While the fresh flower is still the flagship product of the Ecuadorian flower industry, the farms also develop new varieties and innovative products that are demanded in new markets, such as Chinese.
The novelties were presented at Expo Flor 2018, which was held until yesterday at the Metropolitan Convention Center of Quito.
For example, the company Ecuagarden presented at the event an eternal flower that can be bathed in copper, silver and even gold.
Nora Paredes, Ecuagarden sales manager, explained that the company took seven months to develop that product. In general terms, the process consists of dehydrating the flower, then painting it and finally has a galvanizing process.
“There are gold flowers in the market, but they are not natural,” Paredes said. The cost of the flower bathed in copper is 50 dollars and that of gold would reach about 200 dollars.
Ecuagarden plans to produce up to 100 stems per day of this product for Valentine 2019. They hope to have acceptance in markets such as Russia.
Juan José Albuja, chairman of the board of directors of Expoflores, organizer of the event, said that the goal of opening new markets such as Asia has forced domestic companies to greater innovation in dyed flowers, both in gypsophila (small white flowers) and in roses
Florequisa specializes in the production of gypsophila and carnation and offers this type of flowers dyed and also dissected. At Christmas time, Florequisa offers gypsophila with a special shine to the arrangements. “When we try to highlight the beauty of the flower we put frost on it,” said Elena Terán, manager of Florequisa.
Currently, Albuja explained, both dyed and preserved flowers represent between 3 and 5% of the total flower production in the country, which is desired in the Chinese market.
In recent years, China takes about 5% of the cake of the Ecuadorian flower markets, explained Albuja. The largest buyers are destinations such as Russia (20%), the European Union (20%) and the United States (45%). In fact, the last destination presents another novelty regarding the purchase of Ecuadorian flowers. For two years, according to Albuja, Ecuador is sending flower arrangements that are sold in US supermarket chains.
For example, Much Flowers, floriculture that presides Albuja, is marketing about 10% of its production in self-service in the United States and its goal is to reach 20%.
During the three days of the fair it is estimated that businesses closed for San Valentín 2019 for some 20 million dollars. At the meeting, 123 national farms were exhibited and an estimated 1,600 people attended. (I)