral area. The fair assembles over 300 enterprises to showcase cut flowers, flowerpots, materials and equipment, flower shop supplies, garden tools, supplies on site, and attract a lot of visitors and merchants. The location – Guangzhou, China. This year the fair is 21-23 March.
  3. The Middle East’s Festival for Flowers, Plants and Technology,IPM Middle East is the international horticultural fair for the United Arab Emirates and the neighboring countries. The event is once a year in Dubai and offers fair access to the market of the Middle East. In order to meet the changing market demands and to keep up to date, the IPM Middle East is the ideal place. It is the only fair trade of its kind that reflects the entire value chain from the plant growing on floristics, technology and equipment up to the point of sale. The entire international horticultural industry is assembled here and you will find flowers and plants in their full assortment. This fair trade is not only focusing on the floristry, but as well on the latest technological trends to the visitors. More information: IPM 2021 & WOP 2021 Dubai UAE             
  4. Floradecora is the ideal marketplace for making new business contacts. Here you can take advantage of the perfect cooperation of floral products and seasonal decorations. Floradecora is for the growing demand for fresh flowers and plants. At the same time, it opens up new distribution channels for flower growers. In Floradecora, 67 exhibitors from 6 countries. It’s a magnetic power of attraction of top buyers wholesale, import/export and retail trades. The event takes place in Frankfurt, German, this year it is on the 19th of February.
  5. International Flower Expo Tokyo is an annual flower and garden show, which focuses on the cut flowers, artificial flowers, wrapping papers, vases, and many more gather all at once. IFEX Japan ranks as the best flower and garden show in Asia. This trade fair is the ideal place to uncover trends and hear the latest news. More information: IFEX (Jan 2021)
  6. Royal Flora Holland Fair is a two-day trade event, and it ison of the best places to do business in the floriculture sector. Covering an area of over 10,000m2, the Royal Flora Holland will gather more than 400 exhibitors showcasing an extensive range of plants and cut flowers.
  7. IFTEX is a professional business event focusing on each and every buyer of fresh cut flowers. The annual International Floriculture Trade is held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 2 to 4 June 2021. The industry-wide event serves all segments of the East African and African floriculture chain: breeders, propagators, growers, cargo and trade suppliers. The Expo offers a unique platform for business-to-business sessions between growers and buyers drawn from the Kenyan, regional and international markets. As of 2019, Kenya has grown to become the world’s 3rd largest exporter of fresh cut-flowers supplying close to 40% of all flower sales today in Europe.
  8. World Floral Expo is gathering professional horticulturists, florists and other specialists. This is an opportunity to meet customers, rivals and partners. World Floral Expo 2021 has been rescheduled to 22-24 September. Originally planned in March, the state of Covid-19 forced the show to move to later dates in the year. The event takes place in New York.
  9. IFTEX Expo Kenya is a great platform for interaction among Kenyan flower growers and international flower buyers. Buyers from all across the world come to this event every year to purchase the highest quality of the flowers for which this trade fair is famous. Also there are competitions arranged for the best breeders and best grower title.
  10. The International Flower Trade Exhibition AGRIFLOR event displays products like Reach, the largest collection of worldwide flower buyers and decision makers in one place. It includes over 250 companies exhibiting in this 3 day event. While the biggest group of exhibitors consists of flower growers from Ecuador, international floriculture suppliers are exhibiting as well. A three day lasting first class trade fair, flower quality competitions, farm tours, open houses, business meetings, social get-together and even cultural and touristic trips, are all part of what is happening in what has become known as “the week of Agriflor”. The showcase of Ecuador’s cut flower industry to the international flower buyers community attracting many hundreds of international buyers

If you want to know more about other industries, keep reading our blog industry and business category!

Post written by Natalja Lainjarv

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