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Friday February 11, 2011

Florists have to import flowers to meet rising demand

GEORGE TOWN: There is an acute shortage of locally-produced flowers to meet the rising de­­mand for Valentine’s Day, said suppliers.

For instance, local farmers have difficulty planting roses, a popular flower for the romantics.

“Roses are not highly in demand during normal periods. It is only popular during certain seasons, such as Valentine’s Day and wedding anniversaries,” said Cameron Highlands’ Floriculture Association chairman Lee Peng Fo.

“There are more roses planted in Europe and the United States than in Malaysia, but these flowers are not as popular there as in our country,” he said.

“So local florists have no choice but to import them,” he said.

G-Ray Florist shop supervisor Rayean Lim said the shortage of flowers had forced suppliers to source for roses and lilies from Kenya, China, India and Sri Lanka.

“The price has increased due to the small supply but we are keeping our prices at about the same as last year,” she said, adding that a bouquet of a dozen roses costs between RM100 and RM150.

Ohara Florist Sdn Bhd manager Bryan Chew said: “The weather at Cameron Highlands had not been good, so we have to source roses from India.”

Despite the shortage, Chew said his shop had ordered around 10,000 flowers and he was confident this year’s sales would be better than last year’s.

Kelly Lim of Delight Floral and Gift Centre felt that sales this year was “quite relaxed”.

“People seem to still be in the Chinese New Year mood. They’re in no rush for Valentine’s Day yet.” she said.

“We still have roses in our store,” said Cynthia Lew of White Florist in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

Lew said suppliers had in­­creased the price of roses, resulting in a price variation from store to store.

“A bouquet of a dozen roses can cost between RM170 and RM200.”

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