From the Blog

The STARS Act or “Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality Act of 2014” has finally been introduced in the House of Representatives after months of intense lobbying by the Society of American Florists and other partners.

So what is the STARS Act and how does it affect the cut-flower industry?

Under the current law there are varying definitions of what constitutes a “seasonal worker” which has created some confusion.  The STARS Act would create one simple definition of a “seasonal worker” in order for small businesses to more easily comply with the Affordable Care Act.

This act would help small businesses which have been hindered by having to offer health insurance and other benefits to employees who would normally fall under part-time employment laws.  This confusion has put seasonal employers (like flower producers) at risk for serious tax liabilities.

The STARS Act would provide a clear definition of a “seasonal worker” as “a worker who is employed on a seasonal basis for six months or less during the calendar year, consistent with Department of Treasury regulations.”  It would also make it clear to small seasonal employers as to what extent they are subject to the Affordable Care Act mandate.   This could give them the tools and understanding necessary for compliance.

The actual Library of Congress summary as written by the Congressional Research Service is as follows:


Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality Act of 2014 or the STARS Act – Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt seasonal employees from the definition of “full-time employee” for purposes of the employer mandate to provide employees with minimum essential health care coverage.

Defines “seasonal employee” as an employee who is employed in a position for which the customary annual employment is not more than six months and which requires performing labor or services that are ordinarily performed at certain seasons or periods of the year.

Source: http://www.ncrla.org/news/184369/House-bill-to-simplify-seasonal-employer-compliance-under-ACA-introduced.htm
Source: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5213#summary
Source: https://www.landcarenetwork.org/images/PLANETFTP/LandcareNetwork/GovernmentAffairs/Documents/5-ISSUE%20BRIEFING%20-%20Seasonal%20Health%20Care.pdf
Picture Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/
Picture Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/amira_a/

Roses continue to be the top imported fresh-cut flower in the United States.  Last year alone an incredible 5.1 billion stems of flowers were brought into the country and 38% of those stems were roses.  The countries where these roses originate from will often vary although Colombia and Ecuador (the country where Flowerlink grows our wholesale roses) continue to be the biggest exporters.  In fact, 42% of all rose boxes coming into American come from Ecuador.

Miami: US Hub for Wholesale Rose Imports

While roses may come from many different areas of the world, they usually land in the same spot in the US – the Miami International Airport (MIA).  The MIA is actually the #1 port for all US flower imports with 91% of all international flowers passing through it before heading to their final destination.

There’s a reason that Miami has become a bustling hub for fresh-cut flower activity.  They have 24/7 Customs & Border Protection, which means inspectors are working there around the clock, allowing over thirty truck lines to haul tons and tons of flowers to destinations throughout the country including right here in LA.

Since the late 1990s, the Association of Floral Importers of Florida have worked alongside the USDA and border inspectors to streamline cut flower inspections culminating in the USDA’s inclusion in the Cut Flower Release Program in 2002.  The acceleration of processing and shipping allows companies like Flowerlink to get our world-class Ecuador roses directly to you in the shortest time possible.

Now going through the Miami port might seem like the quickest way to get international flowers directly to suppliers, right?  91% is a huge number after all.  However, Flowerlink has methods that far exceed the speed of the Miami distribution system.  That’s because we fly our roses directly from our Ecuador farms to Los Angeles.  There is no middle man, there are no additional stops.  Simply put, you’re never going to find fresher Ecuadorian roses in Los Angeles than you’ll find with Flowerlink.

Los Angeles Wholesale Roses Directly to You!

For over 10 years, Flowerlink has been the premiere wholesale rose provider in Los Angeles.  Our clients range from supermarkets to event planners to high end florists all across Southern California, and we want to add you to our growing list of satisfied regulars.  Contact us today to learn more about Flowerlink and how we can bring Ecuador’s best roses directly to you!

Source. Hortibiz.com, ‘http://www.hortibiz.com/hortibiz/nieuws/imported-roses-flow-through-miami/,’ September 10, 2014.
Photo Credit: http://www.ibtimes.com/valentines-day-demand-rose-soars-us-90-percent-imported-photos-554189
Photo Credit: http://www.leoadaly.com/projects.aspx?wpage=ontheboards&seq=091-00801-MK1