Heathrow Airport is expecting to import 570 tonnes of roses, triple the average month to make sure supplies are well stocked ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Red roses have been a Valentine’s Day staple since the 17th century, and 88 per cent of fresh cut flowers come from countries along the equator.
Kenyan roses accounted for 60 per cent of rose imports at Heathrow in 2015, with the remainder from Colombia, India, Tanzania and Ecuador.
Nearly 93 per cent of fresh cut roses imported to the UK travel by aircraft with more than a third going through Heathrow.
Heathrow Airport head of cargo, Nick Platts says: “While Heathrow’s cargo team may be best known for their daily handling of smoked salmon and engine materials, Valentine’s Day brings out the crew’s sensitive side as the warehouses are infused with the scent of red roses.”
“Passengers flying through Heathrow in February may be surprised at the amount of fresh flowers that are under their very seats courtesy of the airport’s direct connections to places like Kenya, Colombia, and India.”