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Floral firms wither in face of policy change

Updated: 2013-10-01 10:29
By Xu Wei ( China Daily)

Floral firms wither in face of policy change

Workers put the final touches to a floral arrangement featuring a landscape. [Photo by Wang Jing/China Daily]

Flower companies in Beijing are having a hard time as authorities have banned floral displays in front of government buildings during the National Day holiday from Oct 1 to 7.

Government departments should not arrange for flower beds or any other form of flower display to be placed in front of their buildings in light of the central leadership's ban on extravagance, the Beijing Bureau of Landscape and Forestry said in a statement recently.

The move has resulted in a slump in business for many flower companies in the capital.

Sun Lei, a manager at the flower display department of the Green Garden Group, said the company could suffer a loss of more than 80,000 pots of flowers in government orders for National Day.

The company used to have more than 40 regular clients, mostly government departments, which required flower display services during the National Day holiday period. This year, none of them has ordered the service.

"We can do nothing because it is a change of government policy," Sun said.

He said his company's business has slumped by 20 percent this year due to the campaign against extravagance, with the biggest reduction experienced in flowers ordered for government meetings.

The number of flowers on display in Tian'anmen Square has also been reduced as the authorities canceled the display of flower boxes and pots on the sides of the square and on both sides of the Tian'anmen Rostrum.

Shi Yi, sales manager with the Qianxi Flowers and Trees Corp in Beijing, said his company's flower display business is expected to drop by 40 percent year-on-year for the National Day holiday.

"The drop is most obvious among orders from government clients," he said.

Shang Yan, assistant general manager with the Beijing Flowers and Trees Corp who is in charge of the flower display in Tian'anmen Square, said the number of flowers used this year is significantly lower than previous years. He declined to provide any figures.

The company also recycled some of the artificial petals used last year in the display of a giant peony flower inside the giant basket, which is the centerpiece of the floral display.

Yang Zhihua, an official at the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry, said more local varieties of flowers were selected this year, and in some locations flowers were replaced with green plants to cut spending, Xinhua reported.