Located in Ecuador, Agrocoex has been a Fairtrade certified flower farm for 20 years and has shown a strong commitment to Fairtrade Standards through its continual development of worker programs and services. Diego Espinosa is the general manager of the company. In this article, he explains his views on sustainability.
As General Manager, Diego has overseen the development of scholarship programs, dental services, computer lessons and a housing development that all have been started with funds raised through Fairtrade flower sales.
"For our company, roses are the most important product we sell, representing 85-90 percent of our sales. In roses, we have about 120 different varieties, and we update about 15 percent of the varieties every year. We are always looking for new varieties to match the latest Canadian and European market trends. We have a lot of rose varieties to manage as we have a line of garden, regular and fryer roses. Besides roses, we started to grow some other products such as ranunculus, which is a new crop for us that we just started to produce in the last 4 years. I’d say our sales in the past would be oriented to Bunches, but now we want to position ourselves more like a bouquet business that sells focal flowers, fillers and a nice design."
"Our farm is located in the Andes mountains that allows us to grow flowers at an altitude of 2800 to 3200 meters above sea level. This is important because when combined with Ecuador’s warm temperature, it creates special weather conditions that create the perfect temperature to grow flowers. Essentially, our latitudinal location combined with our altitudinal location allows our farm to live in an eternal spring with twelve hours of daylight and direct sun rays. Because of this phenomenon, there are little to no other places in the world that can grow flowers this way – it is tough to replicate these conditions. If you move north or south just a little bit, you will start to experience seasons, changes in temperature and deviation in sunlight. When this happens, you no longer have the best condition to grow flowers."
Read the complete article at www.floristsupply.com.