Guarantee safe export of flowers and prevent drug trafficking during high seasons like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. This is the goal of the so-called “Plan Pétalo” that has been launched by the Colombian Anti-narcotics police and Asocolflores (the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters) in 2006. Now when Valentine's Day is around the corner, with this plan, special attention can be given to safe flower exports. Colombian broadcast CM& recently covered the story. See the video below (In Spanish).
More than 300 police agents and representatives of flower growers came together to learn from each other about handling and security, CM& reports.
"The authorities explained to us the ways in which drug traffickers may try to use the industry to ship narcotics," Carolina Pantoja, logistics director of Asocolflores tells CM&.
Col. Iván Darío Santamaría, commander of Ports and Airports of the Antinarcotics Police, explained that "with these procedures, flower growers will demand rigorous control processes from all their suppliers when it comes to the production and delivery of the supplies."
Flowers are the third most important export product and Colombia is the world’s second largest supplier, with more than 1600 varieties of flowers shipped to 100 countries across the world.
Every year, Colombia exports flowers worth 1,400 million dollars to destinations such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands. The activity generates 140,000 jobs in Cundinamarca, Antioquia and Valle del Cauca.
Valentine's Day is one of the most important holidays for flower growers and in most countries around the globe, it is celebrated on February 14. In Colombia, Valentine's Day and Mothers Day together, represent 30 percent of the annual transport volume and during these seasons, the export of flowers triples (source: Asocolflores).