Valentine’s Day: Truth about where your flowers are really coming from – Yahoo!news – February 2022

AFTA founding member Craig Musson provided a comment to Yahoo!news, ahead of Valentines Day in 2022, about imported flowers. AFTA provided background on the current Australian production base and its inability to entirely supply the local market with certain varieties, such as roses, for key events such as Valentines Day and Mothers Day. Australia cannot produce the relatively huge quantities required for these floral events, for which Australia can produce 400,000 stems, while the demand is for five million stems.

Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day along with major events like weddings and conferences attract the largest influx of foreign product, according to Craig Musson from the Australian Flower Traders Association.

Mr Musson, a major flower importer and cultivator, argues the surge in demand overwhelms the local industry, which is comprised of around 600 growers, meaning there would be a “massive shortfall” without imported product.

“There’s about 1500 to 2000 florists in Australia, who really make the profit over those two big days, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day,” he said.

Craig Musson questioned the need for imported flowers to be treated with glyphosate, in comments to Yahoo!news.

While glyphosate is approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) Mr Musson believes there are a number of other chemicals which could do the same job.

“We’re not even entirely sure how feeding them with glyphosate is actually protecting Australia’s biosecurity,” he said

“We’re the only country in the world that requires it, apart from New Zealand.”

Toxicologist Dr Ian Musgrave, from the University of Adelaide, dispelled some myths around the use of chemicals in the global and Australian flower industry, telling Yahoo!news pesticides are used in locally grown products to kill fungus, insects and other organisms deemed pests.

“There is not enough material on plants for consumers to be concerned.” Dr Musgrave said.

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