Valentine’s Day kicks off the busiest time of the year for the Tri-Counties’ $175 million cut-flower industry, and growers say they could have their most profitable season in years.
Reeling from a steep decline in sales last year and a Valentine’s Day that falls on a sales-dampening Sunday, growers have made their operations leaner but more profitable. And as a whole, the tri-county cut-flower industry is taking the first steps toward a distribution hub in Oxnard that would deliver its products fresher and faster and help it compete against foreign growers.
“This is one of our best holiday periods in probably five years,” said Hans Brand, the owner of Carpinteria-based B and H Flowers, which has 1.8 million square feet of greenhouse space, 40 acres of outdoor growing fields and 177 employees. “We have a little less product and a little better pricing.”