Vancouver Island rose farm sees increased business due to pandemic and global shipping challenges

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A rose farm in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia is seeing a surge in business as international growers face growing challenges getting their flowers to market.

According to Eurosa Farms chief grower Paul Bulk, shipping costs for imported flowers have been rising for several years. But now the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues have driven up the cost of imported flowers even more.

“Now it’s mainly because of the cost of transportation, because it’s gotten so much higher that it gives us a little advantage to local growers,” Bulk said.

This year, Eurosa Farms is experiencing greater demand than ever, producing around 70,000 roses before Valentine’s Day.

It’s more than 350 bundles, against 120 bundles last year.

According to Bulk, the changing market trend means that consumers can choose a better and fresher product at a comparable cost.

“The difference between a local rose and an imported rose would be the vase life,” he said. “We don’t spend days or weeks in transit and that gives us an edge on quality and vase life.”

“And we’re so much closer to our market that we’re able to deliver in shorter lead times than something that comes from Miami, (and) before that, South America,” he said.

To keep up with demand, Eurosa Farms upgraded its greenhouse lights with a new LED system last fall, to increase efficiency and boost winter production.

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