Impact of COVID-19 on the Taiwanese floriculture industry

The local government of Taiwan is seeking ways to prop up Taiwan’s floriculture industry, which has been dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flower carpet
©Taiwan Floriculture Development Association

Taiwanese floriculture industry during the COVID-19

Taiwanese floriculture is facing a difficult time during the pandemic of COVID-19. As elsewhere this industry is probably affected the most during the recent months. Taiwan’s annual flower production area is around 15.000 hectare, with an annual production value of NT$16.5 billion (US$ 562 million). Export takes NT$6.6 billion which is almost 40 % of the total value. The main items are Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, Anthurium, Eustoma, Cymbidium and Malabar chestnut. These are mainly exported to USA (39%), Japan (33%), Vietnam (11%) and the Netherlands (8%). Due to the impact of COVID-19, the export volume went down in April from 2518 tons to 1219 tons, and as a result the export value decreased to NT$130 million compare to the same month last year. As for the domestic market, floral showcases have been canceled due to the virus, including the annual Taiwan International Orchid Show and the World Orchid Conference. Other demands mainly include religion events, marriage banquets and dining. All of which were canceled or postponed, dropping the turnover by 40% in April compare to the same period last year.   

Measures to stimulate the sector

In order to stimulate the sector, the Council of Agriculture (COA) has taken several measures to help with marketing campaigns, focusing on 4 major aspects:

  1. The government purchases flower to decorate public space as demo to encourage citizens to use more flowers, such as outdoor flower carpet show or flower arranging art at train stations.
  2. To develop new selling channels which are closer to consumer’s daily life, including flower stalls set up at supermarkets and retailers to attract consumers.
  3. To promote new ideas to use flowers, for example using flower gift box for temples.
  4. To develop the habit of regularly purchasing flower by consumer.    

COA has also proposed various bailouts and revitalization measures and is committed to expanding the global market, hoping to turn the crisis into an opportunity to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 on agricultural exports to lowest.