Turkish florists race to meet soaring British demand after Queen Elizabeth's death

Workers prepare carnations for shipment to Britain and Europe at a flower factory in Antalya, Turkey, on Sept 13, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ISTANBUL - Turkish florists are resorting to cargo planes instead of trucks as they rush to send as many flowers as they can to Britain to meet a deluge of orders after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Orders for cut flowers have soared by 90 per cent since the Queen died, said Mr Selcuk Celebi, a member of the Antalya Commodity Exchange, adding that Turkish florists were able to meet only about 40 per cent of the demand.

"It is the end of the season in (the Mediterranean province of) Antalya. We are in a period where the production in the highlands in (the southern province of) Isparta is in decline," Mr Celebi told Reuters.

The rise in demand meant florists had to hire planes to deliver the flowers to Britain, which takes a day compared with a week by truck, he added.

Turkish Airlines subsidiary Turkish Cargo said it had begun shipping more than 500,000 flowers, weighing some 13 tonnes, from Antalya and Isparta to England for the funeral.

"Turkish Cargo has delivered approximately four tonnes of flowers to London since the beginning of the week," it said.

Between Sept 5 and 12, official data showed flower exports from Turkey to England increased by 40 per cent, compared with last year.


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