"Ecuadorian growers want to do things on their own, and joining forces is something unusual and new for this country", says Juan Jose Albuja of Much Flowers. Two years ago, he merged his gypsophila farm Flodecol with another farm and established Much Flowers. Over the years, they have grown, and more farms have been added to Much Flowers. Apart from their latest addition - a rose farm - Much Flowers grows gypsophilas, alstroemerias and several summer flowers at seven farms in different locations in Ecuador. "We are one of the fastest growing farms in Ecuador."
Gypsophilas grown in the field
The main product of Much Flowers is gypsophilas. Around 50 percent of their production consists of this crop, and FloralDaily had the opportunity to take a closer look at their main farm Flodecol in Cayambe. Next to cultivating, they process flowers from three of their farms at this 30 ha location. We got the opportunity to see the process from growing, to opening, packing and cooling of these flowers.
Juan Jose Albuja and Alejandro Martinez of Much Flowers in the flower opening area. Both are also on the board of Expoflores.
"The flowers are being harvested right before they open", explains Albuja. "Then, they will be placed in the hoop houses to let the flower open. On day 8, 9 or 10 the flowers opened at a sufficient stage and are then ready to be bunched."
"After bunching the flowers, they are put in the cold room where they will stay for another 1 to 2 days at around 2-3 degrees. Afterwards, they are being packed in the boxes, vacuum cooled and placed in the cooler just before they will leave the farm."
From opening to packaging
The gypsophilas are then shipped to destinations all over the world. Much Flower's main destinations are the US, EU, and Asia. And lately, they started selling them on CIF at destiny basis. "We now also do freight next to flowers", says Albuja.
The assortment of Much Flowers
Much Flowers have seen the assortment of gypsophila change and new additions enter. "About 6 years ago, we only had two varieties of gypsophilas on the market. Now, breeders start to expand their gypsophila assortment, and we as well. We now grow four varieties: Comis, Million Stars, Mirabella and Xlence. All in all, we see that Cosmic is increasing in popularity." Another aspect that is increasing in popularity and is expanding in their assortment is tinted gypsophilas. "Particularly in China, these tinted flowers are highly popular."
And besides the assortment of gypsophilas, Much Flowers have increased their entire assortment over the last years. They started with gypsophilas and soon added more summer flowers, alstroemerias, and most recently added roses. "We are more and more becoming a one stop shop for our customers."
In front, the bouquets. In the back the roses.
Apart from supplying straight bunches, Much Flowers started to supply hand tied bouquets as well. "For US supermarkets, we have a bouquet program. We make hand tied bouquets, and the composition of the bouquets changes every two weeks. It adds value to the product and is targeted to the more high-end supermarkets."