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The Floral Industry’s Labor Of Love

The Floral Industry’s Labor Of Love on

It takes careful planning to get ready for Valentine’s Day

With news headlines giving full coverage to frigid temperatures, most people are more concerned with staying warm than thinking about love. It’s little wonder, then, that Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that seems to sneak up on people, although it’s always on February 14. The result is often a last-minute-flower-order frenzy.

Not so for the floral industry, which has been prepping for Valentine’s Day for weeks and weeks.

The Valentine’s Day challenge

When it comes to floral-centric holidays, Valentine’s Day runs a close second with the mother of all days: Mother’s Day. Still, February 14 represents more of a logistical challenge to ensure that flowers are delivered fresh and on time.

The basis for the great Valentine’s race is the date itself. Whereas Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May, Valentine’s Day has always been and will always be on February 14. In other words, the day dedicated to love floats throughout the days of the week – which then requires the tweaking of harvesting, transportation, and delivery schedules each year. February weather, wintry and unpredictable, is yet another thorn in the floral industry’s side.

In the end, though, love always wins.

From South America, with love

The majority of Valentine’s roses are imported from farms in Colombia and Ecuador. Harvested roses are usually cut from 2-year-old bushes, grown in controlled greenhouses and sometimes hydroponically.

Typically, roses are harvested four times a year. Valentine’s Day 2018 flowers, for example, come from bushes that were pinched back in late summer 2017, which provided buds for Christmas deliveries. The next flush of blooms will be ready in time for Valentine’s Day, followed by flowers for Mother’s Day, and then a summer-time harvest.

It takes cold to keep love warm

Once harvested, roses are then sorted and trimmed and placed in half-boxes, at which point they are cooled down to approximately 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmth is a danger to the freshness of any cut flower. Temperatures hovering just above freezing suspend them and prevent deterioration as they begin the journey to the flower shop.

From South America, refrigerated planes bring the roses to Miami International Airport, where more cut flowers are cleared through customs than in any other airport in the nation. The volume is so great that the airport now has a refrigerated floral customs area that can clear the flower in one to 24 hours from arrival.

Roses then hit the road for further distribution. Refrigerated trucks that also use granular ethylene gas prohibitors – to help lower any flower-damaging ethylene gas produced by decomposition – are an essential tool in getting the flowers to shops in time for Valentine’s Day.

HOSA International delivers love

If all things go as planned, it can take up to 10 days from the moment of harvest for roses and other Valentine’s flowers to become available for consumer purchase. All along the logistical chain, efficiency, timeliness, and hard work are key ingredients to provide top quality and fresh flowers to market.

At HOSA International, we are especially proud of our roses, both premium and spray varieties, and of the people who help to bring these beautiful blooms to you. At the end of the day, it’s about making our clients and customers happy – and that is our labor of love.

For more information about HOSA International, our flowers, our policies, and what we can do for you, or to place a wholesale order, call us at 305.470.9991 or complete our online form.

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Flower Distributor

Flower Distributor