New Zealand flower growers may possibly have a gloomy Valentine's Day as reports claim they are urging customers to check where the roses they buy come from. According to BBC, local rose growers said cheap imported flowers could expose the country to biosecurity risk and drive prices of local flowers down.
New Zealand's Flower Growers Association reported that half of the 600,000 roses people are expected to buy on Feb 14, Valentine's Day, will come from Colombia and India. The country's strict biosecurity regulations state that flower imports should be dipped in herbicide for 20 minutes.
However, if this treatment is strictly observed, flowers will not remain fresh for long. Batches of foreign flowers which were not treated well might bring diseases and pests, according to New Zealand's Flower Growers Association head David Blewden.
Mr Blewden told Xinhua that the association has encountered several biosecurity threats to the local flower industry. He said Kiwi flower growers were forced to lower their prices because of mass-produced flowers overseas. Mr Blewden added that the quality of imported flowers were not as high as roses grown in New Zealand.
Despite the woes of New Zealand growers, flower farmers in India are happy with their growing market share. According to New Delhi's Financial Express, India is expected to export 20 million flowers in time for Valentine's Day as the demand for cheaper flowers in New Zealand and Australia, including Europe's harsh weather conditions, drive exports.
Man drought in Australia?
Single women in Australia may have wondered why all the good men they meet seem to be in a relationship or married. It may be because of the man drought.
According to McCrindle Research, six out of eight states and territories in Australia are currently experiencing a dwindling male population or the man drought. The report revealed that women outnumber men by nearly 100,000.
Social researcher and analyst Mark McCrindle studied the data of Australian Bureau of Statistics on the ratio of men and women across the country's regions. Mr McCrindle said even though there are more male babies born than girls, the female population still outnumber the men. There were also more men than women until the age of 35.
Mr McCrindle cited overseas employment as one of the reasons for Australia's man drought. He said the man drought is mostly observed during a man's working stage of life usually between the mid-30s to the mid-60s. It is a sign that men take advantage of work opportunities abroad.
The report explained the man drought to be at its most evident when people reach the mid-70s and cited women usually lived longer than men. By the time women are in their 80s, females will outnumber men by 50 per cent.
For Australian women who want to find a man before their biological clock runs out, Mr McCrindle suggests looking for younger men. The average Australian bride is two years younger than their grooms.
He also recommends finding a man overseas since global statistics show that there are over 70 countries with more males than females.