Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gas, Economy, and Retail Prices

Gas prices 10 years ago were approximately $1.60/ gallon!  Just like every other industry costs have gone up.  The floral industry is no different.  Carnations are around $1.10 to $1.45 depending on supply and color.  10 years ago....much less.  Rising fuel costs and transportation costs effect everything.  Here's the background on what it takes to get flowers from fields to your door.
 Flowers start their journey from fields in South America, Europe, Canada, and California.   They have to be planted, watered, fertilized, possibly outside, possibly in greenhouses depending on the type of flower and climate.  Then paid workers must harvest flowers and pack them for shipment.  Don't forget the grower's water, electric, packaging, employee taxes, benefits and other assorted costs.  Then flowers are shipped either by plane or truck or both depending on their destination.  Fuel costs are tacked on plus handling fees.  Then wholesalers must receive and redistribute the flowers.  This involves more lighting, cooling, employee costs.  Distribution to retail flower shops accumulates more fuel costs.  From the retail end, we receive the flowers in boxes, must re cut them and put them in the proper chemically treated water.  (Chemicals $ + Water $ + employee hours + cooler electricity $ = Final Retail Price)  This is just for single stem flowers you would purchase out of the cooler and take with you wrapped up to arrange yourself.   If you want those same flowers arranged?  Labor fees for the designer to arrange them + container price.  Delivery?  Delivery driver salary, gas, mileage, annual maintenance on vehicle, tires, etc.  It all adds up and no one is getting a free pass.  I'm outlining all of this because I think that sometimes it is easy to overlook or be unaware of every step it takes to get those beautiful blooms from Origination to Destination. 

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