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export and cargo flights on the rise

Proflora: Colombian flower industry on the up and up

The growth of the Colombian floriculture industry is remarkable, but it's the country's potential growth that really turns heads. That becomes clear when visiting Proflora. The biennial exhibition started a bit slow yesterday since many visitors took the opportunity to visit some farms in the morning - but picked up momentum in the afternoon.

Inauguration ceremony, a very festive and also pretty lengthy event.

Netherlands: Country guest of honor in Proflora
This year, the Netherlands is the country guest of honor in the show. Colombia and the Netherlands are closely connected, explained Marjolijn Sonnema, Director General Agro and Nature of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands during the inauguration ceremony. Together, they make up the first and second largest exporters of the world and their mutual export rates are still increasing.

"Over the last few years, the export value of Colombian products to the Netherlands drastically increased from 276 million euros in 2014 to 415 million euros in 2016. And also the other way around, Dutch airlines KLM will increase its flights to Colombia by Spring next year. Instead of three weekly flights, they will do four."

According to Sonnema, this growth is mainly thanks to the 2013 free trade agreement between Colombia and Europe.

Marjolijn Sonnema, Director General Agro and Nature of the Ministry

Technical innovations
In order to maintain and strengthen the agricultural relationships between both countries, The Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs appointed Patricia De Vies as Agricultural counsellor. With the technical know-how the Netherlands is known for, they are eager to turn the potential of the country into reality. At the show, 30 Dutch companies are showcasing their technical innovations.

Holland booth and its exhibitors.

Colombian flower industry growth
Not only the exports to the Netherlands are increasing. The Colombian flower industry is growing in general. Last year, they issued the highest number of patents. On top of that, between 2012 and 2016, the acreage of flower cultivation increased by 18 percent, to over 7,000 ha and the export volume has grown by 12 percent, to 225,000 flowers that were exported last year. And this year, the export already has achieved a growth of 9 percent compared to last year. And just like their growth in the Netherlands, this growth is mostly enabled by the trade agreements they have between countries. Currently, they have trade agreements with 39 countries and they are negotiating with many more countries.

Video Colombian Flowers.

New brand
And in order to grow further within their existing markets, they launched a new brand during the inauguration ceremony: “Flowers of Colombia”. This new brand will identify Asocolfores and its member companies. Asocolflores will be using this brand, that is based on diversity, as part of its marketing and positioning strategy abroad. Asocolflores CEO, Augusto Solano, stated in their press release that "This brand will allow us to approach young people too. We face a challenge in terms of building long term relationships with consumers, clients and the younger generations....", he continues. "With Flowers of Colombia we aim to create new opportunities for flower consumption. We already have an established leadership in holidays... But we want consumers in our main markets to take our flowers home..." Click here to read the entire press release of Asocolflores.

Festive launch of the new brand: Flowers of Colombia.

Growing beyond flowers
Another important goal for Colombia is to grow beyond flowers. Next to increasing the export volumes, land and enhancing the quality of flowers they are strongly investing in their social responsibility - improving working conditions and the life of their workers and families - and lowering the impact of the flower industry on the environment.

Exhibition floor Proflora.

The Proflora will last till October 6. During this three-day event, 328 exhibitors will showcase their products and services, over 400 flower varieties will be on display and 7,000 visitors are expected. The FloralDaily team will be present to cover the show and make a photo report of it. This report will be published on Monday October 9.