Have you ever wondered why the price of flowers goes up drastically around holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day? Basically, supply and demand. The same growers that supply flowers throughout the entire year are pushed to their limits with production during these peak times.
The Aalsmeer Flower Auction merged with Flora Holland in 2008 and is the epicenter of the floral industry. 20 million flowers are sold there at auction daily and the international prices are set by the current supply and demand. Roses from Kenya, waxflower from Isreal, allium from Ethiopa, roses from Equador and bulb flowers from Germany are just a few of the crops imported into Aalsmeer for auction.
Buyers sit in front of large screens with clocks and information regarding each flower. The pricing starts high and goes down as the clock runs. The greater the demand for certain items, the faster bids are made and the higher prices are set. Weather plays a large part in production of flowers. If there has been a rainy season prior to Valentine’s Day, production of roses may be down. Buyers that are aware of this situation will know that product will be scarce and therefore they will need to bid faster to get their quota. Florists don’t choose to gouge customers just because it is a holiday, they actually have to pay double the normal prices to get roses during this peak time.
In the video below, you can actually see how this controlled madness happens under the roof of the 10.6 million sq. ft. building. It is definitely on my to-do list of places to visit and things to see.