Say “I love you” with a beautiful Colombian Flower
This year’s Valentine’s Day will mark another record year for the Colombian flower Industry. Over 500 million flowers have arrived in North America just to celebrate February 14th. This ratifies Colombia as the second largest cut flower supplier in the world and the largest supplier of cut roses in the U.S.
February 11st, 2016 – Miami, FL – Fifty-one years ago, the first batch of Colombian flower stems were shipped to Miami, FL marking the beginning of a long outstanding trajectory for the Colombian flower industry. Since then, the demand has not slowed down and has kept major international airports busy all year round with the single most important cargo – flowers.
Colombia’s flower exports have grown steadily 4% for the past five years. Christmas, Mothers Day and Valentine’s Day are some of the peak holidays for the industry that exports close to 80% of its production to the United States and Canada. Product diversity, high quality and short transit times due to Colombia’s proximity to North America are among the key competitive attributes of the Colombian industry.
In 2015, Colombia exported around US$1 Billion to the US, where 12% of sales were driven by Valentine’s Day. The 2016 outlook is even brighter because Colombia is 39% more affordable for US and Canadian buyers due to their stronger currency. In addition, as a result of Colombia’s Free Trade Agreement with both countries, it guarantees zero import-duty, making it even more attractive and accessible to import flowers.
Colombia’s stunning flowers are mostly roses, followed by Carnations and Chrysanthemums; however, its diverse portfolio includes more than 50 species. The New Year’s Rose Parade, the Academy Awards, several movie premieres including Valentine’s Day, Sex and the City 2 and Remember Me, are some of the many events that featured Colombian flowers due to its beauty and high quality.
According to the USDA over 26,000 traditional florist retailers and wholesalers source 60% of their products from Colombia. In addition, supermarket chains with an established flower distribution channel such us Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, Wholefoods, Albertson’s, and Costco have an overall market share of 50% and source most of their flowers from Colombia.
“95% of Colombia’s production is exported to international markets such as the US, Russia, Japan and UK while 5% of the production is used for domestic consumption. The flower industry in Colombia has a strong social component contributing to more than 130,000 direct employments from which 25% are female workers. In addition, flower farms are also committed to a sustainable environment executing social responsible activities for all workers; as well as to guarantee environmentally friendly fresh cut flowers” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, ProColombia President.
ProColombia, the Colombian Government Trade Bureau is the entity in charge of promoting exports from the country, foreign direct investment and international tourism. The agency offers reliable information about Colombian suppliers and creates trade tools and strategic alliances to facilitate business transactions with American companies. All our services are free of charge and aimed to strengthen the Colombian agribusiness industry. To learn more about ProColombia’s services visit www.procolombia.co/en
Andrea Lopez, ProColombia Communications Director
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