Over the last 20 or 30 years, the demand for cut flowers has increased significantly and important changes occurred in consumption patterns. Rather than occasional purchases of traditional species for special occasions, flowers are becoming a regular decorative part of middle-and upper-income homes, and exotic and interesting varieties are increasingly popular.
Linked to this change of when, how and which flowers are bought, are how and where these flowers are produced. Although much of the domestic demand in major consuming countries is still satisfied by domestic production, commercial production has become a highly globalised trade. The widespread use of air-freight transport, together with increases in the use of logistical practices such as cold-chain management, have allowed a shift in production to countries that enjoy competitive advantages in land, labour and climate â€“ hence the importance of the industry for developing countries.