SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – A state-run agricultural agency said Wednesday that it has installed an automatic flower vending machine in Seoul in an effort to boost the local floral industry.
The machine, which sells preserved flowers, is installed at the head office of the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation (aT) in southern Seoul, officials said.
Flowers are kept cold to preserve freshness and to guarantee the best quality, they said, noting that the flowers can keep for up to three years.
“Customers can easily purchase preserved flowers sold through the machine,” said Kwon Oh-yeob, an aT official, adding that the local flower market tumbled in recent months despite the high season.
In South Korea, it has been customary to send a basket of flowers or a pot of orchids to congratulate people on promotions. Sending huge flower easels to weddings or funerals has been common as well.
But market watchers said the local floral industry seems to have been hit hard as people have started to refrain from sending flower gifts for special occasions out of concern that they might be breaching an anti-graft law which came into effect in September.