Why Saffron is Expensive?

Saffron flower is very fragile and to this day should still be harvested by careful hands. Additionally, its further process of detaching and cleaning the threads takes so much time and care. 

Moreover, for the first few years, a saffron farm would not yield conspicuous harvest and once a piece of land is under cultivation of saffron, it can only be used for 15- 20 years. After 20 years that land is not arable for anything anymore. 

Furthermore, saffron is relatively scarce due to very peculiar cultivating climate and very small quantity of harvest yield. 1 kg of saffron flower accounts for 2000- 2700 flowers which in the end gives 37- 55 grams of saffron threads. On average, the harvest rate can vary between 2 to 12 kg per hectare. 

Most important of all, there is a huge gap between the saffron farmers and its final consumers. The presence of multiple intermediaries in this market along with reexport of the product through a second or third country has added up a big margin to its final price. For example, according to the official statistics, from 2015 -2019 Iran and Spain as the two biggest exporters have exported an annual average of 232 and 124,6 tons of saffron, respectively. Out of this 124,6 tons, Spain imported an annual average of 61,8 tons, 46,2 tons of which again came from Iran. On average,  the Iranian saffron goes through up to even five different countries to reach its final customer.