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Today Show Valentine’s Day Segment

Our long-time customer and friend, Jerry from Extra Touch was featured on the Today Show.

 

The segment “Business is blooming for Valentine’s Day flowers amid pandemic” covers the incredible logistical process of transporting flowers from the farms in South America to Miami International Airport, the largest receiving hub of fresh-cut flowers.

 

The story covers how the flower industry is booming despite the pandemic. Reports from UPS Airlines indicate that there is a 48% increase in flower boxes from 2020 to 2021. Around 73 flights were added to accommodate the 21 million extra stems being shipped to the U.S. than before the pandemic began. That’s 850,000 more boxes than the last year (2020).

 

The spike in flowers is due to people skipping outings and gatherings, and spending more on floral arrangements to send to their loved ones.

 

Jerry from Extra Touch located in Palm Beach, Florida has been our client since 2007. To meet the demand this year he had to hire 21 new employees.

 

Watch the entire segment. (Jerry’s interview minute 1:20)

 

Source: https://www.today.com/video/business-is-blooming-for-valentine-s-day-flowers-amid-pandemic-100853318000

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Rose farm post production

How the Coronavirus has Impacted the Rose Industry in Ecuador

This global pandemic has impacted everyone around the world from health to the economy. In an effort to curve the increase of cases of the coronavirus we have all been adhering to social distancing and sanitation practices.

 

Businesses have been struggling to stay afloat while others have had to close their doors. The floral industry has been affected by the low demand for flowers and worldwide shutdown—and the Dutch floral sector is one of many examples of the unfortunate dump of thousands and thousands of flowers that have perished.

 

In Ecuador, roses are one of the top exports and contributor to its economy. This pandemic however has decreased the production and exportation of roses to countries around the globe. We interviewed Esteban Chiriboga, President of Ecoroses, our top rose provider located in Machachi, Ecuador. We asked some questions to get a firsthand perspective of the staggering effect the situation has had on the rose industry.

 

How has the situation concerning the coronavirus affected your business?

 

We first began experiencing the impact of the coronavirus from some of the European and Chinese markets where the effects of the virus have been dramatic. Our exports to those markets reached zero and slowly but surely other European countries have followed suit. Some states in the USA, and later others, and finally the Russian market also shut down, making our current exportations practically zero. There are flights available to ship flowers, but there are internal restrictions in each country that impede operations.

 

The emergence of the virus in Ecuador and its dissemination has also affected us, given that we have restrictions on operations for personnel and supplies.

 

We have decided to carry out certain tasks by working from home, some of the administrative, and we have let 50 percent of our field personnel go home to remain in quarantine. The other half of our employees are carrying out minimal work such as caring for the plants and processing a small quantity of roses. We are working 6 hours and 4 days per week. The effect and loss are enormous, but we are following strict guidelines to avoid the spread of the virus.

 

In percentage, how much has the demand for roses decreased for your company?

 

The first week it reduced 30 percent, the second week 70 percent, and this week we ended with 90 percent of decreased sales. Additionally, the payments from some clients have been delayed and our obligations must continue.

 

How many stems per day are being processed?

 

At this moment, we are processing almost below the order requests for some clients, an average of 8,000 stems per day from the average of 80,000 stems we harvest per day. The flowers that are not processed go directly to be destroyed and transformed into compost, an organic fertilizer.

 

What is being done to care for the plants while the demand for roses is low?

 

The most basic—we are irrigating and fertilizing daily but at minimal dosage. We are trying to minimize the diseases and plagues by removing the flowers that are overdue for cutting so that it does not rot the plants, and harvest roses that are left to sell.

 

What precautions and protocols are you practicing during this pandemic?

 

We have implemented a very strict protocol that begins with allowing the people most vulnerable or high risk to remain at home, provision of the security team, training our employees on sanitation and precautions to carry out in the workplace and at home to stay healthy, disinfecting all vehicles of transportation for personnel, as well as disinfection of every person that enters or leaves the farm property. Additionally, by having half of our employees stay home, we minimize the density of persons in each area of the farm property and departments.

 

What problems have you encountered as a result of limitations or regulations, and how have you resolved or adapted to these challenges to come through for your clients?

 

The authorities have allowed us to work and consider us a priority sector because our exportations help sustain Ecuador’s economy. They have granted us safe passageways to transit through and reach the airport. We have been able to do all this, but unfortunately some flights have been canceled or product has not been able to be exported because the country of destination has been shut down; in this case, nothing can be done, and we understand and accept if our client must cancel. We remain operational and we are ready to react and attend to any of our clients’ requirements.

 

What inspirational message would you like to share with the world? What can flowers contribute during these challenging times?

 

A message of hope on one hand, given that this eventually will be over, and we will have to adjust to the new reality and resume our lives and businesses. On the other hand, I would like to share a message of reflection to everyone that yes, flowers are not an indispensable article for the body or for life, but they are for the soul and for the spirit. We unite with the campaign: Buy Flowers Not Toilet Paper.

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Pink Floral Inspiration for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The month of October is especially significant in raising awareness for breast cancer. This disease is most common in women, and statistics state that 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Although less common, men can also be at risk—an estimated 2,150 males will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Innovative advancements in research and various types of screening methods has decreased the number of deaths due to late diagnosis. Early stage detection is key in preventing breast cancer from progressing or spreading to other areas of the body.

Visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website to learn more about breast cancer and creating an early detection plan.

To show our support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we dedicate this blog to those who have battled or are currently battling the disease. We have put together an inspiration board with pink floral varieties to inspire your designs.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Floral Inspiration

Pink Floral Varieties for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Floyd rose
For a bold floral arrangement consider the flamboyance of the Pink Floyd rose. It is a relatively new variety, and has become popular among designers. Characteristics such as its large bloom, sturdy stem, and striking color is the perfect variety to create eye-catching floral installations for any special event.

Pink Snowberry
For festive texture, mix white or light pink snowberries into your floral design. They are available from August through November (Third and Fourth Quarter). The clusters of berries are small enough to use in a boutonniere.

Hydrangea Rodeo Pink
Hydrangeas are excellent for filling space in an arrangement. You can create a lush bouquet without compromising the elegance. Hydrangeas are available in many colors, and an interesting fact is that the colors produced depends on the alkalinity of the soil. High pH levels produce pink flowers, and low pH levels produce blue flowers.

Curcuma
These eye-catching bulb flowers are also known as Thai Tulips. They are available in a variety of colors including pink, white, salmon, purple and white. Curcuma have a long vase life (about 2 weeks) and survive well in water as cut flowers. If you are aiming for a modern and exotic design, this flower will do the trick.

Esperance (rose)
This Ecuadorian bi-color rose has an English garden appeal. The delicate cream petals, blush pink tips and green guard petals makes this rose a contender for wedding floral arrangements and bouquets.

Cymbidiums 
Elegance best describes cymbidium orchids, and in the Victorian era they were quite the luxury flower. They are available in a wide range of colors such as pink, yellow, white, green, orange, and brown. Another reason this flower is popular is its resistance to cold temperatures and floral handling while arranging.

Celosia
An interesting floral variety that resembles corals from the sea. Celosia is brightly colored in pink, red, yellow, and orange with a velvety texture.

Oriental Starfighter Lily
An alluring Oriental lily with hot pink petals and white edges. Unlike Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies are highly fragrant. These large blooming flowers are available year round.

Rosita Vendela (rose)
Another popular variety for wedding season is the bi-pink Ecuadorian rose, Rosita Vendela. It is a strong bubble-gum-colored pink rose that slightly fades to white at the edges. 

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Throwback Thursday: Trip to Ecuadorian Rose Farms

When you receive your roses from Virgin Farms, it’s not just a product. There’s a story to each rose, from the time it is planted in the ground to the time they are harvested. In September we will be visiting the farms to take you on a journey of the cultivation process.

The pictures below are from our visit to Ecuador in 2004. The cool weather and high altitude is what makes conditions optimal for growing robust roses. There is plenty of work involved in making sure the rose plants have the proper level of sunlight, hydration, and fertilization.

Once the roses are harvested, they are transported to a packaging facility onsite. The roses are checked for quality assurance, and sorted by stem length. Employees then package each bunch in protective insulation and cardboard. The bunches are taken by lot into a cooler where it is a chilly 32℉. The cold chain method preserves the roses’ freshly harvested state until it arrives to you. This is why your flowers often look thirsty upon arrival to your shop. Once you hydrate your flowers, they begin to bloom and show off their beauty.

Visit to our Ecuadorian Farms in 2004


We will be sharing photos and live streaming from the farms in September. Be sure to follow us on social media go on the journey with us! Instagram @virginfarms

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Welcome to the new website!

After working closely with the designers at Cultura Interactiva, we’re excited to share the launch of our new website. It has been refreshed and redesigned to simplify navigation, and integrate social media sharing.

E-commerce

After receiving many requests, we will be offering online shopping (coming soon). You’ll have the opportunity to order pre-packaged flower combo boxes or create your own box from available preset varieties. You can choose the shipping date, and receive your order the very next day—same service, with the convenience of ordering online.

Floral Catalog

Our floral catalog has been reorganized and updated with new photos. Now you can browse by category and color (roses), and the new drop-down menu makes it easier to browse through the spectacular varieties we offer.

Track Your Order

Check the status of your order in the “Track Your Order” tab on our homepage. Just enter the 12 digit tracking number found on your invoice to track the location of your box.

Social Media

We’re socially connected, and we want to share the behind-the-scenes at Virgin Farms with you. Follow us on Twitter to chat, stay informed, and make networking connections. Are you a photographer at heart? Follow us on Instagram—you’ll see photos of flowers fresh from the cooler, new arrivals, and candid moments around the office. Participate in our Magical Mosaic challenge every week on Facebook. Every week we post a flower concealed in mosaic form—it is your task to guess the correct variety by submitting your answers in the comment box. The first participant to reveal the mosaic receives a prize! You can also connect with us on YouTube and Pinterest (online pinning board) for inspiration.

Newsletter

You can now sign up to receive our Weekly Specials from Holland. Submit your email and begin receiving promotions, discounts, seasonal specials, and get a heads up on new floral arrivals.

Blog

We will be updating our blog with interesting floral tips and trends, contests, and inspiration for floral designers and event planners.

Stay tuned! 

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