Colombia: Colviveros getting ready for ExpoPlantas

The Colombian Nursery Trade Association, with more than 650 members in 18 regions of the country, is getting ready to celebrate its 6th anniversary with the fourth edition of ExpoPlantas in October 2022.

It all started with a coffee at the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture in August 2016. A month later, with a group of 5 nursery growers, the Association of Colombian Nurseries and Ornamental Growers, Colviveros, was founded. It was introduced as an entity focused on giving a boost to the segment of live plants and ornamentals in the South American country. "We only knew that the nursery world in Colombia was made up of a huge group of rural producers with a great desire to professionalize their operation and grow," says Jairo Cadavid, president of Colviveros, whom Floral Daily interviewed to learn about the progress and projections of the trade association, and the new Colombian political context.

Jairo Cadavid, president of Colviveros

Why an associative organization for nurseries in Colombia?
"Basically to give an opportunity for development and better income to that group of family farmers' and other rural producers and marketers of live plants in Colombia that - today we know- is made up of more than 3,000 small businesses throughout the country. We are great promoters of rural development policies in Colombia because the benefits of the associativity work are evident in terms of representation of the sector, training activities, technical support, international missions, market development and commercial platforms such as ExpoPlantas," says Jairo.

Colombia's flower industry is very competitive, could the live plants segment reach the same level of success?
"Of course, we all know that Colombia has innate competitive advantages. With all its thermal floors and microclimates we have many opportunities for the production of live plants to meet, not only the growing demand of the domestic market, but also international marketing opportunities. The world is a great consumer of plants and this green trend has put Colombia's live plant exports numbers on the map. This segment of the agricultural sector is starting to appear in the national export statistics."

What important things have happened during the last 5 years?
"First of all, we must talk about the high levels of support and approval received throughout those years. It is important to mention that from those 5 initial founding members in 2016, we now have the largest base of producers and marketers of live plants in Colombia, as well as input suppliers and vendors for the nursery chain, more than 650 members in 18 departments.

Second, we need to mention the legislative work done alongside the National Government that has put the nurseries on the socioeconomic map of Colombia, a sector on which more than 35,000 rural families depend. The Exemption from VAT on sales of live plants as a strategy to stimulate the formalization of the sector and to promote the consumption of nursery products, as well as government resources focused on promoting such consumption and the compliance with phytosanitary programs are part of the first steps taken by Colviveros. In turn, issues such as varietal rights, consumer trends and varietal renewal are beginning to be part of the agenda of our producers and marketers."

What expectations do you have with ExpoPlantas 2022?
"We are planning an exhibition scheduled to occupy 4,000 square meters. The event will provide not only business-to-business networking but also a wide-ranging and relevant program of educational seminars. Beyond industry-related technical, commercial and varietal rights issues that will be addressed by renowned national and international experts, ExpoPlantas 2022 will offer exciting displays of both growers and suppliers' commercial samples, to highlight the quality and steady growth of the nursery sector in Colombia, and promote the opportunities this green industry has to offer for the national market and to continue stimulating the export path of live plants.

The fourth edition of the Colombian Professional Nursery Trade Show and Congress in Colombia will be held in Fusagasugá next October, the main region of live plant production in the country with more than 800 growers. This region, close to Bogotá, offers a great variety of flowering plants, foliage plants, cacti, succulents, ferns, palms and forest species, and of course products as highly demanded as anthuriums, bromeliads and orchids.

To date there is a growing number of organizations that support the 2022 Fair and the Professional Nursery Congress, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, the Agency of Marketing of Cundinamarca, the Mayor's Office of Fusagasugá, the Association of Nurseries of the Sumapaz Region, Asoviz, and the Colombian Green Industry Network, Recive. At the same time, breeders such as Benary, Dümmen Orange, PanAmerican Seed, Schoneveld and Syngenta along with LYG Agroflowers will present their latest releases. In the same way, companies such as Jiffy Group, Guaquet USA and Portland Acquadosing System will attend the exhibition at the international level along with a growing number of local exhibitors," Jairo explains.

Colombia will have its first left-wing government in 200 hundred years. Will the political change affect the nursery and the ornamental industry in the country?
There is a lot of expectation and of course uncertainty about the change, but we have to be cautious and wait to see the first steps this new Government takes. Regarding the live plants industry, there is a great deal of hope. Being a sector mainly composed of small rural growers, we expect more Government support to strengthen our training initiatives as well as our market development activities. We are sure the new Government will help us extend the work on issues of quality, varietal renewal, import and export policies, regulations and practices training, logistics and consolidation, among other aspects.

For more information:
Diana Linares 



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