The closing of markets to which Ecuador sold the product has left the flower growing sector in a critical economic situation that is beginning to hit job sources . The global health emergency from coronavirus is the reason.
Since mid-February 2020 , shipments have been reduced by order cancellations . Currently it loses more than $ 1.5 million in exports daily , according to a statement released this March 31 by the Expoflores press.
It is the third export sector of non-traditional products after shrimp and bananas . The survival strategy is to ensure that the crops remain alive until the markets are opened and normalized, the document explains.
“In a couple of months, seeing how the markets react, we hope that the crops have been kept alive and healthy to resume exports, ” predicts Alejandro Martínez, Executive President of Expoflores in the statement.
The measures that are being taken in most farms vary according to the situation of each one . Reduction of the working day and the termination of the employment contract due to force majeure are some.
Another of the measures that has been taken by around 55% of the companies in the sector is that of lowering – and even eliminating – the salaries of senior management.
On farms that are labor intensive, where 60% of their costs represent payment to personnel , 30% to the care of the plant that must be kept healthy to produce quality flowers, the impact will be more profound.
” This crisis adds to that experienced in October 2019, ” says Martínez. According to the union executive, the crisis exceeds all expectations “imaginable, since it was unthinkable that all world markets closed almost at the same time.”
The floriculture crisis began in February
The paralysis of export markets came to the country in the months that coincide with purchases to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Russian Women’s Day , which represent 45% of sales.
Between International Women’s Day, Mother’s Day and other summer celebrations through June they account for another 35% of sales.
“Due to the global health crisis, the international markets of Europe, Asia and the United States closed their doors to all imports that were not vital for human consumption,” explained Martínez.
The suspension of orders from European and American countries and the October crisis that prevented savings add to the problem . “Now, we are without growth and we are forced to end the employment relationship to allow floriculture to stay alive and thus be able to generate new jobs, foreign exchange and boost the regional economy,” he said.