By Shane Gibson , Global News
With less than two weeks until Mother’s Day, Winnipeg florists say they may be facing a shortage of flowers for the big day.
According to the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, higher-than-normal demand for fresh-cut flowers through the coronavirus crisis and recent disruptions to international floral shipments has left many local florists floundering to find flowers.
“Who would have ever thought that Mother’s Day would be affected by international trade and a pandemic? But it is having a huge impact,” said World Trade Centre Winnipeg president and CEO Mariette Mulaire this week.
Mulaire says most of Winnipeg’s florists rely on a supply chain that starts with growers in Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and California, but shipments from those parts of the world have been hampered because of a drop in commercial planes and truck shipments due to COVID-19.
World Trade Centre Winnipeg president and CEO Mariette Mulaire, left, and Michele Pitre, owner of Norwood Florist Design Studio. World Trade Centre Winnipeg/Handout
But that’s not the only issues that may thwart would-be flower buyers this spring, says Winnipeg florist, Michele Pitre.
The long-time owner of Norwood Florist Design Studio says rainy weather in South America is also affecting growers. She said even if florists could expect normal deliveries this year, it’s already been nearly impossible to keep up with a ramped-up demand during the pandemic.
“People have rediscovered cut flowers over the pandemic,” said Pitre, telling Global News Winnipeg Morning her shop has seen a 30 to 40 per cent jump in business through COVID-19.
“It’s the increase in demand coupled with the shipping hiccups that we’ve experienced just recently, that has really started to manifest itself, to the point where we feel that our sales could possibly be impacted next week.”
Pitre says she’s already been warned by one of her suppliers to expect a shortage in supply, and she’s recommending anyone hoping to have flowers for mom on May 9 to get their orders in as soon as possible.
“A lot of the shops will be prioritizing based on the date the orders come in,” she explained.
“(So) it is imperative that if you want flowers, please let us know so that we can get everything lined up.“If this is a beloved family tradition, let [your florist] know this week what you would like.”