Kees Gram and John Damen, Royal van Zanten:

"Ecuadorian growers broaden scope"

Ecuador is known as a land of roses. Still, Ecuadorian companies are broadening their scope and alstroemerias and statice are good potential newcomers in the assortment, according to Kees Gram and John Damen, Royal Van Zanten Breeding. During the Expo Flor Ecuador conference in Quito, Ecuador, last September, they got a lot of questions about these products.

Spreading risks
Kees, Area Export Manager Middle and South America: "Russia is still one of the most important markets for Ecuadorian growers, but the fluctuating ruble forces them to broaden their market. They are more active in North America in recent years. If you have more than one product on offer, you have an advantage. One-stop shopping is enticing to buyers. Ecuador is not yet as far as Colombia, but growers are looking for diversification to spread risks."

A picture during Expo Flor Ecuador 2018: From left to right: Rosalia Paladine and James Andrada from Valleflor, Juana Moscoco from Rodel Flowers, and Kees Gram and John Damen from Royal of Zanten Breeding. Rodel Flowers is Royal van Zanten agent in Ecuador.

In Colombia, where Royal Van Zanten is an established name, there are more growers with a broader assortment. Kees: "The climate and conditions are different over there. The nurseries, situated at a high altitude, are not ideal for every cultivation. However, we see that many companies have nurseries in multiple locations, expanding their possibilities." John, Manager International Sales cut flowers: "The climate is perfect for growing perfect alstroemerias. They are also growing chrysanthemums, although only on a small scale, because that cultivation requires a proper micro climate."

Before Royal Van Zanten Breeding delivers the young alstroemeria plants and statice to their customers in Ecuador, testing is done. "To see if the production goes well at that altitude. The testing is not very drastic. Based on our experience, we often already have a clear picture of the choice of assortment. If companies are serious about alstroemerias, they will have to realize they have to plant at least 5 hectares to be able to serve the market. The greenhouses require little modification, maybe the water dispense system, which require three, instead of two rows."

Addition to bouquets
During the Expo Flor Ecuador in Quito it was noticeable that more and more bouquets are on offer, for which flowers are bought from third parties. Kees: "Statice, grown in Ecuador, could be a fine addition to a bouquet, like limonium."

For more information: 
Royal van Zanten Breeding
Lavendelweg 15
1435 EW Rijsenhout
T : +31 (0)297 387000
M: +31 (0)6 835 26 251 

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