In Business for the Love of it?

Nehézségi szint: KÖZÉPFOK B2 (Szerző: Chris Scully)

Vajon hogyan kapcsolódik a Valentin nap az üzleti élethez? Derítsük ki és tanuljunk meg új kifejezéseket ebben az olvasmányban.

The Beatles once sang that Money can’t buy you love, but half of American women say they would end a relationship if their partners did not buy them Valentines flowers. So whether it is because of obligation or pure love and devotion, Valentine’s day has come to be a popular day of love celebrated world-wide. This also means vast sums of money are spent by partners on their lovers. Not only lovers but women tend to buy flowers for their parents, cards and candies are also big business. One of the facts that people find hard to understand is how and why the cost of roses skyrockets around the 14th February and the following seeks to explain this.

Logistics of Flower transport

Because Valentine’s day is a popular business it means major flower sellers must invest in an essential supply chain. For its success this chain needs to run smoothly at every stage.

It begins with a large client such as a supermarket chain ordering the quantity of roses that they think will be sold on Valentine’s day. This can be as much as 250 million roses in the US. In order to fulfil the order in time, the rose growers must use a cut back technique. Roses which grow from buds on the rose stems increase their growth and size if they are cut back. This is because as the plant tries to fight for life it produces even stronger growth to make up for the loss. The downside of this technique is that for the period when the roses are growing after this cut back, the growers are losing what profit could be made from harvesting the rose stems that had to be cut back. Therefore, they put the prices up to cover the loss of income before Valentine’s day.

A second difficulty is growing roses in winter requires specially heated or protected environments which is also expensive.

Yet another cost is the refrigerated transport. Flowers are fragile and have a short shelf life. In order to preserve them in the best condition on the long journey between grower and retail outlet businesses like large supermarkets have to prepare and maintain a cold supply chain.

As an example, the US imports most of its roses from South America and they are flown over by cargo plane to Texas for example and then carried by refrigerated truck to a Californian warehouse. From here the orders are distributed to its many outlets or stores. All the time the roses must be kept chilled and the employees handling them, must also work in these cold conditions.

For the Valentines rush there is a new wave of temporary recruitment to fill these somewhat undesirable roles (because of the cold conditions) and they must offer higher wages for a short term and difficult job.

Valentine’s day is the time when many smaller Florists meet their bottom line. How well they do on this one day can make or break their business, so next time you think buying your loved one a rose on Valentine’s day may not be worth the price you can remember how many hands it has passed through before arriving in yours.


devotion            vast        sum           skyrocket       florist        tend to      essential         supply chain     run     smoothly         invest in           order         fulfil         bud          stem             cover sb’s losses          refrigerate           fragile        shelf life     prepare     retail            condition             cargo              maintain             to handle     import       undesirable                chilled     recruitment             bottom line        harvest     required


1 A _______ is someone whose job is to arrange and sell flowers. The shop they work in is called a ________’s.

2 ________ is when you love something so much it is your single or main focus in your life

3 _________ means a very large amount of something (an adjective)

4 To ______ ___ something is to buy something, especially something that you need and will use a lot

5 A ______ is noun meaning an amount. Also used in book-keeping to mean adds up to a total.

6 A ______ _______ is a series of processes involved in supplying a product to someone

7 To __________ is to increase in value extremely quickly

8 The _______ is the long thin central part of a plant from which the leaves and flowers grow

9 If you _____ ___ do something, you usually do it so that it has become a habit.

10 If something is _________ to you, it is very basic, important and necessary for what you do.

11 When something is ________ it is easy to break or damage

12 When you _____ something you manage it or keep it going

13 If something goes _________ then it happens without too many problems or difficulties (adverb)

14 An ______ is something you place with a supplier and they send it to you

15 When you _______ something you complete something that you promised to do.

16 ______ are things that are being sent by ship, plane, train, or truck

17 To ___________ is to keep food or drinks cold by putting them in a refrigerator

18 A ____ is a tightly curled up part of a plant that will open to form a leaf or flower

19 When a business ______s its _______ it makes sure it does not lose profit during a certain period

20 ______ _____ is the amount of time that a food, medicine, or similar product can be kept in a shop before it is too old to sell

21 To _______ is to make something ready for use

22 _______ relates to the sale of goods directly to the public for their own use

23 Something’s _________ is its physical state

24 To _________ something is to keep it at the same level or standard

25 To ________ goods is to deal with them as they pass through a centre, airport or port.

26 To ________ is to buy or bring goods into your country from another country

27 If a food is _______ it is kept at a cool temperature to give it a longer shelf life

28 ___________ is the process of finding new staff for a company

29  The ______ _______ is the amount of profit a company will make through sales

30 Something that is __________ is unwanted.

31 The activity of collecting a crop is to _________.

32 Something that is _________ is needed or necessary.


1 florist, florist’s

2 devotion

3 vast

4 invest in

5 sum

6 supply chain

7 sky-rocket

8 stem

9 tend to

10 essential

11 fragile

12 run

13 smoothly

14 order

15 fulfil

16 cargo

17 refrigerate

18 bud

19 cover their losses

20 shelf life

21 prepare

22 retail

23 condition

24 maintain

25 handle

26 import

27 chilled

28 recruitment

29 bottom line

30 undesirable

31 harvest

32 required

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