Hurricane Irma causes uncertainty for P.E.I. florists
Florists order extra stock from down south to meet customer demands and avoid delays
Florists on P.E.I. were scrambling last week get their orders placed before Hurricane Irma hit Miami, one of the most important flower hubs for tropical flowers from South America.
"We knew it was coming up," said Vikky Sweeney, co-owner of Flower Buds in Charlottetown. "We watched it. Sometimes it affects us, sometimes it doesn't. In this case it did."
Workers in Florida were unable to unload planes and load trucks. That caused delays shipping to suppliers north of the border.
Sweeney said a lot of her flowers come from eco-friendly farms in South America. They are flown into Miami, and then trucked to Canada.
"Obviously, when the trucks aren't moving, and the flowers aren't moving, we're not getting them when we should," Sweeney said. "Because of Irma ... everything was kind of on standstill for a little bit."
Flower Buds planned ahead, and once they knew the hurricane was headed toward Florida they quickly ordered the flowers they needed for customers and upcoming special events.
"We were able to kind of keep ahead of things," Sweeney said
Alan Preston, the owner of Hearts and Flowers in Charlottetown, also ordered flowers in advance when he knew Irma was likely going to impact supply.
"We're stocked well right now for the time being and we will be getting some fresh flowers in this Friday, but I doubt we'll be getting our regular order in on Monday, and that's why we brought more in on Friday," he said.
"There's uncertainty. We don't know what we're going to get if we place now for something for next week.
Certain flowers affected
Preston said the products affected are roses from Ecuador, carnations from Colombia and ferns from Florida.
"Everything else, we bring in from fresh growers in Ontario, and that's the mainstay of our autumn flowers, our daisies and a lot of the specialty flowers that we bring in for autumn," he said. "There's no problem with that."
Sweeney is hoping there won't be any delays next week, but isn't promising anything in particular to customers so they aren't disappointed.
One of her customers has ordered a special tropical flower for his wife. It's supposed to arrive in time for their anniversary on Friday.
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