Imported roses or locally grown? I think it would be fair to say that everyone you would ask would prefer to buy Australian grown products.
But the Federal Department of Agriculture show that Australia imported more than 9 million rose stems this February alone, with the majority sourced from Kenya.
So why do we buy so many imported roses?
Are the imported roses cheaper than the local roses? It seems that this might be the case as local growers struggle with higher costs of production.
Are imported roses a better quality than Australian grown roses? Some florist will say yes and some will say no. Higher altitudes both in Kenya and Columbia seem to be advantageous for growing quality roses.
Are they better and cheaper? This may be the case because Australia is certainly consuming a lot of imported roses these days.
So why are our local rose growers not fighting back?
Australia still has amazing rose growers that can compete on quality and delivery.
In saying that, some local growers cannot compete against imported products as their costs of production are higher.
Many growers have decided to grow other crops in the place of flowers like tomatoes or cucumbers because flowers can be too labour intensive.
Other growers have simply retired as they do not have any family to take over the business.
Last but not least, the growers closer to the metro city centres have found it more lucrative to sell their land to developers.
So what will this mean for the Australian rose market in the future? The consumer still craves roses, so this demand will need to be met.
We can only wait and watch.