On November 1st, with the arrival of “All Saints Day” in European catholic countries such as Italy and Spain, one of the year’s peak seasons for both floral industries in Ecuador and Colombia officially comes to an end.
According to catholic tradition the first day of November is set to commemorate all the saints without a specific day on the calendar, with churches holding special ceremonies for those unknown saints.
Nonetheless, this day doesn’t only serve for religious purposes, it is also a day to remember those who came before and are no longer present. Cemeteries become the rendezvous point for families to gather and share some time with those who already departed while keeping their memories alive.
During this season, the landscape of towns and cities change as flower arrangements of all sorts begin to appear. The most elegant arrangements are displayed on churches to honor the unknown while, families delicately choose the flowers of their preference to leave as gifts upon the graves. This unique spectacle is not only emotional but it represents a metaphor for death itself, as the flowers will be the last straw of color before the arrival of winter in Europe.
For Logiztik Alliance Group the intense movement of flowers for this season lasts approximately one week starting on Oct 16th and finishing on Oct 24th. This year a total of 2,356,149 kg of flowers (2,016,697 kgs from Ecuador and 339,452 kgs from Colombia) followed a delicate logistics process to destinations throughout the globe.
Further analysis shows how the celebration affects the volume of flowers shipped to Europe compared to the previous three months. Between July and September 2018 an average of 2,841,696.67 kgs were shipped from Ecuador and 158,358.33 kgs from Colombia. While on October only the company had an increment of 26% for Ecuador and 28% for Colombia.
The main destinations from Ecuador were Amsterdam (54%), Miami (27%), Madrid (6%) and Frankfurt (1.3%) while from Colombia the top two inverted, Miami being the first destination (69%), followed by Amsterdam (22%), Los Angeles (2%), and Guangzhou (0.9%). Other destinations have 12% in Ecuador and 6% in Colombia.
Finally, consumer preferences showed a lot of variety: Roses, Gypsophilia, Hypericum, Carnation, Bouquets, and Preserved Roses were chosen to celebrate this holiday that commemorates All Saints. From Ecuadorian operations, the estimated percentage of exported flowers for this season was: 57% Roses, 15% Gypso, 8% Bouquets, 2% Hypericum, 2% Preserved Roses, 2% Carnation, 14% others.