With air transport rates from Colombia and Ecuador to the US skyrocketing, alternatives like sea transport are on the rise. Another alternative to get roses to the US market more inexpensively is by growing them on another location, like Mexico. "Mexico is quickly becoming the 'new frontier' for fresh flowers to the US and I see good opportunities to grow good quality roses in this country for export", says US flower importer Andre Savrmoutou of AmeriLink and Flowers from Mexico.
Pictures of the highlands that according to Savrmoutou show that it is a good area to grow roses. (Click here for the enlarged picture.)
Many flowers are grown in Mexico with most destined to fill domestic demand, which is very high. So, there is often no need to export, but there are opportunities luring, explains Savrmoutou. "The climatologist conditions in the Coatepec Harinas area, for example, are very good for rose production. And for export-minded growers, like Dutch growers are, it would be a great opportunity to start a business."
Gerberas grown by one of Savrmoutou's Mexican suppliers.
For years, Savrmoutou has been importing flowers from Mexico, but his range of roses is limited. "We currently do not have a good source for this product in Mexico now. There is a large and good quality rose producer, who grows roses with a head size over 6 cm, but he has his hands full on the domestic market."
So, there is proof that roses can grow really nicely in this area, only not many exploit the opportunity of exporting them. But why should a grower start growing roses in Mexico?
According to Savrmoutou, the skyrocketing rates for air transport play an important role, as many of the flowers can be shipped by truck. "We supply Mexican flowers all over the US, and around 85-90 percent that we supply to the East coast goes by truck. Lately, we started smaller shipments to Chicago and Miami as well."
Truck leaving a Mexican farm, going to the US.
Other advantages Savrmoutou mentions are: the ability to ship farm to customer in water (Procona or Aquabox) and the abundance of labor in the area for any bouquet assembly operations and greenhouse- and grading work.
A challenge might be controlling botrytis during the rain season. "When growing roses, in my opinion, controlling botrytis from May to October/November is the biggest challenge."
Snapdragons grown in Mexico, imported by Savrmoutou.
Savrmoutou is convinced of the potential success for growing roses in Mexico and exporting them to the US. "I think the time is right to get Dutch growers to begin producing flowers in Mexico and we will gladly assist in marketing their crops here in the US."
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Flowers from Mexico