by AEA’s Publication Team
With the passing of Valentines, the season of gifting flowers has come to a close. For a long while, and well before anyone was even thinking about Valentines, it felt as though all the adverts in facebook was all about enticing people to buy flowers. The most egregious of them all being the one about the crystal flashing rose in a dome. That one appears almost every month and each year it starts appearing earlier and earlier and for much longer. Anyways, now that it suddenly disappeared from our facebook walls, it’s embarrassing to admit just how much we found ourselves missing it. It really made everyone in the publications team wonder “just where do flowers come from anyways?” So for February’s article, we decided to do some research on the history and distribution of floriculture in the country.
History of Floriculture in the Philippines (Manuel)
Though this industry isn’t often in the limelight when it comes to sectors of the agricultural industry, Floriculture and in extension Horicultre have quite a storied and eventful history in our country. From humble beginnings in the 1970s to 1980s to being recognized as a valuable asset to the economy by the government in the mid 1980s to 1990s, one can truly say that floriculture has earned its valuable place in the modern Philippine economy. There may be issues when it comes to supply given the high demand for various kinds of flowers during the peak seasons of Valentines Day, All Saints Day, Graduation Season and the Holiday Season. All of which are remedied by importing flowers from neighboring countries. The tables below show the varieties of cut flowers grown in the country and the regions which produce the most of these cut flowers.
How Cut flowers are Grown
Moving on, of course its important to take note of how these flowers we’ve been talking about are grown and produced. As per our research, the regions of the country that produce the most ornamental cut flowers are: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Western and Central Visayas, and Northern and Southern Mindanao and each of these regions have their own corresponding climates and conditions that benefit different kinds of flowers. “Among the cut flowers, chrysanthemum is largely produced in Central Visayas (86%); rose and gladiolus in the CAR (43% and 83%), respectively; and orchid (93%) and anthurium (25%) in the Davao Region (Bureau of Agricultural Statistics [BAS], 2003, in Naranja, 2006)”, reports Dait in their paper on the Cut Flower Industry of Nueva Vizcaya. This statistic just goes to show that the Floriculture Industry in our country is very much alive. The growers use different methods in order to produce and harvest these flowers. From using methyl bromide to sterilize the soil, to using drip irrigation systems, these methods prove that this industry is capable and is definitely a vital part of our economy.
How Flowers are Distributed
The movement of flowers in the Philippines from production to consumption can be rather complicated, but generally the floriculture industry in the Philippines is mainly supplied by the following provinces (1) Bengeut, (2) Cavite, (3) Laguna, (4) Batangas, (5) Negros Occidental, (6) Cebu, (7) South Cotobato, and finally (8) Davao (Evangeline Toroy and Katsuhisa Ito). The ones who supply these flowers are either private corporations or individual growers and depending on the origin of the flowers, the supply chain the flowers follow can vary greatly. For example, corporations are usually supply their own retailers or distribution centers with the flowers they produce rather than selling directly to a consumer. Worth noting as well, other florists who buy flowers from the corporations to sell in retail often do their purchases in cash. On the other hand, although an individual grower could sell directly to a consumer, the variety of options available to them (ex. selling to an assembler, signing a contract to supply a corporation, or distributing to a market cooperation) result in diversifying the chain of distribution for flowers that come from them. (See flowchart below for representation on distribution)
Source: A Study on The Distribution Functions for Cut Flowers in The Philippines (Evangeline Toroy and Katsuhisa Ito)
Overall however, flowers that are usually bought by consumers generally come from market areas that have garnered a reputation for being the place to buy and sell flowers. For example, Dangwa, Quiapo, and Baclaran are among the most recognized flower markets in Metro Manila.
As for the cutflowers that are the most popular in the Philippines (measured in production by volume), these are (1)Chrysanthemum, (2)Gladiola, (3)Roses, (4)Daisy, and (5)Orchids.
In conclusion, as is shown in the various data sets above, the Floriculture Industry is very much alive in the modern Philippine Economic Landscape and it’s slowly and surely becoming more and more valuable as the years go by. With the gifting of flowers for various events becoming more commonplace, this industry is sure to face shortages due to high demand though there are definitely measures in place to mitigate this possible problem. As the Valentine’s season comes to a close and as the flowers we may have gifted to our significant others wilt, may we remember the place this industry has in our country and how important it really is.