Colombia is the second largest flower-exporting country in the world, and the UK is the third-largest consumer of Colombian flowers. We spoke to the president of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters about the success of his country's floriculture and why he thinks Colombian flowers are so superior.
Q: Why do you think florists and wholesalers should choose Colombian flowers?
A: There are three basic reasons. First of all, we should look at the great strides Colombian floriculture has made in recent years in socio-environmental areas with its GLOBALGAP-benchmarked Florverde® certification. Colombia currently exports over 1.3 billion certified flowers annually and a total of 6,000 acres on 125 farms were certified at the end of December 2010. Along these same lines, the industry’s vision of social responsibility, spearheaded by Asocolflores, takes on special relevance when coupled with its development of initiatives geared toward improving the quality of life of industry workers and their families through housing, peaceful co-existence, health and education programmes.
Ontop of this, Colombian floriculture is the first industry in the world to draw up a sustainability report using the United Nations GRI Global Reporting Initiative method. This fact illustrates the commitment of our industry’s businesspeople to environmental conservation for our future generations and demonstrates their pledge to the quality of life of its workers, their families and the communities that currently depend on, or have direct ties to floriculture.
The second reason I would like to point out is the ever-improving quality Colombian flower growers have been able to bring out in recent years, which is something we will be able to see more and more going forward. Finally, the third reason florists and wholesalers should choose Colombian flowers is the wide variety we are able to offer. Colombia currently exports over 1,600 varieties of flowers to 89 countries around
Q: Roses, carnations and chrysanthemums are the most popular choices for Colombian growers, but are there are any unusual varieties particularly suited to Colombia?
A: The Colombian export portfolio is full of variety. Wholesalers and florists can find roses, carnations and chrysanthemums, and also buy alstroemerias, gerberas, callas, lilies, anthuriums, hydrangeas, delphiniums, snapdragons, tropical flowers, and greens to use in floral arrangements from Colombia. If you pay Bogota a visit in September for our international PROFLORA 2011 trade show, you will be able to really appreciate the wide variety we offer. This event will feature 500 industry exhibitors showing their products, and we hope to have around 2,000 purchasers from 40 countries in attendance.