Ben Janowski has a very interesting column in this month’s JCK about the flower industry. As he notes, the flower business is a good one for our trade to study because it, too, is based around an emotion-based, naturally-produced product.
Ben tells of going to a rehearsal dinner with his family, seeing a bride with a dozen long-stemmed roses:
When we admired them, she immediately handed us one. The flower was large, deep red, perfect, and had a thorn-free stem at least 3 feet long. As one is apt to do, I smelled the rose. It had no fragrance!
It turns out the rose had been genetically engineered.
Genetically engineered flowers (dare I call them enhanced or treated?) represent the bulk of the business, but problems like lost fragrance still nag the industry, and geneticists are hard at work to recover the smell.
Wow. This shows the industry really could have a challenge with man-made gems. If people are willing to buy genetically-modified flowers with no smell — and to be honest, the idea seems kind of creepy – won’t they also be willing to buy diamonds out of a machine?
Anyway, the entire column is worth a read.