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Colombia: Plants exempted from VATJust three months on the road and the Association of Colombian Nurseries and Ornamental Growers, Colviveros, achieved a substantial breakthrough which may stimulate the consumption of ornamental plants and generate more and better employment for nearly 5,000 nursery and small ornamental producers throughout Colombia. Since January 1, 2017, these growers are benefiting from the elimination of the value-added tax (VAT) to potted plants approved in the recent Colombian tax reform. And for 2017, Colviveros has more projects in the pipeline.
According to Jairo Cadavid, president of Colviveros, the VAT exemption for plants leaded by Colviveros will be a vital support to give a boost to the production of Colombian ornamentals and has a double impact. "On the one hand, it will stimulate the domestic consumption of ornamental products and will clear the way to develop the export potential of this segment; on the other hand, it will generate more and better employment in rural and suburban areas of Colombia."
Among the producers consulted, Toulemonde from Siete Colinas, a nursery in Pereira, told El Tiempo that the measure favors them "enormously" because they were contemplating the possibility of reducing their operation and laying off some workers due to the fiscal uncertainty. "We are thankful for Colvivero's management in this endeavor because the work associated with potted plants is one of those small-scale family-based enterprises many Colombian people opt for in order to gain a supplementary income“. Mrs. Toulemonde said the way things are going, she hopes to grow in 2017.
Colviveros’ aim - In the peace context of Colombia
Colviveros has been established in October 2016 and was founded to organize, stimulate and promote the competitiveness and sustainability of nurseries and small ornamental-foliage and potted-plant growers of Colombia. And in the 'peace context' of Colombia, Cadavid points out that Colviveros seeks to generate wealth through honest committed work by supporting these nurseries and small producers. "This belief allows it to reach the out-flung corners of Colombia, even former conflict zones. What we want is to serve as a strategic ally of the Colombian government and the International Cooperation for the implementation of the “Final agreement to end Colombia´s internal conflict”. Ornamental foliage and potted plants can be produce in any territory in Colombia, as they require only minimal space and light training", says Cadavid.
Additional projects for 2017
Next to their major breakthrough regarding the VAT exemption for plants, more projects are in the pipeline for 2017. "Colviveros will drive local production, financial sustainability and added-value amongst Colombian Nurseries and Small Ornamental foliage and potted-plant growers around Colombia to stimulate the growth of clusters, networks and production chains to boost Quality Management, the adoption of Healthy Workplaces Practices, Environmental Protection and improvements in Occupational Health."
"At the same time, we will offer to the ornamental industry, training and technical assistance, supply acquisition, domestic business and platforms and new market searches. We also will have a strong international presence at shows such as FloraDecora in Germany, the FlowerTrials and the IFTF in the Netherlands, Flowers Expo in Russia and IFEX in Japan", adds Cadavid.
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