Friday, February 26, 2021

Colombian roses destined for holiday bouquets race against heat and time.

The path that leads from Colombia’s flower fields to a Miami Mother’s Day bouquet begins in Gerardo Diaz’s hands as he grafts a rose variety to a hardier stem. In about eight months, the bud will bloom in one of the sprawling greenhouses of the Flores Alianza farm on the outskirts of Bogotá and be ready for export.

Nearly 70 percent of the flowers bought in the United States are imported and 65 percent of the imports come from Colombia, where the conditions are ideal for growing flowers.

No matter where your mother lives, there’s a good chance that some flowers in her Mother’s Day basket had a stopover in Miami — the flower importing capital of the nation. Nearly 90 percent of all imported blooms that enter this country come to Miami International Airport and the local floral industry has been preparing for Mother’s Day for months:

- Advertisement -

Extra flights must be booked, temporary workers and drivers hired, additional coolers and chilled warehouses rented, independent truckers contracted.

Two weeks before Mother’s Day — the second most important flower holiday after Valentine’s Day — the local industry begins cranking up. An avalanche of flowers, from velvety red Freedom roses to pink carnations and various colors of alstroemeria, begins to arrive.

The flower industry needs a strong Mother’s Day. It’s especially important in South Florida where the floral importing industry alone employs more than 6,100 people.

During the recession, business wilted — something of a surprise for flower importers who always looked at their product as an affordable luxury.

- Advertisement -

“In the past we thought flowers were recession-proof. But this time it happened, they weren’t,’’ says R. Victor Giorgini, president and chief executive of Equiflor, a Doral importer that brings in the bulk of its flowers from Colombia and Ecuador.

“When people don’t feel confident, they don’t get married; they don’t plan events and that hurts the flower industry,’’ says Giorgini. “The industry is slowly coming back.’’

Equiflor’s revenue, which reached $38 million in 2008, plummeted in 2009 and 2010. After a restructuring, Equiflor is expecting revenue of $29 million this year.

The recession hasn’t been the only problem for Flores Alianza, a flower farm in Cajica that produces the Rio Roses brand for Equiflor. The farm churns out more than 1.3 million stems a month.

The weak dollar and strong Colombian peso have hit the business, and back-to-back years of unseasonably wet weather have led to production problems, says Juan Manuel Torres, the 42-acre farm’s general manager.

“This was a great business until 2004 — that’s when the peso started to appreciate,” he says, “and the global recession has been hard on us. People are more focused on buying food than buying flowers.”

- Advertisement -

But Giorgini is optimistic. He says stateside wholesalers have prebooked flowers and he expects weddings and graduations to keep him busy through spring.

“The volume of Mother’s Day flowers is monstrous’’ he says. The warehouse goes on a 24-hour schedule during the 10 days before the holiday. The pace also picks up at Flores Alianza. Torres has added extra workers to keep the farm staffed 13-hour a day.

Read more here:

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of onlinemagazines that includes Rico brings his special kind of savvy to online marketing. His websites are engaging, provocative, informative and sometimes off the wall, where you either like or you leave it. The same goes for him, like him or leave him.There is no middle ground. No compromises, only a passion to present reality as he sees it!

Related Articles

Bogotá, Medellín and Cali: the cities with the most violations of measures against covid-19

QCOLOMBIA - Since the mandatory isolation began in Colombia, 1,400,387 finess...

What happens if a Colombian does not attend the scheduled covid-19 vaccination appointment?

QCOLOMBIA - A few days after starting the National Vaccination Plan,...


What happens if a Colombian does not attend the scheduled covid-19 vaccination appointment?

QCOLOMBIA - A few days after starting the National Vaccination Plan, Colombians still have some doubts regarding their immunization process and there is fear...

We do not move even half the passengers we would have on a normal day: Transmilenio manager

QCOLOMBIA - The public transport system in Colombia has been one of the worst-hit sectors since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as quarantines...

Colombia Suffered Its Deepest Slump Since 1905 Last Year

(Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s economy suffered its deepest contraction in more than a century last year, leaving it wracked by soaring debt, mass unemployment and...

Colombia receives first batch of vaccines

QCOLOMBIA - Colombia advanced the start of the immunization campaign against the coronavirus to February 17, three days ahead of schedule, after receiving the...

There’s A Good Chance Your Valentine’s Flowers Come From Colombia

QCOLOMBIA - If you send a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, chances are they were grown in Colombia. It remains the No. 1...

Colombia begins 2021 with a reactivation of 55% in flights

QCOLOMBIA - The end of the year travel season arrived with important expectations of recovery for the tourism sector. The improvement in the tourist...

Pope thanks Colombia for efforts to protect migrants

Q REDAQTED (Vatican News) - “I always look with gratitude at the efforts of those who work for migrants,” Pope Francis said on Sunday...

Colombia okays US$38 billion dollar reactivation plan

QCOLOMBIA - Colombia’s economic and social policy council (Conpes) has greenlighted a 135 trillion Colombian peso (US$38 billion) economic reactivation plan, which will be...

Colombian Clever Leaves made first shipment of medical cannabis to the U.S.

QCOLOMBIA - Clever Leaves, a Colombian company authorized to handle pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids, announced that its subsidiary, Herbal Brands, managed to establish a strategic...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!