“The sales were 20% higher than last year and even 25% higher compared to 2019”, says Catalina Arango of Flores del Este when reflecting on the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, one of their most important holidays of the year. They produce 5 million hydrangea stems a year (50% white and 50% other colors) in Medellin, Colombia, and their main market is North America (NA: 39%, Europe: 16%, Asia: 33%, Arab countries: 14%). All in all, she is very pleased and thankful for this year's Mother's Day season. However, there were still certain challenges.
Demand surpasses supply
The major challenge this year was meeting the demand, explains Arango. “Our offer is limited compared to this year's market needs, we don’t have peaks of production, and with the production that we have at the moment, we are sold out in most products. Usually, white is the queen of hydrangeas, but at the moment, all colors are requested.”
Other challenges they faced this year were the increased cost of raw materials, agricultural supplies, logistics, and weather conditions. Rains have been strong and non-stop in Colombia lately, slowing down the production.
To rise up to the challenge, Arango says they need to act very strategically. “We try to supply every customer equally while keeping in mind their previous patronage.” They also supply everything as organized as possible and don't open any new accounts for the time being. In terms of raw materials, they anticipate what they need to buy, which is more efficient in their operation. As for the weather, they have decided to extend their production cycle, and when it comes to logistics, they try to get in their orders one week before the shipping date. “In this way, we are able to get the space in the plane.”
Exports hydrangea increasing
Not only for Mother’s Day but in general, hydrangeas seem to be in high demand. When looking at the exports of hydrangeas from Colombia to the world (statistics from Asocolflores), they have increased; +45.2% in USD and +36% in tons in the period January to February. And when comparing the exports of hydrangea with other flowers, like rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and alstroemeria, the exports of hydrangea has grown the most in February alone (+43.9% in USD and +33% in tons.
The first congress of floriculture in Colombia
Eager to learn more about floriculture in Colombia? On June 9th and 10th, 2022, the association of Colombian flower exporters will organize their first national Congress of Floriculture. "This event, the first of its kind to be held carried out in the history of Colombian floriculture, will be attended by important personalities and speakers, as well as floriculture entrepreneurs and its chain.
For more information on this congress, please email: email@example.com
For more information
Flores Del Este