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Experts believe that the production focus has moved from traditional growers, such as the Netherlands, Germany and France, to countries where the climates are better and production costs are lower.This has resulted in a paradigm shift in the floral industry. Netherlands, for instance, has already shifted attention from flower production to flower trading. Also, the floral industry is essentially a labour-intensive one, which is why the biggest market though still is the Dutch one at Aalsmeer, the flowers are from Third World producers like Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia and India. Other players in this global industry are Israel, South Africa and Malaysia. Most of these countries-employing close to 250,000 in the floral industry in all - grow the "top ten" best selling flowers though many are starting to export indigenous crops.
Click here for the list of top ten best selling flowers and UK´s ten most favorite flowers.
Geographically speaking,in Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe are major exporters. Both are good rose producers.In South America, Colombia is a leading flower producer and exporter. In fact it accounted for about 60% of all flowers imported by America in 2004.
The floral industry´s current focus is to find new markets.The major international consumer markets being Germany (22 percent), the US (15 percent), France (10 percent), the UK (10 percent), the Netherlands (9 percent), Japan (6 percent), Italy (5 percent), and Switzerland (5 percent).
Experts believes niche markets in these countries hold potential, but the emerging markets in Eastern Europe are the prime growth prospects.
However, it is China, the leading national lover of gardening and flora, on which experts have pinned their hopes on. In 2002 alone, China sold a total of more than 3.8 billion fresh flowers and 810 million potted flowers. The floral industry is keenly watching as to how China fulfils the potential to supply world markets. The flower industry has been shifted from its production-oriented pattern to a consumption-oriented one.
China has in recent years become one of the largest flower producing and consuming countries in the world. By the end of 2001, China had more than 20,000 flower-growing enterprises and over 2,000 flower wholesale markets, with 1.45 million people working for this booming trade. In that year alone, Chinese flower industry had sales totalling 3.8 billion fresh flowers and 810 million potted flowers. In recent years, much progress has been made in the selection of flower seed varieties and nursing of flowers.