‘It’s been a year of learning and reinventing’

Firstly, I’d like to thank André van Kruijssen for asking me to write about the Brazilian plant and flower sector. And I’d like to wish him all the best for the future!

The year 2020 is one that we’ll all remember for a long time. It’s been a year of learning and reinventing. In the beginning of the pandemic, our flower market closed for nearly a month. After three long weeks of waiting and destroying plants and flowers, we slowly started to distribute to some of the supermarket chains again. They were the only distribution channel that was allowed to open at that time.

In Brazil, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, and it was reasonably successful despite the crisis. People still couldn’t imagine that the market would bounce back and thrive more than ever before. But with everyone spending so much time at home due to the lockdown, people started to buy more flowers and, especially, green plants. They wanted something to cheer them up.

And of course, nothing beats a bunch of flowers if you want to brighten up your house. Many growers started to increase their volumes, and for various reasons, supplies started to become scarce. Pots, packaging, trays and even substrate were no longer available.

Prices went up, in some cases even more than 100%. In the end, the lack of supplies worked as a regulator; if all growers had planted everything they wanted at the time, the market would now be facing a significant oversupply.

We’ve reached the end of the year and there’s still lots of uncertainty. Brazil was hit hard again by the second wave. The market hasn’t been stretched like this since November last year, and prices have gone down. Production costs, however, are still much higher than at the beginning of the year. It’s unlikely they’ll return to pre-Covid levels any time soon.

The year 2021 will certainly bring new challenges for everyone. Hopefully, people will continue to spend more money on plants and flowers, even when the pandemic is over. But we’re aware that as soon as their activities return and tourism starts up again, they’ll be spending much less time at home.

We’ll have to reinvent ourselves and try to ensure that flowers will continue to have a place in peoples lives in the ‘new normal’. Hopefully, all of this will pass soon. With everything we’ve learned, I’m sure we’ll come out even stronger.

Jean Ferreira,

Flora Beijo, Brazil

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