NPR logo

Flower Industry Wilts From Volcanic Ash Disruptions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/126183569/126183556" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Flower Industry Wilts From Volcanic Ash Disruptions

Europe

Flower Industry Wilts From Volcanic Ash Disruptions

Flower Industry Wilts From Volcanic Ash Disruptions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/126183569/126183556" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The flower harvest in Holland was just getting underway when the ash cloud brought air cargo services to a halt. Flower exporters in the Netherlands are seeking compensation for the losses they've incurred because they haven't been able to ship flowers by air freight for days.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Some industries wilted a bit over the past week, like the flower industry, which is centered in the Netherlands. Emily Kopp reports.

EMILY KOPP: The Dutch flower industry is not just homegrown tulips. Half of the world's cut flowers come through the Netherlands. Roses and other plants from overseas usually account for 30 percent of the stock bought and sold here at FloraHolland, the biggest flower auction in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

KOPP: Passengers may be flying home, but flowers from overseas still can't get here. Shipping flowers is not a top priority. Herman de Boon is chairman of the Dutch Flower Exporters Organization. He says the rose industry in Kenya has been hit hard and is laying off workers.

HERMAN DE BOON: It's a pity that they have to send people home, thousands of people working there on the farms, because there was no sales. There was no air freight capacity available, and you can't sell flowers in the Sahara.

KOPP: De Boon estimates the flower trade has lost about $30 million. He questions whether officials overreacted when they shut down most of Northern Europe's airspace for days.

DE BOON: The question is now are the rules okay, because it was a very generic decision they took to stop everything, and now we find out that that was maybe not necessary.

KOPP: Flower exporters are considering legal action against some European governments. Meanwhile, De Boon says volume should be back to normal by the end of next week. Exporters consider themselves lucky. Mother's Day is two weeks away.

For NPR News, I'm Emily Kopp in The Hague, the Netherlands.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.