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Colombian Flowers for Europe

Unique insights straight from Colombia

written by: Savannah Stelwagen | 31-07-2019

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Why Colombia?

Geographically speaking it is no wonder that the United States and Colombia have been strategic trading partners for many years. The numbers speak for themselves as 70% of the USA’s imported flowers come from Colombia and nearly 80% of Colombia’s export is going to the US, most of this percentage made up by roses. But Colombian growers are more and more interested in penetrating European countries. Is it really ‘Bye-bye US’ and ‘Hello Europe’? Are Colombian flowers for Europe the way forward?

Oversupply in the USA

There are a couple of reasons for the shift in focus by Colombian growers. On one hand the USA market is becoming oversupplied and on the other hand, the European market is a great fit for the diversity that Colombia’s production has to offer, the quality of the flowers and the year-round availability. The oversupply in the US is caused by an Ecuadorian shift in focus from the Russian to the USA market and an increasing supply available from Colombian growers. Colombian farms are growing, both in the number of hectares as well as in production whereas the demand in the USA is stable.

Europeans buy flowers every day

Most growers in Colombia are located in the ‘Savannah’-area around Bogotá which has perfect climate conditions 365 days a year. This area used to be a lake and so the soil still has that dense and clay richness. The nice climate with little temperature changes makes it an ideal area for everyday production. This is perfect for Europe as unlike in the US the demand is year-round as well. Consumption of flowers in the US mainly happens around two peak periods: Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. Consumers do not buy day to day flowers for themselves the way that Europeans do.

A perfect fit

So, production, quality and diversity-wise, Colombia and Europe are a perfect fit. Colombia has the second greatest flowering plant biodiversity and Colombia is the second-largest flower exporter in the world. Colombian flowers for Europe is the future. Colombia and the US will never cease their strong relationship, but Europe definitely has the interest and focus of every single Colombian grower at the moment.

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photo: country living

Carnations, carnations and carnations…but there’s so much more to offer!

And did you know that Colombia is the world’s first carnation exporter? When Europeans think carnation, they think Colombia. But the country has much more to offer. Almost a complete offer of cut-flowers with amazing quality products. Roses and orchids are other big groups, but you can find many more products here like alstroemeria, gypsophila, calla lilies, chrysanthemums, and ready-made bouquets. Even foliage and filler flowers are a great choice to import from Colombia.

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An interesting development to follow

Colombian quality and diversity are unlike any other producing country.  Many growers in Colombia are ready for tailormade orders and are offering special flower specifications accustomed to the European market. The challenge for Colombian growers is to get all diverse products into Europe at a competitive price. Not only the popular carnations, roses, and hydrangeas but also all other wonderful varieties. The more awareness is created in Europe about the vast range Colombia has to offer, the more volume can be shipped and the more established and efficient the infrastructure network will become so that we can all enjoy many more amazing Colombian flowers.

So next time you walk into a European flower shop, don’t be surprised to find more flowers from Colombia!

 


Savannah Stelwagen

After years of working in the flower industry in the Netherlands, I am currently traveling through Central and South America. By means of online marketing and writing, I am passionately building a bridge between Latin America and Europe.

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