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Israel Benefits From Flower Price Surge

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Problems with flower exports from Kenya – the largest supplier of cut flowers to western Europe – and cold weather in Europe at the end of May and in early June contributed to a steep rise in the prices.
Due to a shortage of labour, Israeli growers were unable to meet the demand for their flowers on the markets, but still had one of their most profitable periods for some time. The export of flowers from Kenya was halted due to suspected plant diseases. Secretary of the Israel Flowers Growers’ Association Chaim Hadad said that during the first week of June, Israeli growers exported 20 million flowers, 33 per cent more than during a "regular" summer week. He said the average price per flower was €0.3, double the price fetched on the markets during other weeks. Total sales returns in the first week of June totaled NIS35 million (US$7.6m).
The flower industry in Kenya was established with the help of Israeli flower growers and experts who were unable to expand their farms in Israel due to then shortage of water and the shortage of manpower.
To combat labour problems, sources at the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel told FPJ that the government will approve the entry of 5,000 additional foreign workers, mostly from Thailand, bringing the total number of foreign workers in the agricultural sector to 26,000.

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