As a media junkie, I’m bombarded with a lot of news each day. On the radio, from newspapers (some of us still subscribe to and read them), online—it’s easier and faster than ever to get my daily fix of local, national and international news. Not to mention Dear Abby and Bizarro.
Lately, the economic news has been so conflicting it taxes my already overburdened brain. The United States is coming out of the most recent recession. No, wait: it’s actually entering a third “Great Depression.” Manufacturing employment continued to trend up over the month of June, but construction employment decreased by 22,000. Retail buyers are cautiously optimistic, but spending decreased by 1.2% in May.
Closer to (the ASCFG’s) home, the Society of American Florists’ survey on page 33 shows that growers, wholesalers, and retailers surveyed thought that sales would improve throughout 2010. But retailers were less optimistic than growers and wholesalers.
What’s a cut flower grower to do with all this information? If you’re like a typical ASCFG member, (if there IS a “typical” ASCFG member) you roll with the punches (I mistakenly typed “bunches”, which is even more appropriate) and you adapt.
Some growers who had never considered farmers’ markets before are setting up Saturday morning booths this year. Some are expanding their florist routes to neighboring cities. Some are knocking on wholesalers’ doors, knowing that their flowers are of higher quality than what that buyer may be getting from distant sources. A truck or van full of just-picked sweet peas and lisianthus helps seal the deal.
As I talk to ASCFG members around the country, I am always impressed with your resilience, resourcefulness, and dedication. Not much can be done about late frosts or drought or hail storms, but regardless of the big picture, our growers continue to find solutions to the changing market. May your businesses remain as healthy as your flowers.