Billions of flowers pass through MIA en route to Valentines (includes video story)

This year, a whopping 1.2 billion flowers passed through the halls and hangars of Miami International Airport in preparation for Valentine’s Day. 

The airport collaborates with Avianca Cargo, a Colombian airline, to import 90% of the cut flowers purchased in the United States during the month of love.

Federal inspectors do much work.

“What they’re looking for is any pests, hitchhikers or insects that might come in the flowers,” said Michael Silva, a public information officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “That could be devastating to the agricultural industry of the United States.”

About 18,000 tons of flowers were transported via 300 flights over the course of a month to preserve the freshness of the blossoms while still meeting the demands of lovers across the nation.

“We need to get these flowers to market as soon as possible to make sure you get your flowers,” said Silva.

Isabel Rivera is a junior majoring in Digital Journalism with two minors in Art and English. Her interest in culture, the arts, and storytelling has led her to pursue careers in such topics in both journalism and publishing. Isabel’s work can be found in the Miami Herald, Miami New Times, Miami Times, Caplin News, Artburst Miami and PantherNOW. She currently works as a managing editor at Caplin News.

Laura Palfrey is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Digital TV and Multimedia Production. With a passion for storytelling and visual media, she aspires to work in television as a news producer upon graduation. Her hobbies include photography and traveling.