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"Con Aroma a Flor"

Colombia, Kenya and China: What's their recipe for success?

Peru has similar favorable weather conditions to Colombia and Ecuador, but why doesn't it have such a blossoming cut flower industry? This question was one of the main reasons for Peruvian agronomist Rogelio León to start investigating the recipe for success of the flower industry in Colombia, Kenya and China. In his recently published book "Con Aroma a Flor" he takes the readers on a trip through the history of floriculture in each of these countries and explores the factors that create this recipe for success.

Naivasha Lake, Kenya

Reason for investigating floriculture industry
León has always been in love with floriculture, but was asking himself why his country (Peru), despite having favorable weather conditions and being so close to important producers as Colombia and Ecuador, did not have a flower industry of similar magnitude. "We do not have an important participation in the world market, we even have to import roses and other flowers from neighboring countries."

He realized that favorable weather conditions were not the only variable for floriculture to thrive in a country. "More factors are required for that, and they must match. Then, all together, they form a recipe for success. However, we must first identify those famous 'factors'. Although success has many meanings, I basically address business success and its sustainability in the long term. Business success is not achieved with effort alone. If the factors of the 'recipe' do not accompany this effort, no matter how much you invest, the door of failure could be closer than the door of success."

Delving into worldwide floriculture industry
León's intention was to write a book about floriculture in the world. He, however, did not have a clear scenario, so he consulted with several specialists and did an investigation for about two years compiling a lot of statistical information. "From this first task I found that floriculture had changed in the last 15 years, much more than in the previous 50 years. New world producers appeared and the interests of the demand were modified. The world's tropical belt became the supplier of about 80% of the global production of cut flowers. South America was consolidated, while Africa and Asia became the new stars in this productive scenario. Only the international trade of cut flowers is valued at 9,000 million US dollars at least."

Rogelio León (on the right) presenting his book at the ESAN ediciones booth

"Con Aroma a Flor" - A Journey through time and culture
In his book "Con Aroma a Flor", León extracts the production of cut flowers in three countries on three different continents; Colombia, Kenya and China. "Although the first two are in the top 5 of the main exporters of cut flowers, China is interesting for all the growth and technology that's been developing in recent years." Each country has its own chapter in which he carried out an X-ray of the industry to identify the factors of their recipe for success.

The book is a journey through time. An immersion in the history of floriculture in each of these countries. It features the producers, the pioneer companies, the problems, and the challenges they had to overcome until they reach the position they currently occupy. "It has data and statistical figures for academics, professionals and entrepreneurs in the sector.

Besides, it is a cultural and geographical journey as well. "It has many photographs of the places and people that participate in their respective value chains. I can assure you that by reading it, you may feel as if you were visiting Bogotá, the surroundings of Lake Naivasha in Kenya or the Dianchi Lake in Yunnan-China."

Dianchi Lake in China

China - Most difficult chapter

"Personally, I can say that the most difficult chapter to build has been that of China", says León. "We were able to overcome the limitations in the language and information available thanks to the support of people who selflessly committed to this project. If you want to know about floriculture in China, for now, I do not think there is another publication that shows the reality of this country as we try to do with this book.

Greenhouses in China

The recipe for success
Although Colombia, Kenya and China have many differences (geographical, cultural, etc.), León noticed that for the production and export of cut flowers they have many things in common. "These similarities are repeated with slight nuances in all the producing countries that have an important participation in the trade of cut flowers in the world. The factors identified that would make 'the recipe' to become a producer of cut flowers in the world are: favorable climate, low production costs, adequate infrastructure, active government participation for the creation of clusters, solid business environment, proximity to markets of high demand and socio-environmental responsibility."

Worker at a Kenyan rose farm

The book was published in July of 2017 with the Seal of ESAN Editions. The ESAN university is one of the most important business schools in Peru and Latin America. The book is having a good reception not only in areas related to agribusiness or floriculture, but also among the general public. At the moment the book is only in Spanish.

One can find it in ebook format looking for the title "Con Aroma a Flor" in the main online bookstores now:

About the Autor: Rogelio León,

About ESAN:

For more information
Rogelio León

Publication date: 2/21/2018
Author: Elita Vellekoop



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