“A fast reaction to the market is important. Therefore, we kept our farms in production as normal, as a way to be prepared. And when some of our markets closed during the pandemic, others were increasing their demand, and we were able to provide,” explains Maria Isabel Lopez, Sales Director of Ecuadorian rose farm Josarflor. Lopez explains how they managed to get through the pandemic, how the cold weather is affecting production, and shares the latest rose color trends.
Maria Isabel Lopez
New markets to explore
From the start of the pandemic, Josarflor decided to continue their normal production and keep all of their employees. “Our farms continued as normal so that we had the same production as before the pandemic. We believe that a fast reaction to the market is important and we wanted to ensure that our clients had flowers when they needed them. During the uncertain times we didn’t know when the markets would return but we needed to be prepared. Yet while some markets were closed, it remained the case that we had markets to provide with flowers. For example, while the European market was closed, we were maintaining the US market, and the Russian market opened as well. As we were prepared, we were able to respond and export flowers to the markets that required them.”
Cold weather is lowering production
Lopez explains that while attempting to maintain production as usual, the overall production is still lower this season because of the cold weather. “While the demand is very good, the cold weather in Ecuador is lowering our production. Thankfully, we are still able to meet requirements.
“Customer relationship is most important aspect”
According to Lopez, one of the most challenging aspects of the pandemic has been the inability to travel. "It has been about a year and a half now that we have not been able to meet our customers. This is challenging as in this industry the customer relationship is one of the most important aspects, as you need to trust each other. We have been doing lots of online meetings, but our goal is to start travelling again as soon as possible.”
“Yellow is the new color of the year”
Josarflor currently has almost 36 hectares of production, and they are always looking for new varieties to add to their assortment. “We always talk to our customers so that we can understand what they are looking for, and also improve the plants that we currently have.” Lopez explains that color-wise, oranges and yellows are particularly trending. “Because of the wedding season, the classic white and pink roses are still in high demand. Yet we have recently been seeing oranges and yellows are starting to become more popular. This summer yellow has been more present at weddings, and farms are looking for more yellow varieties to put in their fields. Normally yellow is not a color we have a lot of, but we are soon adding a new yellow variety to our assortment.”
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Maria Isabel Lopez