Price of flowers rockets as Mother’s Day clashes with Russian celebration

Katja Garbe at Petals in Norwich where she has seen the price of flowers and blooms increase in the

Katja Garbe at Petals in Norwich where she has seen the price of flowers and blooms increase in the run up to International Women's Day.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Thinking of getting your mum a bunch of flowers for Mother's Day? Then hold on to your wallet.For prices of bouquets are rocketing ahead of Mothering Sunday due to a clash with a celebration which has seen up to half of the world's supply of flowers heading to Russia.

International Women's Day is celebrated on Friday, March 8, and this year this will coincide with the same weekend as Mother's Day in the UK.

Katje Garbe, florist at Petals Florists, in Dereham Road, Norwich, said: 'Prices always go up a bit before Mother's Day but we have been forewarned by our wholesaler. It's mainly chrysanthemums and roses which are affected by Women's Day.

'Most of the flowers come through the Dutch auction. The higher the demand and the more people, the more desperate they are and the higher the prices.

'I know florists are being accused of setting the prices but it's not like that.'

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Emma Askew said it was the biggest price hike since she began running the Rose Garden in Mount Street, Cromer, three years ago.

'Bouquets that are normally £25 are starting at £30 so customers are not disappointed with the quality of flowers,' she said.

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'Prices always go up on Mother's Day – as well as at Christmas and Valentine's – but this time it coincides with International Women's Day which is always March 8.

'It is not just Russia, but across Europe and we have been noticing price rises through the wholesalers over the past three or four weeks.

'It is affecting all flowers. People think chrysanthemums are cheap and cheerful but they have gone up the most – more than double the wholesale price.

'Someone said the European demand had taken half the Dutch stock.'

Debbie Roper, florist at Bridget's Florists in St James Street, King's Lynn, said: 'It's definitely, definitely had an effect.' 'A £20 bouquet could now be £25 or £30, it could even be as much as double. Compared to last year's there's a big difference in the invoice I've just sent off. It's down to International Women's Day.

'Apparently they've been shipping flowers over there from the middle of February, as soon as Valentine's Day was over.'

Theresa Macey, owner of Deb's Florists in Wootton Road, King's Lynn, said: 'Prices are probably doubled what they normally are and unfortunately we do have to put the price up.

'We'll still be busy, items we sell will be smaller or more expensive but we do tell our customers that the prices go up for Mother's Day, so they know what to expect.'

Nicholas Godfrey-Cole, who runs Scent with Love in Greevegate, Hunstanton, said: 'Prices always increase a little bit around Mother's Day because of demand but it could be up to 50pc this year.

'Roughly about 50pc of the stock is bought up, the biggest seller seems to be chrysanthemums, which is bizarre.

'I've been a florist for 22 years and I can't remember it happening before.'

With both celebrations coming soon some companies are doing up to 20 times their normal business.

Daniel Nichol, managing director of Newcastle-based Dutch Flower Auction Direct, said: 'It's Mother's Day on Sunday and it is International Women's Day on Friday so it's basically hit its peak.

'Women's Day is celebrated by most of Europe excluding the UK, a lot of Eastern Europe, Russia and that sort of area.

'Most of the orders have already gone as I think it takes about a week to transport to Russia so there will be less pressure soon.

'Chrysanthemums are going to be higher priced, they are probably up on last year about 40pc. If the whole world wants to buy chrysanthemums obviously the price is going to go up.'

Flowers fluctuate as most of the world's stock comes through the Aalsmeer Flower Auction in the Netherlands, which sells 20 million flowers a day.

Bidders race against a giant clock to try and get the best deal. As the clock ticks the price drops and first person to bid wins the lot.

In times of great demand, such as Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, bidders have to be quicker and so the price rises.

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