Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Tomorrow is the first principal shipping day for Mayesh's Valentine's roses. They will fly out tomorrow morning on UPS and will arrive in Miami Thursday afternoon. By the time they have cleared customs and been inspected by USDA, the flowers will be picked up by Mayesh personnel in the wee hours of Friday morning. Thence they will be dispatched to various Mayesh locations around the country with the main load going by truck to Los Angeles. Thanks to prudent planning, judicious selection of transportation partners and associates in key locations in the supply chain, including myself being in Ecuador, Mayesh expects to have a good supply of qulaity Ecuadorian roses for its customers. But overall it seems there will be a dramatic shortage.
What has happened in Quito over the last three days or so is tantamount to a perfect storm that has, in fact, been about three months in the making.
What we would normally expect for Valentine's in Ecuador and Colombia simply has not come to pass, and unless our industry practices change radically, will not occur again for some years. Most of problems can be directly ascribed to economic factors. Underpinning the shortage of flowers for Valentine's Day 2011 is a resolution by many growers not too pinch their rose plants as they have a steady business all year long. They are trading risky plant manipulation and recurring peaks with corresponding low prices for weekly stability and a healthier, more predictable crop. Less stress on the planst and less stress on the personnel. From a long term perspective it is better for everyone.
The weather has been dreadful overall, and not conducive for the production of premium cut roses on plants that have been pinched, and even open production has  been compromised. The first 20 days was generally sunny in the south, so the farms in that zone were helped somewhat.
Another factor is that the new red roses such as Freedom and Forever Young do not perform when they are pinched in the way that Classy and Charlotte used to. These two old school reds would flush in a dramatic peak over ten days. The new reds that are now so popular produce yields that are more like a wave with no significant peak and in this cold weather the buds will not mature, lengthening the wave even more and dissipating the intentions of the pinch.
What is further exacerbating the situation is the lack of aircraft to move the flowers that have arrived at the airport. Today Lan Chile has almost 10,000 full boxes in their coolers. Jammed to the ceiling! So saturated has their operation become that they are not accepting freight for tomorrow. They should resume normal operations by Friday.  So in a week when flowers are in high demand and their is not enough supply, this situation is like the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back.
However, airline companies like Lanchile are just as susceptible to the vagaries  of the economy, and events such as bad weather in other parts of the world that affects their ability to position airplanes where they are needed, as the growers of the flowers.
It is worth noting that Colombia, too, has significant transportation issues, amongst other things.
So, yes there are roses available but I suspect that demand in the USA will outstrip supply for the first time in about 25 years. In fact you may want to think about ordering some because as far as I can tell we are looking at a sell-out, something that last occurred when I was a twenty-something.
"Yes, we have no red roses, we have no red roses today!"
Which is another way of saying that there are roses available but did you place an order with your supplier?


  1. David, I kind of know what pinching is about, but could you explain it in detail in another post? Thanks!

  2. Cathy, that's a good idea, especially given he relevance to the current this space.


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