Testing new varieties paid off for Global Bouquet

With over ten varieties of Raffine, nine varieties of Solomio and all three of Star, Global Bouquet is the largest supplier of the Sparkz series of breeder HilverdaKooij. Steve Rosenbluth and Juan Pablo Montoya of Global Bouquet tell us about their decision to grow them.

Steve: “We are based in Colombia for 35 years now. Next to carnations and mini carnations, which are our main crops, we grow Raffine, Star and Solomio on 10 ha. It all started seven years ago, when Dutch breeder HilverdaKooij introduced these varieties and asked us if we would help test them. Testing new varieties is always a bit of risk as you don’t know what the demand is going to be. We were one of the few growers that decided to take that risk. The response of our clients was very good.”

Juan Pablo: “It usually takes a few years to develop the demand, and we see the demand is increasing. Supermarkets like to come up with new products to boost sales. We offer them in three ways: in mixed bouquets for supermarkets, in consumer bunches for supermarkets and wholesalers, and also in bulk for importers and other bouquet makers.”


Juan Pablo Montoya, Annelie Olsson and Steve Rosenbluth at the PMA Fresh Summit 2018 in Orlando (FL), USA 

Testing new varieties
Having a long relationship with HilverdaKooij, regularly new varieties can be found in the greenhouses of Global Bouquet. “Sometimes a variety doesn’t respond the way the breeder expects, that's why they like to test them in our farms, to see how they act in the local climate and with the fertilizers we use to make them bloom the best.”

Connecting buyer and breeder
Global Bouquet also visits the facilities of this Dutch breeder once in a while, to look for new varieties. Sometimes they are accompanied by their clients. Steve: “In the future, I think we will get the buyers more and more involved with the breeders. Then, they know exactly what’s coming up and what they can sell.” And Global Bouquet is already connecting the buyer and breeder. “For example, when a client says that he'd like to have 100,000 stems a week of a certain variety, I plant a bed for them with a name tag stating the name of the client. Within six months, they get exactly what they have asked for. Both the buyer and the grower benefit from consistency.”

Challenges
Even though Colombia is known for the perfect growing conditions (altitude, temperature and quality of the soil and amount of sunlight) to grow dianthus, there are also some challenges growers have to deal with. Juan Pablo: “When growing dianthus or carnations for many years, fusarium can develop in the ground. To solve that problem, growers switch to hydroponics. Other than cultivation, we also have difficulties finding workers, and transportation can be a challenge as well. The capacity in peak periods can be a problem, so we try to diversify in transportation methods.”

Preparing for Valentine’s Day
Currently, the company is busy preparing for Valentine’s Day. Steve: “We plan months in advance to let things run as smooth as possible. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in just a few weeks. Fortunately, supermarkets understand these hectic times and most orders are in on time. Every year we think we know everything, but we continue to learn from new challenges each time. So that is why we make a backup strategy to be prepared for any situation, for example, what to do if it will be snowing and if there are trucking delays during that week.”

For more information:
Steve Rosenbluth
Global Bouquet LLC
8400 NW 33rd St. 
Suite 405
Doral FL. 33122
+1 (305) 733-2013
Email: Steve@GlobalBouquet.net 
www.GlobalBouquet.net 


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