At Kitayama Brothers, our mantra is “our tradition is growing”; this means many things to us; it highlights the rich history of the company dating back to 1948 and sets our sights firmly on the future and improving in everything that we do. We believe that right now, this mantra is maybe more important than ever, we all have to find ways to continue growing, learning and sharing even as many of us are locked away in our homes. Small florists are finding ways to keep their business alive with increased social media and delivering their flowers to customers in new ways. The flower growers are looking for ways to avoid having to dump enormous amounts of flowers by alerting consumers about the need to purchase flowers and support their local florists that then support the growers. The world needs more flowers in homes and not in dumpsters right now.
Although we are worried about our businesses and industry as a whole, we are also concerned about the health of the world. We are taking social distancing and mandatory shelter in place orders seriously; we are operating with minimal necessary staff on site to maintain our greenhouses and move what product we can from our coolers out to the world. We are actively working to donate excess product to local organizations, but sadly there are too many flowers for those efforts to make much of an impact on the dumping rates.
The growers of Certified American Grown Flowers are calling on consumers to add flowers to their grocery lists when they make an essential run to the market or have essentials delivered to their homes. We wholeheartedly support this effort and are actively working with our mass-market customers to find ways to fill their floral departments and communicate to consumers the need to support the floral industry. We have come up with our own campaign that we think can help support everyone that is still able to operate in the floral supply chain. Stay Home. Send Flowers. This combines our belief that the world must take it’s time to heal right now and that flowers should be a powerful and essential part of that healing.
We believe that we must first take care of those around us, and right now, that means social distancing and self-isolation where possible. We all must find ways to sacrifice and stay home for the health and safety of others if not for our own selves and immediate family. Take this time to be in the moment with the people you live with and grow your bonds in the face of a world that is more uncertain than ever. Encourage your family and friends to also stay home, unfortunately we can’t go visit our grandparents, grab a drink with our friends or visit our favorite restaurants, but we can take a break from the world to help it to heal in the face of these incredibly difficult times that threaten the lives and wellbeing of many.
It is important for us to also remember, that there are millions of people who are still working right now, risking their own health and the health of their families. The medical teams who are working day and night to help the sick, the farmers working to bring food onto our tables, the grocery stores making sure we have all our essentials, the pharmacies, the police departments, the news reporters and all those industries working hard to provide all essential products and services to us. We are forever indebted to you. Thank you for your service.
We also believe that flowers are powerful things that can express joy, care, and understanding in an instant. With many people in isolation and staying home, there are likely as many people now, that need to be reminded of the people that love them, as there ever have been. You may know someone who is 65+ or has an underlying condition that is at a higher risk of being affected by the COVID 19 virus. You may have a very social friend that is stuck in their apartment alone, grappling with the anxiety of being isolated from the world. Lastly, we all need to find ways to continue to take care of ourselves too. To all of this, we say send flowers! Send flowers to remind your grandparents that you love them, and this too will pass if they stay home and safe. Send flowers to show your friend in isolation that even though they cannot meet up with you, you are still thinking about them and are here to support them. Send flowers to yourself to brighten your own day and change the scenery of a world that may seem too small and more than a little scary. Finally, send flowers to support your local florist and their livelihoods. Many florists were struggling to get by before their businesses were shut down for walk-in customers, and events were canceled. By doing all of this for your family, friends, yourself, and local businesses, you will be supporting the flower industry as a whole.
As growers, we want our employees to be healthy and well with jobs to come back to. This means we need people to buy #moreflowers and safely send them to loves ones in need. Stay home. Stay Safe. Send Flowers.