Byron Calderón, former CEO of the flower growing company, has confirmed the close of business of Paul Ecke in Guatemala and its relocation to El Salvador.
Calderón mentioned that around the middle of 2012, the company had been bought by the Dutch company AgriBio Group, which in turn merged with the German company Dümmen, also a producer of poinsettias.
The news came to the attention of the exporting sector. According to executives of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport), this is a blow for the sector because it means the loss of 700 jobs and leaves an investment gap difficult to fill.
According to Calderón, the new company, which already had operations in El Salvador, decided to close in Guatemala due to the better conditions in Salvadorian territory.
“They are located in a free-trade area and have many other prerogatives, although we are still under the 29-89 regime they decided to move”, Calderón said in Guatemala.
The company produced around 43.7 million cuttings –stems that are introduced into the soil to reproduce the plant– per year, although it reached 86 million cuttings in its best period, with an average of 1.8 million per day.
The company had poinsettia and English daisy plantations in two properties of 18.2 and 16 hectares respectively, with an approximate value of USD 4 million.
Almost all the production was exported to United States.
Ricardo Santa Cruz, executive of the agricultural committee of Agexport, expressed his concern because one more company leaves the country.
According to Calderón, the plantations are currently in process of sale. He also said that the national market will not be affected by the leaving of Paul Ecke Ranch Guatemala, since companies like Flora and others will continue supplying poinsettias to the local market, which consumes between 600,000 and 700,000 plants per year.
Guatemala is one of the largest producers of poinsettias in the region. It exports 40,000 plants only to Central America every year.
Paul Ecke was one of the main producers of poinsettias in Guatemala and exported the plants to United States, Europe and Asia, doing business for more than 40 million cuttings.
Author:- Translated by Daltry Gárate for Hortibiz