Sebastian Padula, Josarflor:

Valentine's Day worries Ecuadorian growers

It has been a difficult year for many Ecuadorian growers, mainly due to the unrest in Russia and Ukraine, the exchange rates and the high transportation costs. They hope this season will be better, but they fear for Valentine’s Day 2016, as it will be on a Sunday. This is explained by Sebastian Padula of Josarflor, they grow around 100 varieties in 35 hectare greenhouses in Ecuador.


Sebastian Padula and Emanuel Pilo Pais of Josarflor at the IFTF in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands.

Difficult year
It has also been a difficult year for Josaflor. As around 50% of their production is exported to Russia, they suffered a lot from the unrest in the country, as their exports decreased. "We had to decrease our prices to stay competitive," says Padula. However, they had to decrease their prices not only in Russia, but also in two other of their major markets, namely the United States and Europe. "This is mainly due to the increase in value of the dollar against the euro. It made our flowers more expensive for the Europeans." On top of that, they also had to deal with higher freight costs. According to Padula, these costs were around 20-30 percent higher compared with Colombia or Africa.

Fear Valentine's Day 2016
They hope this season will be better, but Valentine's Day is still something they worry about. "Fortunately, the situation in Russia and the currency rates are a bit more stable now, but Valentine's Day does not look good," says Sebastian Padula. This year, Valentine's Day will be on a Sunday. "Weekends are never good for the rose sales. From experience, we know that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best 'Valentine's Days' for rose sales. People are then at their offices and order or buy flowers more often than on the weekends. Then, they go out for dinner or do something else." 

Hope
"All we can do now is see how it will go and hope for the best. We just continue with producing our roses and do our utmost best to deliver the best quality roses for the coming season," says Padula.

For more information
Josarflor 
Sebastian Padula

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