The Challenges Of Being In The Imported Floral Business
by Staff Reporter,
Posted: 2009-10-02 11:26:04 EST

Q: Can you give a brief overview of the Association of Floral Importers of Florida? 

A: The Association of Floral Importers of Florida has represented the interests of South Florida fresh cut flower importers since its inception in 1982. Flowers imported through Miami supply approximately two-thirds of the flowers consumed in the U.S. The Association of Floral Importers of Florida members account for the majority of the sales volume of the Miami flower importers. 

The basic flower industry supply chain starts with growers, importers, wholesalers, retailers to consumer. There are more than a hundred fresh cut flower companies in Miami who are importers. 

Q: What is the primary function of an importer? 

A: The importers buy flowers from the farms and their responsibilities for the purchased flowers start from the farm gate. They are responsible for the transportation to Miami and most of imported flowers come by air into the Miami International Airport. The airlines then do the agricultural inspection and once the inspection is complete and the stuff is cleared the importers pick it up in their refrigerated trucks, and take it back to their refrigerated facilities. They do pre-cooling to make sure that the flowers are maintained at the best temperature. Then, they sell their product via telemarketing to wholesalers throughout the country. 

The importers are responsible for delivering to all of the truck lines that the wholesalers choose to transport their flowers throughout the country. So, the importers play a significant role in the supply chain.  

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