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Preserved roses bring Valentine's Day sales jolt to Ecuador

In a warehouse north of Ecuador's capital, a small, busy army of dexterous workers puts the final touches on a shipment of made-to-order roses with tones as diverse as the colors of a rainbow suffused in fragrance capable of seducing even the most demanding nose.

Each petal is custom made for foreign clients whose orders multiply every year in the run up to Valentine's Day. For example, a client in Qatar recently ordered a shipment in the maroon and white colors of that nation's flag.

"It's a small detail that makes a beautiful gift," says Patricia Cordova, admiring her delicate work on a lilac-colored flower bound for Germany.

The technology has been around for decades and is especially popular in Japan. But in Ecuador, the world's second-largest exporter of roses, it took root only recently, as a result of an economic crisis that forced flower growers to diversify their offerings and focus on higher-end products.

Read more at the Daily Herald (Gonzalo Solano)

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