Colombian flower growers explore European market

From 1 until 8 November the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) organised a Market Orientation Mission, also named EXPRO, for Colombian growers of Tropical Flowers, Foliage and Hydrangeas which took place in the Netherlands and Germany. Since 1990 CBI has been organising training programmes on international marketing and management with a focus on doing business with Europe. The EXPRO Tropical Flowers, Foliage and Hydrangeas Colombia is part of the 4-year CBI Country Programme Colombia which includes all kinds of (semi)-tropical flowers and foliage, such as various types of heliconia, ginger, musa, cordyline, lily grass, flax (phormium), ruscus and white and blue hydrangeas, which all have very good quality standards. The objective of the mission was to familiarise the participants with the EU market and train them on export marketing, management and promotion techniques relevant to these markets.

The eleven participating companies had the chance to visit and get to know relevant companies in their industry. The EXPRO provided the participants with various sector-specific training sessions, including themes such as EU market and industry structure, developments and trends, buying strategies, promotional instruments, preparation for trade fairs, distribution structures and sustainability. Part of the EXPRO training was the visit to a trade fair, International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) in Vijfhuizen. Next to this, various company visits were scheduled, varying from importers and distributors to packing/handling companies and retailers.

They were provided with presentations, among others, by Jeroen Oudheusden (Floriculture Sustainability Initiative 2020) and Martin de la Harpe (Finlays Flowers). Furthermore, they visited the flower auctions FloraHolland in Aalsmeer and in Straelen, Germany. In addition to this, visits were organised to the Dutch Flower Group, Kuehne & Nagel, Adomex, Cultra Aalsmeer, Van Klaveren Plant, Anthura and the Boerma Institute to experience a Hanaike battle. The week ended with a flower tour by Sarah Dikker, Holland’s Best Flower Stylist of 2014.

During the whole week, the companies were accompanied by representatives of CBI partner organisations ProColombia and Asocolflores in order to organise follow-up activities when they get back to Colombia and support the companies when the CBI programme comes to an end. Overall, the companies considered the mission a very interesting week which provided them with useful insights and tools to further develop their strategies for the European market.

For more information:
Mirte Ruesen, Programme Manager
T: +31 (0)88 60 24321

Erik Plaisier, Programme Manager
T: +31 (0)88 60 24378

Arno van der Maden, External Expert
T: +506 88474746 / +31 (0)63040 7662

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