COVID-19 takes away the bloom: CT flowers store owner hoping for the best

Engelke Flowers has been trading since the 1930s and supplies retailers and individuals - but not since the start of lockdown.

Picture: engelkeflowers.co.za

CAPE TOWN - The flower industry has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Demand is low due to social distancing regulations and the prohibition of gatherings.

Under lockdown regulations, all weddings, birthdays and other celebratory events have been put on ice to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means the demand for flowers - usually an essential element at these events - is at an all-time low.

Engelke Flowers has been trading since the 1930s and supplies retailers and individuals - but not since the start of lockdown.

Flower farmer Gunter Engelke said the family business has had to destroy their produce.

“It’s just heart-breaking to throw away your flowers - I suppose it is composting in the way as it goes back into the soil - but you just cut it down. You just take a tractor and basically mow it down.”

Engelke said they were trying their best to support the 40 to 70 people who usually work at the farm and shop.

“They are getting a holiday pay. We are trying to keep them going with what we can at the moment.”

The shop will open under level 4 restrictions on Friday and Engelke hopes to regain some of the income lost over the past few weeks.