Connecting the flower industry from the ground up
The last few years have been hard for everyone, hospitality venues struggling to get bums on seats and retail owners dying to get people in-store. One industry that has been struggling for years is the Australian Flower Industry with the pandemic making it even harder.
In response to the decline in the flower industry, two local passionate women have joined forces to create a brand-new digital platform with the aim of connecting local flower growers to buyers based within Australia.
Brought to you by Jess Eckford Aguilera and Michelle Canny, The Flower Farm Collective is the first of its kind for Australia and is here to modernise the Australian floral industry.
With floral businesses across Australia being affected by lockdowns since early 2020, meeting with local growers in a physical capacity was not an option. Thus, the idea for The Flower Farm Collective, an online membership platform was born.
“The reason I wanted to start The Flower Farm Collective was to reconnect the industry,” Jess said.
Designed to build a like-minded community, The Flower Farm Collective connects people within the industry to encourage interaction, provide support, inspire, share knowledge, and connect up-and-coming growers with prospects and mentors.
Launched in September 2021, The interactive platform is available to flower growers and floral buyers throughout Australia and gives its members the opportunity to connect directly with their customer base, and encourages buyers to shop locally.
The Flower Farm Collective is a trade-based membership and is available through their website, but that’s not all for this dynamic duo, as they are currently working on launching an industry-focused Market Price Guide app later in the year. The Australian Market Price Guide aims to assist local growers to price their flowers, reflective of the industry demand.
“The idea of The Flower Farm Collective and the Market Price Guide for me is a much needed resource. We want to create a price guide that is accurate and dictated by the growers and buyers themselves.
“Developing this app is so exciting. Basically, any grower, floral designer, market, or wholesaler can go in and search for a flower, then they’ll get information on pricing, and how many stems in a bunch. I think the industry is going to wish they had this kind of technology five years ago.”
Taking things just that one step further, the app also plans to share information on when to plant and when to harvest! In addition to their digital membership offering, the girls have also curated a series of webinars relevant to the industry.
“We get a lot of feedback from our audience about what they want to hear, and we host webinars based on this feedback.
“Last year, we hosted a webinar that focussed on how to present your bunches, how many stems you should be putting into a bunch, and how much to charge for those bunches and it was such a hit.” Michelle said.
“Not all growers are necessarily equipped with the information on how to present their products to a buyer. Most growers want to wholesale their blooms, so we cover things as simple as presentation.” Jess said.
Webinars are open to anyone, so you don’t have to be a member of The Flower Farm Collective to gain access. To find out about future webinars, head on over to their Instagram page here.
The digital platform, based here in Newcastle, is available Australia-wide, giving members the opportunity to connect solely with Australian-based growers and buyers.