Indian rose exporters have witnessed a surge in demand from the UK market, as Brexit and the energy crisis in Europe have disrupted the supply of roses from the Netherlands. Indian roses are now preferred for Valentine’s Day and other occasions, as they are cheaper, fresher, and more diverse.
Brexit creates new opportunities for Indian roses
The UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) in 2020 has created new opportunities for Indian rose exporters, as the imports from the Netherlands, the major supplier of roses to the UK, have faced new customs checks and delays. The UK used to import around 80% of its roses from the Netherlands, but now the share has dropped to 50%, according to the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products.
This has opened the doors for Indian roses, which are cheaper and have a longer shelf life. Indian roses can reach the UK market within 48 hours of being plucked, while the Dutch roses take 72 hours. Indian roses also have more variety and colours, as they are grown in different climatic zones.
According to Praveen Sharma, president of Indian Society of Floriculture Professionals, the export of roses from India to the UK has increased by 1,000 per cent till the end of November 2023, compared to November 30, 2022. He said that Indian roses are now preferred for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and other occasions, as they are more affordable and attractive.
Energy crisis affects Dutch rose production
Another factor that has boosted the demand for Indian roses is the energy crisis in Europe, which has affected the production of roses in the Netherlands. The ongoing war in Ukraine has caused a shortage of natural gas in Europe, which has led to a spike in energy prices and a reduction in greenhouse heating. Many Dutch rose growers have decided to drop their winter crop, as they cannot afford the high energy costs.
This has resulted in a lower supply and higher prices of Dutch roses, which has made them less competitive in the UK market. The Dutch roses are now sold at 1.5 euros per stem, while the Indian roses are sold at 0.5 euros per stem. The Indian roses also have a better quality and fragrance, as they are grown in natural sunlight and soil.
Indian rose industry faces challenges and potential
Despite the increase in demand, the Indian rose industry also faces some challenges, such as the lack of adequate infrastructure, logistics, and cold chain facilities. The Indian rose exporters also have to deal with the high freight charges, the fluctuation in exchange rates, and the competition from other countries, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Colombia.
However, the Indian rose industry also has a huge potential, as it can tap into the growing global market for roses, which is estimated to be worth $25 billion. India has a favourable climate, a skilled workforce, and a large domestic market for roses. India also has a strong research and development sector, which can help in improving the quality and variety of roses.
The Indian rose industry can also benefit from the government’s initiatives, such as the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, the Agri Export Policy, and the Horticulture Mission, which aim to boost the production and export of floriculture products. The Indian rose industry can also leverage the digital platforms, such as e-commerce and social media, to reach out to new customers and markets.
The Indian rose industry has witnessed a remarkable growth in the UK market, thanks to Brexit and the energy crisis in Europe. Indian roses are now preferred for Valentine’s Day and other occasions, as they are cheaper, fresher, and more diverse. The Indian rose industry also has a lot of potential and opportunities, as it can cater to the global demand for roses, which is expected to grow in the future.