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Maria Clara Riofrio, Kiara:

Preserved flowers: an interesting niche market

The preserved flower market is an interesting niche market. Over the years, more growers have added these products to their assortment and some have even completely shifted to the production of preserved flowers. Kiara for example, an Ecuadorian rose farm that grew fresh roses for 15 years, started to focus on preserved flowers five years ago. "As it is a niche product, quality is highly important. For this reason we decided to completely focus on this product," says Kiara's Sales Manager Maria Clara Riofrio.

Maria Clara Riofrio at the IFTF in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands.

Shift from fresh to preserved flowers
For 15 years, Kiara, has been growing and exporting fresh flowers and started to preserve their flowers, five years ago. "About five years ago, we noticed an increasing demand for preserved roses and after doing some research, we decided to shift markets. Currently, 100% of our rose production is being preserved, with our own unique process that allows the natural beauty of the rose to last for years," says Riofrio.

Quality is important
According to Riofrio, the preserving process is important, but it all starts with the good quality of the fresh rose itself. "It is an exclusive product, so the rose has to look spotless," she says. "As we have grown roses for many years, we gained a lot of knowledge of producing high quality roses. And as we are smaller than the average Ecuadorian farm, around 8 ha, we can completely focus on producing the highest quality products."

Just like fresh roses, red is the most demanded color. "And during Christmas the ones with glitter are very popular," she adds. Kiara is exporting the preserved flowers in boxes of 6 units to Europe and Asia. According to Riofrio, the popularity in Europe is stable and increasing in Asia.

Future plans
In the future, they are planning to add more different flowers to their preserved flowers assortment. "We want to start preserving greens too," says Riofrio.

For more information
Maria Clara Riofrio