Flower Growers report tough year

Weather has made 2017 a difficult year for flower growers.
Weather has made 2017 a difficult year for flower growers. Photo credit: Getty

Weather patterns have made 2017 a difficult year for flower growers after Auckland florists reported a spike in the prices they're paying for flowers at auction.

A lack of competition amongst the flower auction houses after "United Flower Growers" (UFG) purchased Turners and Growers' FloraMax has been blamed by many for the price surge.

The New Zealand Flower Growers Association says the acquisition has been a "major change to the florists buying patterns," it says this year's weather patterns have been a big factor.

"The weather patterns seem to be changing from what was a good growing climate in New Zealand to a more difficult one," said New Zealand Flower Growers Association Executive Officer, Chris Smellie.

"Warmer and wetter systems, some cyclonic, coming down from the warm tropical waters to the north of New Zealand, interspersed with brief periods of extra cold weather, make for extremely difficult growing conditions," said Mr Smellie.

In August, Auckland florist Raywin Kelly told Newshub she believed she was paying about 15-20 percent more for flowers at auction.

Ms Kelly also said the purchase of FloraMax by UFG meant there were more buyers at one auction.

"We've probably got 40-50 more buyers at that one auction, a lot of them are bigger buyers so they can afford to buy high."

Florist Bronwen Hughes told Newshub she's never seen "such expensive prices."

"I can't afford to reduce my margins because I already work on a lower margin," said Ms Hughes.

The New Zealand Flower Growers Association said a low number of quality imported flowers is also having an impact.

The Commerce Commission is now investigating United Flower Growers' purchase of Turners and Growers' FloraMax.


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