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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Australia imports record number of roses for Valentines Day 

SYDNEY (Xinhua) -- Australia is set to have its most romantic Valentine’s Day ever on Wednesday, with the news that a record 10.5 million roses have been imported over the past two weeks.

According to the The Federal Department of Agriculture, the majority of the imports have come from Kenya.

Up 1.25 million on last year, lovesick Aussie’s have shipped in 6.46 million rose stems from the African country since the beginning of February.

Although many wives and girlfriends here may be delighted by the figures, Australia’s agriculture sector have voiced concerns about the growing pressure on the domestic flower industry.

Finding it difficult to compete with cheaper importers, executive officer of the Flower Association of Australia Shane Holborn told local media that “rose producers in Australia are a dying breed.”

“We’ve had a substantial number of them just go out of business or change to another crop, it’s not easy for them,” he said.

But due to new biosecurity laws being introduced March 1, next year’s Valentine’s Day could see a big drop in the number of roses coming from overseas.

“In a nutshell, the changes will be around more fumigation of the product before it comes into the country, more rigorous checking when they arrive, and more consistently applied sampling procedures in all ports of entry,” Holborn explained.

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