Businesses have been heavily affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and the Netherlands’ legendary tulip industry is no exception. With lockdowns across Europe, export of the iconic Dutch flower has come to a halt and demand has taken a huge hit.
Last year, the Dutch flower industry’s exports were worth over six billion euros. This year, however, many Dutch farmers have been giving away their tulips to healthcare workers, reported the New York Post. Even with Easter and Mother’s Day on the way, nobody’s in the mood to buy flowers. According to Royal FloraHolland, 70 and 80 percent of the country’s total annual production is being destroyed.
Elsewhere in the world, most notably Kenya and Ethiopia, two countries with large flower industries, the situation is just as dire.
Jack Kneppers, owner of the Maridadi Flowers farm in Kenya said that 80 percent of his staff is now at home. Now, the remaining staff is cutting roses at a rate of 230,000 to 250,000 flowers a day, and loading them onto carts that are pushed to a dumping facility for discarded flowers.